The news isn't exactly shocking, but after delivering one of the strongest premieres of this Fall TV season - and drawing in one of The CW's largest audiences in years - the network has officially announced that The Flash has received a full season order. That means fans have a full 22 episodes to look forward to in the show's debut season; and the writing team will need to find additional stories to tell.
Given the wealth of DC Comics characters and story lines they already seem eager to adapt, that shouldn't be too difficult a challenge. The shared production team between Arrow and The Flash weren't waiting for The CW to make their faith in the new series known, already promoting the two hour-long crossover battle between the two DC heroes coming this November.
If that weren't enough of a vote of confidence, CW President Mark Pedowitz expressed the network's enthusiasm for the show which, only two episodes in, is already scratching the costumed superhero itch left in Smallville's absence:
We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with THE FLASH launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and JANE THE VIRGIN recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country. Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and THE FLASH and JANE have both exceeded our expectations on all counts. I'm thrilled to announce full season orders for both of these terrific new series.
Not long after the announcement was made, star Grant Gustin took to Twitter to show his own gratitude, while implying that the series premiere isn't being counted (or the two-hour crossover counts as two), meaning a total tally of 23 episodes in the series' freshman season.
Yay The Flash! So happy for this cast & crew.. There will be 23 episodes for you this season! THANK YOU for tuning in. #TheFlash
— Grant Gustin (@grantgust) October 21, 2014
Whatever the case, it's been clear for some time that both The CW and the show's producers weren't keeping their plans in check until being given an official green light. Besides dropping plenty of questions that would take multiple seasons to truly answer, the showrunners have freely spoken about bringing other DC Comics heroes from Arrow to The Flash, and hinting that other fan-favorite heroes could be coming in the near future.
There will be no shortage of fans who hope that the six additional episodes will shine more light on the character of Ronnie Raymond a.k.a. Firestorm (Robbie Amell). As a fully-fledged Justice League member in his own rite, it always seemed curious that The Flash writers planned to include the nuclear-powered hero alongside their scarlet speedster. Whether Firestorm will be merely a supporting character or the catalyst of some larger story is a question that still remains, and the casting of veteran talent has only added to the suspicion.
The writers now have more than time to add even lesser-known characters to the show's cast, or simply give other members of the ensemble cast their time in the spotlight. And if Arrow is any sign of what to expect, then it's possible that one or more of Barry Allen's enemies could drop a bombshell on the budding superhero during the season's final arc. But for now, details on what lies beyond both shows' mid-season finale is being kept quiet.
What would you like to see these additional episodes work towards: a Suicide Squad-esque subplot a la Arrow? Or do you suspect that the writers already had a plan in place for when the official order was made? Whatever the case, we'll find out soon enough.
The Flash airs Tuesdays @8pm on The CW.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on The Flash as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.
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