With the cancellations of The CW's Batwoman and DC's Legends of Tomorrow not even 48-hours old, I know there are some of you out there not ready to have that conversation. "Too soon." But with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) set to have its first Upfronts under new leadership later this month, fans are going to have to deal with a harsh reality sooner rather than later as new DC-related series are announced or updated. After nearly a decade, the Arrowverse is on its way out.
Just to be clear, I don't write that lightly or with any attempts at being funny or snarky. Because it sucks. Because it royally sucks. Because it's one thing to lose a favorite show, but to lose an entire interconnected universe of shows and characters? That shit matters. And some of you might be looking to push back with, "What do you mean?! The Arrowverse still has 'The Flash,' 'Superman & Lois,' 'Naomi,' 'Stargirl,' and that new David Ramsey series, 'Justice U.'?!" But does it? Let's take a look at that…
We know that The Flash received an early renewal back in March and it looks like Grant Gustin is all locked in (though reportedly with less required screen time). But beyond that? Jesse L. Martin isn't returning (though could be available to guest star), and things have been oddly quiet on the Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker return front. But even with everyone locked in, does anyone see the series going beyond its ninth season? I wouldn't be surprised to see WBD/The CW officially announce during Upfronts that an abbreviated ninth season will also be the longest-running Arrowverse series' last.
But we still have Superman & Lois, Naomi, and DC's Stargirl, right? If by "we" you mean the Arrowverse? Nope. But if it makes you feel any better, you never really had them to begin with. When was the last time you remember any of those three shows regularly acknowledging any connections to the Arrowverse? During early press for Naomi, series co-creator Ava DuVernay made it a point of emphasizing that the show was more in line with the "multiverse" concept and not Arrowverse-connected. Just recently, Superman & Lois star Tyler Hoechlin appeared to tread softly & vaguely when asked if the show would ever reference its backstory connections to Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and others, also seeming to lean on the "multiverse" side.
And then there were those other seemingly random signs, as well. From The CW's feeble attempt to take the "arrow" out of "Arrowverse" (check out the actually-pretty-cool teaser below that deftly blends the shows with their comics counterparts… but that "The CWverse" stuff… really?) & promotional pushes that seemed to focus more on the individual shows and far less on any interconnectedness they share to the buzz that WBD & Paramount Global (PG) were looking to sell The CW (possibly to "family-friendly" Nexstar Media Group). But in the end, it won't be a wave of anti-matter that takes down the Arrowverse. It'll be a stream.
Because with WBD & PG looking to unburden themselves of The CW, that means the WBD folks will be able to focus on the most important thing for them right now: making HBO MAX the top streaming service. And much like what Disney+ did with regards to the Netflix-Marvel series, HBO Max will be more than happy to have the Arrowverse as part of its library- its multiverse library. And it's impressive on the series side, with Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn (and the upcoming Kite Man spinoff, Noonan's), Titans, the Finn Wittrock-starring Green Lantern, Peacemaker, Madame X, Justice League Dark, Constantine, Pennyworth, Strange Adventures, a Val Zod Superman series from EP Michael Jordan, The Batman spinoffs, and more. That's what the Arrowverse is set to join, bringing its ten-year collective origin story with it and making itself available for revisits for specials, the occasional limited series, and things like that. But the days of the modern defining voice on bringing superheroes to the small screen with love, respect & a sense of community are coming to an end. Here's hoping that Warner Bros. Discovery gives that decade of commitment the respect that it's due. More on this to come, I'm sure…
Now here's a look at what's on tap with your BCTV Daily Dispatch for May 1, 2022:
And for today's BCTV DD "Long-Distance Dedication," we have Lauv "All 4 Nothing" & Khalid "Skyline":