The CW will once again have four shows about DC Comics superheroes on its fall schedule, and it’s adding a fifth, “Black Lightning,” later in the season.
Unless and until the bottom falls out of the ratings for those shows (in CW terms, mind you), you can expect a similar volume of superhero series in the future. Five shows on air at the same time, however, may be a bit of a stretch.
“We believe we have the best superhero programming around, anywhere,” CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters Thursday as the network’s 2017-18 schedule was announced. “Our belief is we’ll never have more than four DC shows at a time, as far as that goes. So we’ll always have a rotation of some sort.”
Ratings for “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow” were all down this season vs. last, and all three shows fell at least 20 percent year to year. That’s not good. But they’re also the best The CW has at the moment — those three shows, along with new addition “Supergirl” (which aired on CBS in 2015-16), drew the best adults 18-49 numbers on the network this season.
Pedowitz sees no reason to slow down the DC train anytime soon. (DC, incidentally, is part of Warner Bros., which owns half of The CW.)
“This programming will last as long as people want to watch it. As long as we have quality programming, which we have thanks to Greg Berlanti [executive producer of all the DC shows] and [‘Black Lightning’ creators] Salim and Mara Brock Akil. We’re going to have something unique with ‘Black Lightning,’ which is a little bit more than a superhero situation.
“But it will last as long as people want to watch it. … It will keep going. Quality matters in this case.”
Pedowitz also says the network is planning another four-show DC crossover in late fall — but a five-show cross once “Black Lightning” joins the schedule later in the season is not in the cards.
“‘Black Lightning’ at this time is not part of the Arrowverse,” Pedowitz says. “It’s a separate situation.”