When Batwoman debuted in 2019, the show hit its highest viewership, receiving 1.86 million viewers. Since then, the show has steadily dipped going below a million viewers halfway through the first season and never going above that threshold again. With Sunday night’s episode, “Prior Criminal History,” Batwoman reached its new lowest viewership.
This second episode of Batwoman’s second season received on .62 million viewers, beating the previous lowest-viewed episode, “A Narrow Escape,” the 17th episode of Season One. This is only a -2.58% dip from the season two premiere, which received .66 million viewers.
There are a few things to account for, however, when discussing the ratings of Batwoman. The first is that these ratings are posted the day after the show airs, and don’t account for DVR watches or streaming views. It’s also important to note that The CW typically receives lower ratings than networks like CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC. For example, the season debut of Charmed, which aired directly after this episode of Batwoman, received only .47 million viewers. The ratings for Charmed sunk around that low in the first season, yet despite that, the show has been on for three seasons.
It’s also worth pointing out that both episodes of Batwoman’s second season have premiered alongside NFL finals games, which always skew the overall ratings. For comparison, Sunday night’s game received 35.47 million viewers. Because of the overwhelming amount of people who watch these games, networks like Fox and NBC intentionally show reruns, in order to not have their new shows burn out against such a sure thing.
Like most networks that have had their shooting schedules affected by the coronavirus pandemic, The CW has pushed the majority of their schedule to midseason, with Batwoman and Charmed amongst those just now debuting. The network also recently debuted Walker, which became the most-watched show for The CW since a 2018 episode of The Flash. But even though Walker broke The CW records, it still received only 2.44 million viewers, which is about as many viewers as Fox received on Sunday night with a rerun of their latest animated show, The Great North.
But even though shows like Charmed and Batwoman don’t do big numbers like other networks, Walker and The CW’s upcoming Superman & Lois should bring large audiences to the network that often falls behind. Premiering on February 23, Superman & Lois brings the superhero back to the big screen in his own show for the first time since Smallville.
The CW is about to cut the number of superhero series on their networks, as Black Lightning and Supergirl will soon be starting their final seasons. While there’s still plenty of superhero shows on the network, like The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, the network seems likely to keep giving its smaller superhero shows like Batwoman and Stargirl a chance. At this point, Batwoman is starting to level out at about where the network can expect the show to perform. It will be interesting to see if once football concludes its season if Batwoman’s ratings will see an uptick, or if the show will stay at this low position for the foreseeable future.