The Flash hit a series low in ratings on The CW with last week's episode, "Failure is an Orphan." Adapting the DC Comics character of the same name, The Flash has been consistently the highest rated superhero series on the network. It has even surpassed the show it spun out of: Arrow. Although Arrow is considered the creative nexus of The CW's interconnected DC multiverse with most heroes being compared to its series lead Oliver Queen The Flash is the most successful.
Since so much of the Arrowverse takes it cue from Arrow, it was a little alarming when The CW announced that Arrow was ending with season 8. The next season of Arrow will be a shortened one and supposedly wrap up the series' two timelines of the present and the future. With The Flash's ratings slipping, fans of the Scarlet Speedster may be worried the series finale might not be too far behind. However, they can rest assured knowing The CW renewed The Flash for season 6 already.
Cancelled Sci Fi, which tracks the ratings and possible cancellations of various science fiction shows, reported The Flash hit their lowest ratings ever in the week of March 11. The Flash received a 0.5 rating in the sought after demographic of viewers between the ages of 18-49. The Flash pulled in 1.6 million viewers which is only slightly more than Arrow, which landed a million viewers and and fellow superhero CW series Black Lightning, which had around 750,000 viewers.
Before fans get too worried about The Flash reaching its finish line, the series has been already renewed for a sixth season. There's no sense currently that The Flash season 6 will be the series' final year either. In fact it seems like The Flash will transition into a brand new era in season 6 by adapting the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic storyline in the annual crossover and changing showrunners. The CW is also historically less concerned with the live ratings of their series than other broadcast networks. The CW tends to prioritize streaming and online fan engagement with their series over ratings. These are both arenas where The Flash has a proven track record of success. Furthermore, The CW usually announces a final season of their series well in advance of its airdate to give both the creative team and fans time to prepare.
However fans might want to consider the possibility that The Flash might come to an end sooner rather than later. The Flash season 6 likely won't be the final season of the series, but there's a good possibility that the series could wrap up as early as season 7 or 8. This isn't just because of the series' declining ratings, but a lack of story possibilities. Arrow itself isn't necessarily ending because of its ratings, but because of a creative decision to wrap up the series with a satisfying conclusion.
The ray of hope is the prevailing fan theory surrounding Arrow's cancellation is that the series will wrap up during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. Arrow and Crisis could conclude with Oliver Queen's death making The Flash's Barry Allen the most prolific superhero in the multiverse. In essence, Crisis on Infinite Earths would wrap up one era of the Arrowverse and start another. It's certainly possible that The Flash could be reinvigorated by Crisis on Infinite Earths, Arrow's ending and the presumed changes of both. The opposite could also be true with Arrow's end signaling the finale of all the current DC superhero series. After all, TV series usually don't become more popular than ever in season 7.
The Flash season 5 currently airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
Source: Cancelled Sci Fi