DC and The CW's Arrowverse selection of superhero series is not what it once was. Once a robust selection of shows, the number of programs directly connected to the Arrowverse that have been left standing after The CW's massive bout of cancellations is down to two (or one depending on how you view the largely-detached Superman & Lois.) In their heyday, these shows, including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow told individual stories that would frequently crossover with one another by way of actors doing guest spots on other shows.
Then came the pandemic. Shortly after The CW's much-hyped Arrowverse crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the world shut down and when production resumed on these shows, their ability to have actual crossovers was greatly dampened. To add insult to injury, with the recent merger between Warner Bros. And Discovery, it would seem that the new regime is slashing a lot of DC content that isn't deemed profitable enough, as Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow have been canceled.
The CW as a network could potentially be sold in the coming months, which would possibly leave a lot of its current programming out in the cold. Network president Mark Pedowitz, however, has attempted to quell some anxiety regarding the future of the Arrowverse.
DC TV on CW
During a press call (via Variety), CW chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz spoke on the future of DC shows on the network, stating that they're "still very much there."
“[We’re] staying in the superhero business, we are staying working with Greg Berlanti, who has masterminded creatively The CW DC Universe. So we’re not as robust as we were in the past, but still very much there... We started with one — this was ‘Arrow’ 10 years ago — we have now moved to create a whole bunch of superheroes. And we’re proud of it and we plan to stay in that business. No matter what the outcome is, with any event of sale or no sale."
Pedowitz also offered reassurance that DC and Warner Bros. still recognize the value in the CW's DC slate:
"I think the Warner side realizes the value of having these properties up. DC Comics realizes the value of what it does to their marketability, in terms of what these franchises are.”
As for whether these shows will still use the shared universe model that has worked for them in the past, the CW boss said the following: “As far as we are concerned, we are interconnected because of the work of Greg Berlanti and his team and will stay that way.”
Finally, Pedowitz also revealed that the upcoming ninth season of the longest-running Arrowverse show, The Flash could go on for even longer- "We have not any determination whether this may be the final season.”
What's Next for The CW's Arrowverse?
Despite the mass cancellations for the network, The Flash has been renewed for another season, as has Superman & Lois. So, despite the latter's tenuous connections to the larger Arrowverse, these shows are still very much surviving.
Additionally, The CW has ordered the Batman spinoff Gotham Knights to series. Knights is not connected to the Arrowverse, however. Word also broke that a show called Justice U was in development, which would be firmly connected to the shared universe and star former Arrow character John Diggle.
Pedowitz has certainly done his best to calm the fears that the Arrowverse is imploding and has firmly indicated that these shows aren't going anywhere. Hopefully, the opportunity for inter-series crossovers will open back up and DCTV can resume with its annual multi-show crossovers.
The Flash airs on Wednesdays and Superman & Lois, which is now in its second season, airs on The CW.