Is the CW beginning to feel a case of superhero fatigue? If the numbers are any indication, then yes, viewers are tiring of the superhero shows and they are tuning out in droves. The one exception? Superman & Lois.
For a while there, The CW was onto something. What eventually became known as The Arrowverse began with the first two seasons of the popular series Arrow. The Flash joined Arrow in 2014, and that too was a major hit for The CW. The numbers were big for both shows.
In 2015, Supergirl was added, though the series first premiered on CBS. The CW felt it was on to something seeing as how popular Arrow and The Flash were, so they ramped up production on other DC properties. They soon brought in Legends of Tomorrow, eventually adding Black Lightning to their roster too.
As all these new shows began to surface, The CW looked to capitalize by having various cross-over events, culminating in their Crisis on Infinite Earths that saw each series get one episode of the event. But with the end of the Crisis crossover also came the end of their most popular show, Arrow.
Before Arrow met his series demise, The CW had introduced Ruby Rose as Batwoman. The series did not resonate with many, as evidenced by its miserable ratings. As Arrow faded off into the sunset, it seemed to take ratings with it. The once-popular Flash series began to suffer major slips in ratings as did Supergirl and Legends.
Black Lightning held firm for a while but eventually, its numbers suffered. Ruby Rose smartly walked away from Batwoman, giving way to Javicia Leslie. She certainly isn’t to blame for the show’s pathetic numbers. While the first season of Batwoman hit many rating lows, the second season has seen low numbers unheard of for a series that got a third season greenlight.
In terms of ratings, The Flash has seen its numbers drop dramatically. On average, the series used to pull in nearly a million viewers. The past two episodes saw around 740k. At one time, during its peak, The Flash was bringing in three million viewers.
This is another series that The CW gave another renewal to, but the rumor now is that the eighth season will be the last for The Flash star Grant Gustin. There is also thought that though it has been renewed, The CW may still cancel it. It’s also been said that if Gustin were not to return but the show would, The CW is looking for a POC actor to replace him.
Supergirl has already been cancelled, so what fans are seeing is the series last season. Problem is, no one is watching. Supergirl is failing almost as badly as Batwoman. The latest episode of Supergirl brought in only 471k viewers, a number which represents a series low.
As for Batwoman, the question is simple. How can this series survive based on ratings? Most series would have been cancelled after two episodes with these ratings but for some reason, The CW is intent on keeping the show on life support. They can’t be making any money off of it, so why is it still on? The writing is bad, and what audience there is constantly complains about the politically correct storylines. It will be interesting to see if The CW holds firm with their decision to give Batwoman a third season.
There is one bright spot for The CW and that is Superman & Lois. When it premiered the numbers were fantastic and so far, the shine is still shining. The network should get a boost in its dreadful numbers as Superman & Lois returns from their winter hiatus.
Another smaller bright spot for The CW is Stargirl. The series fared well in the ratings its first season and Stargirl’s second season will kick off in August 2021.
So, what exactly is bringing down the shows? Some say the writing has dropped off tremendously since the early days of Arrow and The Flash. Others are saying that there is simply too much. At one point The CW had Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Black Lightning rolling at the same time. It’s no wonder fans began to drop.
Does The CW have an answer for the poor ratings? Apparently not, nor does it seem like they care. Giving Batwoman a third season greenlight is proof positive. At least we have Superman & Lois, for now.