The CW’s Programming Makeover: Superhero Shows Take a Backseat

The CW network is undergoing a significant transformation in its programming lineup, with a notable rollback of its superhero shows that have been a staple for over a decade. During the network’s Upfront presentation, Brad Schwartz, The CW’s entertainment president, outlined the vision for the future of programming, highlighting a shift away from the superhero genre that helped build the Arrowverse and other series like “Riverdale” and the Nancy Drew reboot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Schwartz acknowledged that while these shows had been the hallmarks of The CW for a long time, they are no longer resonating with the network’s linear viewership. He attributed this change to the fact that the young adult audience no longer makes appointments to watch broadcast television. In an effort to attract a broader audience and increase profitability, The CW aims to go bigger and appeal to older viewers.

The move is part of a broader strategy to meet the profit goal set by The CW’s new owner, Nexstar Media Group. Nexstar primarily owns local TV stations across the country. Interestingly, Tom Carter, Nexstar’s president and chief operating officer, shared in a conference call last August that the average age of the CW broadcast viewer is 58 years, as reported by TV Line. This revelation came just before the network’s acquisition by Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global, both of which retain minority stakes in The CW.

In the first half of 2022, several shows met an abrupt end, including “Legacies,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Batwoman,” the Charmed reboot, and “Dynasty.” Additionally, “Kung Fu,” the Supernatural prequel “The Winchesters,” and “Walker Independence” were also canceled ahead of the May 18 announcement. Last year, it was announced that both “The Flash” and “Riverdale” would conclude with their upcoming final seasons.

The fates of “Gotham Knights,” “Superman & Lois,” and “All American: Homecoming” are still uncertain. Schwartz indicated that decisions regarding these shows would come “soon” as the respective companies analyze the costs of producing these “expensive” programs.

“We have to be entrepreneurial in the way we look at content,” stated Schwartz. “We can’t write a per-episode $10 million check for a show with dragons.”

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Schwartz unveiled upcoming co-productions, including “Joan,” a series starring Sophie Turner as an infamous jewel thief. He also mentioned “The Librarians: The Next Chapter,” a spinoff of the TNT drama, as well as the acquisition of “The Swarm,” a German eco-sci-fi series, and “Sullivan’s Crossing,” a Canadian medical drama based on books written by Robyn Carr and starring Chad Michael Murray.

Schwartz also expressed excitement about unscripted acquisitions, such as the Max castoff “FBoy Island.” He believes that a bold and impactful unscripted show like “FBoy Island” has the potential to break through and captivate audiences.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on the provided source. Please refer to official announcements and news from The CW for the most up-to-date information on their programming decisions.

Sources: THR, IGN, Deadline

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: