Now that we find ourselves in August and creeping ever so closer to the fall, now's a good time to update ourselves on pre-season news before The CW's "Arrowverse" shows return. With Arrow shuffling off the network's programming coil after an abbreviated eighth season (making The Flash the "elder states-show" of the "Arrowverse"), Ruby Rose-starrer Batwoman joining the family alongside Supergirl, and a looming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover that could change things dramatically (more on that below), the 2019-2020 season isn't exactly going to be lacking in change – and the news hasn't slowed down.
"Brandon and Courtney have been invaluable members of the Legends family. They have always brought a level passion and collaboration to their characters and to the show — both on and off the screen – that we deeply admire and for which we are eternally grateful."
– Phil Klemmer, Grianne Godfree and Keto Shimizu, Producers
One of those biggest changes came on Thursday, with Deadline Hollywood reporting exclusively that Brandon Routh aka Ray Palmer/Atom and Courtney Ford aka Nora Darhk will be departing The CW's DC's Legends Of Tomorrow during the upcoming fifth season. Routh and Ford's departures are the result of a creative decision to end their respective character's storyline – but producers are leaving the option open for them to return for special appearances.
Both Routh and Ford issues statements regarding the decisions:
#LegendsOfTomorrow fans are the best fans!
— Brandon Routh (@BrandonJRouth) August 23, 2019
"I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to bring the big-hearted and humorous Ray Palmer to life for our fans over the last 5 years, but unfortunately, his storyline is pointed in another direction. I'm saddened to see Ray's journey end for now but wish my Legends family well."
– Brandon Routh
Thank you @LoTWritersRoom for the opportunity to play in a world I love so much. Thanks to @GBerlanti and to @mguggenheim & @philklemmer for believing Nora could live past her first 3 eps of S3! What a ride. Proud to have been able to call @warnerbrostv and @TheCW my home. https://t.co/HzwQ8RQSOY
— Courtney Ford (@_CourtneyFord_) August 23, 2019
"Nora Darhk is very close to my heart. If it were my choice, I'd play her for years to come. But I understand that stories run their course, and I'm grateful for the time I did have bringing Nora to life on Legends of Tomorrow."
– Courtney Ford
The Road to "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Viewers can't say they weren't warned in advance. At the end of 2018's CW Arrowverse "Elseworlds" crossover that brought together The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl (and nearly DC's Legends of Tomorrow, but they let it go to machine – way too busy for all that), we saw that the end was only the beginning… of the end. As Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Amell) shared what felt like a final toast and Kate Kane's Batwoman (Rose) returned to protecting the streets of Gotham – with a sense that something felt a little off – we got a small taste of what's still to come in 2019…
"Crisis on Infinite Earths!" Worlds will live! Worlds will die!
And the CW's "Arrowverse" will never be the same…
The season's eighth episode will be the "Crisis" crossover episode – comprising the fourth hour of the crossover:
Supergirl – Sunday, December 8th (8/7c)
Batwoman – Monday, December 9th (8/7c)
The Flash – Tuesday, December 10th (8/7c)
Arrow – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (8/7c)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow – Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (9/8c)
Black Lightning will also be represented during the crossover event.
For most of their respective seasons, things have been "All Quiet on the 'Crisis' Front" when it came to Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl – but that changed in a big way during their respective season finales… even for DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
In Arrow season finale "You Have Saved This City," the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) returns to cash in on the favor that Oliver owes him: help him save the multiverse – taking a moment to tell him the "fine print": Oliver's going to die during "Crisis" and there's nothing the Monitor can do to stop it.
Then there's that matter of Future Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the trip she's taking with the Monitor to see Oliver… somewhere… and it's apparently a place she can't come back from. Hmmm…
Over at The Flash season finale "Legacy," some recent maneuverings with Time moved up the date on Barry's "red skies/2024" newspaper warning just a wee bit… to say, 2019?
The fourth season finale of Supergirl "The Quest for Peace" had The Monitor speaking to a hooded figure, telling him that now is the time for him to lead "his people" and to take revenge on his captor… and brother: J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). Meanwhile, just because Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) may have shuffled off this mortal coil (???) doesn't mean his role in the upcoming "Crisis" is over quite yet…
DC's Legends of Tomorrow season finale "Hey, World!" found the plan to take down Neron (Brandon Routh) resulting in a major status quo change for Zari (Tala Ashe) – a change that the suddenly-appearing Monitor does not appear to approve of in any way, shape, or form. At least he got some popcorn out of it – and yes, that is The Book of Destiny he's using to balance it.
The CW's Batwoman and Supergirl premiere Sunday, October 6; while The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 8, with Arrow joining them on October 15. Black Lightning premieres the following week, on Monday, October 21.