Both of The CW's DC Comics properties have been a success for the network. Arrow established the world of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and introduced Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who would spin off into his own series. The Flash gave The CW its highest season premiere ratings since 2008 and expanded the network's shared DC television universe. After a few small crossovers between The Flash and Arrow, a big two-hour two-night event proved the superhero shows were strongest together - at least in terms of ratings.
Since the crossover event was well-received, many have wondered when the two shows would combine forces again. During the TCAs, the president of The CW addressed those questions as well as the future of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer and why the network passed on Supergirl.
CBM is reporting that CW President Mark Pedowitz said that the network has planned for Arrow/Flash crossovers to be a yearly occurrence, leaning toward the fall/winter season. Pedowitz compared the scheduling of these television events to the Doctor Who Christmas Specials on BBC. Since The CW also announced the renewal of both Arrow and The Flash (and many more shows) earlier today, it seems fans are sure to see Amell and Gustin sharing the same screentime again in late 2015.
Though fans may be disappointed that they won’t be able to see The Flash and Arrow suit up together again anytime soon, it may be for the best; both shows still need to stand on their own outside of crossovers. Additionally, since the crossovers will be kept to a minimum, the event-like nature of these episodes will continue to generate plenty of excitement for two superheroes and their teams joining forces.
As The CW continues to grow and establish its DC universe in Arrow and The Flash, Pedowitz also revealed that they may be adding another series to the mix. According to the CW president, they’re in “preliminary discussions” for another show, but it depends on the audience.
Read Pedowitz’s full quote:
"We are having some preliminary discussions about expanding [that] universe, but we have not vetted them out. Could there be another hour in that universe? Possibly. As long as there’s no audience fatigue."
Greg Berlanti, executive producer of Arrow and The Flash, added that those preliminary discussions include a spinoff for Arrow’s Ray Palmer and his Atom suit. According to Berlanti, they’re in “very early talks” about the “very general idea” of a series based on The Atom.
As to why Berlanti’s Supergirl series didn’t end up on The CW - it instead landed a season commitment on CBS - Pedowitz said “We were aware of it, [but] you don't want to become just one thing." However, according to previous reports, the possibility of the series crossing over to The CW is on the table.
Although it may seem contradictory for The CW to pass on Supergirl then begin talks for another DC universe television series, it likely comes down to timing. If CW had picked up Supergirl, it would have debuted a year after the network launched The Flash. That doesn’t provide the network with enough time to determine “audience fatigue” as Pedowitz put it.
However, if The CW does decide to spin off Routh’s Ray Palmer, the character will already have an established origin and audience familiarity. Additionally, since Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim has previously said the Atom’s powers don’t necessarily fit into the tone of the show - and it was speculated he may move to The Flash, which does deal with superpowered humans - it may make the most sense for him to headline his own series.
That all being said, an Atom television show at The CW is still a long way off and likely depends on Palmer’s character trajectory throughout the rest of Arrow’s third season. Since the Atom suit only made its debut in the Arrow midseason finale, the character’s development still has a way to go.
The Flash returns January 20th @8PM on The CW; Arrow returns January 21st, @8PM on The CW.