At this point, it’s common knowledge that Arrow is ending after its upcoming eighth season. That announcement was confirmed this week and the shockwaves went through the entertainment world.
For years, we’ve considered the Stephen Amell series to be a stalwart and a pioneer of comic-book shows on TV. It taught us that you can do proper superhero stories in this modern era and not shy away from going big, broad, and at times over-the-top. This is a grounded, dark series that did somehow still spawn The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and to a certain extent Supergirl. (That show did not originally start off in the same universe, but it ended up getting there by the end.) To think, a man in a hood somehow eventually led to a bunch of time-traveling superheroes transforming into a giant version of a kid’s stuffed-animal toy in order to take on a ruthless demon in hand-to-hand combat. (Note that we are not desecrating the name of Beebo, just stating a few facts.)
The Arrowverse is a strange, glorious place; it is also one with a slightly more uncertain future now.
What the end of Arrow tells us is that these shows do have a sense of mortality. They will not be around forever, and it’s mostly all about how long the cast and producers want to keep doing them. It also should demonstrate to The CW that there is value in making sure they have new shows and franchises ready as backup. The network’s got that with Batwoman this year and there could be more where that comes from.
What’s the long-term future for The Flash and Supergirl now?
That is specifically what we want to focus on here, mostly because The Flash is a show The CW probably would like to keep as long as possible — it’s their top-rated drama! Think of all the product lines that are spawned from it, and also think about its success all over the world. Yet, it’s also in season 5, and Supergirl is currently in season 4. Both have already been renewed for a season 6 and season 5, respectively, so you can outline their future for the better part of the next year or so.
Beyond that, things tend to get a little hairy — especially for The Flash. Typically, network TV actors have contracts that run for six or seven seasons and then after that, you have to renegotiate to keep things going. We’re not sure how many actors will really even want to keep going. There have already been rumors about various departures and eventually, you have to realize that being in Vancouver, away from your friends and family for the majority of the year, is tough. People want to do other things and that’s okay.
Our hope is mostly that The Flash and Supergirl each last around seven seasons — that way, The CW can scale out saying goodbye to old shows and slowly allow themselves to introduce some new ones. Think along the lines of a Green Lantern show, maybe a Flash spin-off featuring on a couple of characters, or maybe something within the world of Wonder Woman. We know that the Arrowverse does have their own version, even if it’s only been seen briefly.
Legends of Tomorrow is the one Arrowverse show that could seemingly go on forever, most because it is not required to have the same team year and year. Still … it’s hard to imagine it without Sara Lance. She’s just so iconic and Caity Lotz only gets better and better every year.
Our advice to The CW
Plan things carefully, find the right way to end all of these shows, and give yourself time. Make sure that you’re still introducing new shows, largely because there is no reason to avoid it for the time being so long as the ratings stay strong.
What do you think the long-term future should be for both The Flash and also Supergirl? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: The CW.)