Ever since Supergirl passed to The CW, there have been rumors that the network is looking to expand its slate of DC shows – with hopes that we’d soon be seeing a separate Superman series, or that the world of Batman would soon be becoming a major presence on the network. Yesterday, CW President Mark Pedowitz finally laid the matter to rest…
What Have the Rumors Been?
Where the DC Expanded Universe is a subject of real controversy, The CW’s superhero shows have given DC a string of remarkable successes. We’ve seen The CW build what’s known as the ‘Flarrowverse’, with three superb live-action superheroes series – Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The CW has used these shows to consistently build an interconnected universe, one that’s dearly loved by DC fans.
With Supergirl shifting over from CBS to The CW, the network is becoming home to the vast majority of DC TV shows. Supergirl Season 1 established that the Girl of Steel lives in a different reality to The CW’s other superhero shows, but that should be fairly easy to amend – whether through “Flashpoint” or through the much-teased crossover arc that’s going to be kicked off in Supergirl.
Excitement for Supergirl Season 2 is building, with a number of hints that her own world of superheroes would be dramatically developed. We know that Tyler Hoechlin has been cast as Superman, and it’s undoubtedly the case that – should he prove to be a fan-favorite – The CW will consider a Superman series. I admit to finding the idea that Superman’s a spin-off from Supergirl rather amusing…
More intriguingly, there have been persistent rumors that The CW is going to add Batwoman and Oracle into Supergirl’s mix. These two fan-favorite characters would establish that Batman’s corner of the DC TV Multiverse exists in Supergirl’s reality, and would open up the potential for a whole range of spin-offs – from Batwoman to Birds of Prey. That’s even without considering the possibility that The CW would make a deal with Fox to add the Dark Knight himself (Fox currently has the TV license for Batman in order to make Gotham).
So Now We Know!
A few days ago, in an interview published on Polygon, CW President Mark Pedowitz gave his view on these many rumors:
"There are no real discussions about any more superhero characters. We have built a universe where we get to see all of these characters interact with each other and we're proud of that. But at this time, there aren't any discussions for adding anything else to that."
These comments should be understood in the context of a question about new TV shows; Pedowitz isn't commenting on the possibility of new superheroes being added to, say, the team roster of Legends of Tomorrow. He's specifically stating that The CW has no plans to expand its slate of DC superhero TV series.
From a strategic viewpoint, it does make sense. Having acquired Supergirl, The CW is now home to four interconnected superhero shows, and the network has to be really careful about developing that shared universe in an organic way. Suddenly increasing the number of shows even more wouldn't be wise.
What's more, I think there's an interesting parallel between The CW's approach and Netflix's with Marvel shows; there's a real risk that the network becomes saturated with superhero shows. The network can only invest in so many things at once, and channelling all its resources into superhero shows would certainly fit the old adage of 'never put all your eggs in one basket'.
This may be a little disappointing, but at the same time I can't help feeling we fans are being spoiled. After all, we now have an interconnected universe in which four ongoing DC TV series are giving us everything we could have dreamed of. That's nothing to dismiss lightly!
What's more, here's the good news, DC TV fans: Pedowitz can only be speaking for current plans. That doesn't mean that, say, a character introduced in one of the Flarrowverse / Supergirl shows can't inspire a spin-off further down the road. Just like the comics, when a character gains traction, the network will look carefully at what it can do to capitalize on that success.
- The Great CW Emmy Conundrum!
- What Would Batwoman and Oracle Add to Supergirl?
- How Will DC Comics' "Rebirth" Transform the Expanded Universe?
So in the short term? Don't hold your breath for any new DC TV superhero shows on The CW. But in the long term? Who can say!
Which superheroes do you want to see appear in the Flarrowverse? Let me know in the comments!