What's Happening with DC's CW shows? Here's a rundown

So as many of you already now, the real world is being more real world than usual. That’s causing problems for basically everybody, but specifically for the TV world and even more specifically for traditional networks.

One network that’s dealing with this is The CW. You know, that one network with a massive fleet of superhero shows all filming in Vancouver (except one). Well, that one show that isn’t filming in Vancouver just finished its season a while ago, so they have nothing to worry about.

Everybody else, however…

That one’s a bit more complicated, but that’s why I’m here.

Let’s start with The CW’s Spring schedule, which looks something like this (apologies for the low-res quality):


For anyone who doesn’t like clicking on low-res images of TV air dates, I’ll go ahead and list them as follows:

Batwoman and Supergirl return with new episodes on April 26. The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow return with new episodes on April 21.

But there’s a catch.

Most of these shows were either an episode away from their season finale or a few episodes away from their season finale when production crews were told to stop working.

What does that mean?

It means that The CW, unless they state otherwise, has officially been given the go-ahead to air the remaining, completed episodes of those shows until they run out.

So unless my information is incorrect, the current seasons of The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman will effectively ‘end’ when the last completed episodes air in May.

There is one surprising exception to this, and that’s Legends of Tomorrow. According to producer Marc Guggenheim, the show wrapped filming on its current season in February and their post-production team is steadily finishing episodes at home.

This strategy for the shows also explains why Stargirl, a DC Universe/CW co-production, will be premiering a little later that previously scheduled. That’s because the truncated season of The Flash will now ‘end’ on May 12, the date originally reserved for Stargirl’s CW premiere, which has now been moved to May 19 to take The Flash’s timeslot. Stargirl was always going to air in that timeslot, anyway, but it would have done so after May 26, the air date for what would have been Flash’s season finale.

So, what will happen to the final episodes/season finales this year that are either going unproduced and/or not finished filming? That’s a very good question, and unfortunately not one I have a good answer for. All I can tell you is that I’ve heard all sorts of options for what to do, and just about all of them are on the table. Figuring out what’s the best approach for a show will more than likely be a case by case basis.

Just as an example, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy will end with episode 21 of it’s originally-planned 25-episode season, the other episodes going unproduced. On the flip-side of that. The CW’s Supernatural, which was originally in the middle of its final season, has aired what will be its ‘last’ episode for the time being (episode 13). Luckily for fans of that show, some good news: the cut-off will allow the network to produce an additional final season (season 15b, if you will) of 7 episodes, reportedly an easier number of episodes to produce and market than 2 or 3 leftovers (like The Flash).

Anyway, we’ll see what they do. The next seasons are going to be super-interesting for the shows that didn’t get their season finales this year. What will they do? I guess we’ll just have to wait (in our houses, with soap and water) and see.

Oh, and if there’s anything I missed or anything I got wrong, let me know.

I could certainly see that being a possibility for Flash, Supergirl and Batwoman, but how do you know that that’s the actual plan? W/out any kind of source, this comes across more so as (well-thought out) speculation than something we know for sure is going to happen. I’ll certainly admit that I really don’t know how they’re going to deal w/ this if the shutdown lasts even longer, but this is also the first I’m hearing of the possibility that these seasons will be ending early

And w/ Legends, Marc Guggenheim confirmed that production on season 5 wrapped before all the other shows were shut down

1 Like

I don’t know why I didn’t add links as I was writing, but most of my info was taken from these two articles

I do suspect we will hear more about Batwoman and Supergirl and the plans for those shows when they return to air, so needless to say, I’m not the final word on this subject!

Also, thank you for Marc Guggenheim link! Updating my post now…

1 Like

It still doesn’t sound like it’s 100% confirmed, but having sites like these talk about it does make it seem even more likely. Still, it’s hard to really wrap my head around all of this. Stargirl taking over Flash’s timeslot does make it seem like it’ll be ending early, but Stargirl was also originally supposed to air its 1st couple episodes at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays before switching to 8 p.m. once Flash wrapped up properly. That makes me think they’re not terribly concerned w/ keeping a show’s season strictly at the same time on the same day every week. And who’s to say that the schedule won’t end up changing even more over the next month or so? This whole thing is just a giant mess - at least I can take comfort in definitely knowing that at least Legends will be able to finish its season properly

1 Like

Very confusing times for sure. Does it mean seasons will simply officially end short an episode or two? And go to Netflix as usual right after? Or will there be a long pause in the season until the last episodes can be completed and aired?

Yeah, CW does tend to switch up and swap around moreso than other networks (since they don’t have that big primetime real-estate that others do), but I just don’t think it would look that way if things had proceeded as normal.

And you’re right, who’s to say we won’t have a different arrangement for these shows next month, or even next week? I think the thing to keep in mind is that these are business people making these decisions and signing off. The people who are making the shows are probably just as frustrated as you are. Best thing to do is just play it by ear and see what they do in the coming weeks.

1 Like

To answer your first question, I think that’s definitely the plan for The Flash. Its current season will just end whenever they run out of completed episodes. And as the Deadline article mentions, this strategy will more than likely be used for Batwoman and Supergirl.

Will those truncated seasons go to Netflix? I have no idea. There’s never been a situation like this for a network and certainly not for Netflix. Again, all options are on the table for the shows that won’t properly complete their seasons this year and what works for one show may not work for another for a variety of different reasons.

How Netflix will factor in? Remains to be seen.