In retrospect, it’s easy to see why Supergirl was not the best fit for CBS. The network’s demographic skews the oldest out of any major broadcast network, and comic book-based TV shows typically appeal to younger audiences. It made sense, then, when the show was moved to CBS’s younger, hipper sibling The CW to coexist with that network’s other youth-oriented comic book adaptations.
Given the YA focus of The CW, though, it was inevitable that Supergirl would need some retooling to better fit the aesthetic of the network. While it may have been too youth-oriented for CBS, it also didn’t quite fit the template for The CW’s other DC adaptations Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The show’s producers are aware of that fact, though, and are accounting for it with season 2.
CBR reports that the Supergirl cast and crew spoke about the changes during a press event at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. Supergirl herself Melissa Benoist expressed enthusiasm for the changes and for the show’s move to The CW:
“I think it’s the perfect move. It feels like we’re in an amazing company. It feels like we’re where we should have been all along. Obviously I think we have a different demographic now and the first three scripts I’ve read already feel more vibrant and exciting and rich — but I don’t think the tone will change so much. It’s still the same characters and the same themes.”
The show’s move to a network that is more in sync with the comic book audience has other benefits, too, like the possibility of exploring some fan-favorite characters that CBS might not have been as keen on. One of those characters is Martian Manhunter, who was introduced in season 1. David Harewood, who played Martian Manhunter in the last season, thinks that he will get more screentime after the move to The CW:
“I think maybe CBS — I don’t think it’s their natural fit, and I think they were trying to do less of the alien superhero stuff, whereas on CW they want more of it.”
Associate producer Sarah Schechter agreed, adding that the executives at The CW had a better understanding of the terminology of the DC universe:
“We’re really excited to make season two even better and we’re on a network that we already have a shorthand with because we’ve done so many shows — Arrow’s going into its fifth season. So when you say ‘metahuman’ to someone at The CW, they know what you mean. I think it’ll just be a lot of fun.”
CBS did enough things right with the first season of Supergirl to quickly earn the show a loyal following. With The CW having the experience of three other DC shows under its belt, though, there is little doubt it will be a more natural fit. The trade-off is that the show will have to try to appeal to a younger audience than it did previously, but it seems like the show’s cast and crew are prepared to make that change.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday, October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same time slot on Wednesday, October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday, October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrowseason 2 on Thursday, October 13th.