Batwoman went through a major change this season, swapping out its lead character in the middle of the show’s run. That is pretty rare for a television show, to get a new face of the franchise only a season in. But it looks like they have pulled it off with the CW recently announcing that they are renewing the program for a third season. It’s a testament to the show’s creative ability to pivot quickly when they found out the original star wouldn’t be returning. They were able to find a new path for the series. And now they have a bit of a runway with Batwoman on its way back for Season 3.
It’s against a decent amount of odds that Batwoman is returning for a third season, but the CW must like what they are seeing with the program right now. It’s currently just four episodes into Season 2, but that didn’t stop them from making a commitment going forward. It was among a handful of other shows renewed including Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash which are also part of the Arrowverse franchise on the station.
I will say, it’s just a little bit surprising that they made this move so early considering the show’s ratings have been pretty bad to start the second season. There could be a little context here considering a few of the episodes went up directly against NFL games, but even with that, they reported fewer than 700,000 viewers turning in for the season premiere. And the numbers appear to have only dropped over the next few episodes. But that hasn’t stopped the network from giving it a vote of confidence for a third season.
Batwoman faced an uphill climb for its second season when original show star, Ruby Rose announced she was leaving the production after the first season. The actress cited a number of different reasons for the move including stress in the production as well as needing back surgery because of an injury she sustained on set. That left production in a bit of a holding pattern while they cast a new lead and decided on a suitable story to explain the change.
They landed on Javicia Leslie as Ryan Wilder playing the new Batwoman. The story followed the sudden death of Rose’s Kate Kane and Wilder finding the bat suit among the wreckage of a crash. This took the story in a new direction and Leslie became the first Black actress to take on the character.
Despite its poor viewership numbers, the second season of Batwoman has earned solid marks from critics. It’s sitting at 88% on the Tomatometer with many praising Leslie’s new voice and attitude toward the character. This reception could be at the heart of CW’s renewal notice, assuming fans will come around on the character and the new direction of the show. They may also like the direction the show is taking for the rest of the season, with confidence around the upcoming story.
In a day and age with snap calls made about the future of the show based on early numbers, it’s nice to see a network possibly looking past that for the time being. We’ll see if Batwoman can increase its viewership over time as fans get used to a new character.