The Flash is done and the Arrowverse is gone — except for Superman & Lois, which takes place on a different Earth. Other than that, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, as well as Batwoman were canceled, and the proposed Justice U spinoff starring David Ramsey isn’t happening.
Most fans and onlookers would say “good riddance” and move on but there are multiple aspects at play.
Brad Schwartz, the executive installed as the president of The CW after the Nexstar acquisition, had to pursue cuts and make the network profitable for once. It’s no easy task and won’t make him popular with some folks, although an amateur could see what needs to be done after looking at the ratings. And Schwartz told The Hollywood Reporter how he looked at things.
“They were the hallmarks of The CW for a long time,” he said of Arrowverse programming which didn’t come with very much of an upside. “As we look forward and try to make this network bigger and profitable, frankly, as much as we all love those shows and they had their time, they’re not working on linear.” However, they had more problems.
“We don’t have the rights to prior seasons,” he added. “It was frustrating for us because you can’t tell people to go catch up on Superman & Lois and it’s on HBO Max and it’s the 30th priority there.”
“It’s tough,” the executive admitted. “If you want to be in business on a show and connect that show to audiences everywhere, you need to have the whole library.”
Part of Schwartz’s strategy to beef up The CW is to air cheaper-to-produce reality television like F-Boy Island and successful streaming series such as The Chosen. The former is on Max and both air in places where CW hypothetically doesn’t have the rights to old seasons. We’re guessing they won’t have this concern despite what Schwartz said.
He believes if The CW builds it, the audiences will come, but their target demo will skew older than before as young adults abandon broadcast TV for streaming. “That audience has abandoned broadcast, hence the opportunity we have to broaden the audience,” said Schwartz.
When advertisers go after younger consumers mostly, CW could face an uphill battle.