Over the past few years, The CW has amassed an impressive programming lineup that goes well beyond its core DC Comics titles, turning it into the little broadcast network that could. With critically acclaimed and award-winning TV shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin rounding out its geek-centric schedule that also includes elder statesman Supernatural, the network finds itself in a unique but also demanding position of keeping its devoted fan base happy while making plans for the future. As such, the network has decided to take care of half that equation in one fell swoop.
Although it may not be as sexy as the announcement of a brand-new series being added to the Arrowverse lineup, the news that seven currently airing shows will be afforded the opportunity to continue doing so still maintains a certain newsworthiness. And as the network bets big on ambitious but potentially divisive re-imaginings of familiar properties, as they've done with the dark Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale, maintaining a solid foundation of already established programming becomes all the more important.
As such, during the 2017 TCA Winter Press Tour, the network officially announced the early renewals of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Supernatural for the 2017-2018 television season. The CW president Mark Pedowitz had this to say about the renewals:
“Over the past several seasons, The CW has built a schedule of proven performers, from our lineup of DC superheroes, to critically acclaimed comedies, to sci-fi dramas. Early pickups of these seven series now allow our producers to plan ahead for next season, and gives us a solid base to build on for next season, with original scripted series to roll out all year long.”
While the news of more Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash and Legends isn't too much of a surprise, given the popularity of the network's comic book offerings – not to mention the stellar ratings of the recent 'Invasion!' crossover – it is welcome news to see the network continuing its support of non-comics-based series, especially those driven by female creators and stars, like Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez. The commitment to programming will undoubtedly keep the network's viewers tuning in, knowing that, although they may not be ratings juggernauts like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, there is still a place for smaller programs with a passionate fan base. If anything, the news that Supernatural is headed into season 13 will serve as proof of The CW's commitment to its audience.
Still, even the news of seven early renewals leaves some programming questions unanswered. Missing from the announcement are iZombie, The 100 and freshman series No Tomorrow and Frequency. To be fair, iZombie and The 100 are midseason premieres, so their performance will likely be evaluated sometime late spring or early summer, to see if they will receive a fourth and fifth season, respectively. Meanwhile, the absence of No Tomorrow and Frequency from the list is telling but not necessarily surprising. Neither series received back orders for additional episodes during their first seasons. While that doesn't bode well, they do stand a second chance at renewal under The CW's new deal with Netflix, which makes current seasons of its shows available just days after their finales air. Performing well on the streaming service could determine whether or not they make it to season 2.
At any rate, fans of the Arrowverse, Supernatural, and critical darlings Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin can rest easy, knowing the 2017-2018 TV season is taken care of. Now fans just have to wait and see what new shows the network is planning.
Supergirl continues Monday, January 23 @8pm. The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow return Tuesday, January 24, starting @8pm. Arrow continues Wednesday, January 25 @8pm. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continues Friday, January 13 @9pm. Jane the Virgin continues Monday, January 23 @9pm. Supernatural returns Thursday, January 26 @9pm.
Source: The CW