What shows — if any — will survive The CW's recent purge of its own content library? The prognosis isn't looking good for the few surviving titles like Superman & Lois, Kung Fu, All American, and Walker.
Taking part in a quarterly earnings call this week the network's fresh owner — Nexstar Media Group — alluded to more cutbacks on the small screen. “Over the course of the next year, we’re really working to develop our slate, which will then come online in the 2023-2024 broadcast season," said Executive VP and CFO Lee Ann Gliha (via Variety). "We will have some carryover commitment for the CBS and the WBD programming in that year, but it’s minimal at that point."
“Warners and Paramount are not precluded from selling us programming, it’s just going to have to be a financial deal that we like and there may be a couple of shows that distinguish themselves that we want to hold over into next year,” added Nexstar CEO Perry Sook.
The cancelations began earlier this year with Batwoman, Legends of Tomorrow, Naomi, 4400, Charmed, Roswell, New Mexico, and Legacies all receiving the axe as Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery prepared to sell off their financial stakes in the brand. It effectively marked the end of an era, and it seems after next year the few remaining remnants of old-school CW programming will likely be gone.
In addition, The Flash (the longest-running Arrowverse show to date) and Stargirl will come to an end after their ninth and third seasons, respectively. The future of more recent projects like The Winchesters (a prequel to Supernatural) and Gotham Knights (scheduled to premiere next year) remain in doubt, especially since the former already failed to secure a full season pick-up.
Sook later went on to voice his hope that The CW's new head of programming — Brad Schwartz (former chief at Pop TV) — would be able to recreate the success he had with Schitt's Creek, which was produced “on a much smaller budget than we’ve given him at the CW. Just go find a couple more of those and we’ll be in fine shape at the CW," the CEO continued.
The overall goal is to transition the network into a collection of scripted and unscripted shows.
If any of the network's existing genre programming can survive, the best option is likely Superman & Lois. It's proven to be one of the network's biggest recent hits, but it's also not a cheap show to produce, meaning the Season 3 ratings will almost certainly be a deciding factor when the show returns with new episodes.
Looking for more genre television? SYFY's acclaimed Battlestar Galactica adaptation is streaming now on Peacock.