The CW Network has given early renewals to seven of its primetime series for the 2017-2018 season. The announcement was made during the network’s session at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena by Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW.
“Over the past several seasons, The CW has built a schedule of proven performers, from our lineup of DC superheroes, to critically acclaimed comedies, to sci-fi dramas,” said Pedowitz. “Early pickups of these seven series now allow our producers to plan ahead for next season, and gives us a solid base to build on for next season, with original scripted series to roll out all year long.”
The series being ordered for the 2017-2018 season include Arrow (Season 6), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 3), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Season 3), The Flash (Season 4), Jane the Virgin (Season 4), Supergirl (Season 3), and Supernatural (Season 13). Specific premiere dates for each series will be announced at a later time.
Perhaps the only surprise in this group is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show was never a ratings hit, and with its move to Fridays this season became the lowest rated scripted series on the five broadcast networks, averaging about half a million viewers per week. The network had announced earlier in the season that Reign would conclude its run when it returns later this year. The Vampire Diaries is wrapping up its final season, leaving the fate of The Originals hanging in the balance until it returns from its extended hiatus on March 17, the week after The Vampire Diaries concludes.
Also waiting in the wings is iZombie, which doesn’t return until April 4, and The 100 which returns February 1. The network won’t make any decisions for either show, or the new Riverdale series (debuting January 26) until they have some ratings under their belts.
Also, but not surprisingly, missing from the early renewals are No Tomorrow and Frequency, which were in the ratings basement with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Neither series was picked up for a full season and both are about to wrap production on their final episodes of the year. Pedowitz said at TCA that should the series not be renewed, there are plans to wrap them up on the network’s website. Should a decision be made prior to the airing of the final episodes, the information will be announced at the end of the episode. It is possible, however, that a decision could come later in May or June when the network announces its fall schedule. Both shows averaged higher ratings than Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (No Tomorrow averages about 1 million viewers), so should any of the spring returnees fail to live up to their past ratings, and the network isn’t confident in its new fall selections, either or both shows could return. It’s easier to relaunch a show with a fan base than it is to start something from scratch.
Speaking of relaunching, Pedowitz also revealed the return of Constantine … in animated form. The one season NBC series starring Matt Ryan (who reprised the character on an episode of Arrow) will debut on the network’s digital platform CW Seed with six or seven 10 minute episodes. Ryan will return to give voice to John Constantine, but it’s unknown if anyone else from the original series will return. CW Seed has had success with another animated series based on a DC Comics character, Vixen, who appeared on a season 4 episode of Arrow (Vixen is also a regular on Legends of Tomorrow but is a different incarnation of the character). With the network’s interest in Constantine continuing, a wildly successful animated series could lead to the character reappearing in the flesh on the network either as a guest star or … in his own series. Only time will tell. The complete first season of the live action Constantine is currently available to view for free on CW Seed.
The network previously announced that a reboot of the series Charmed was in the works from Jane the Virgin‘s executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman. The announcement came with the reveal of the new show’s setting – the 1970s – making this a stand-alone series. The sort-of prequel revolves around three witches, Tina, Paige and Annie, brought together to fight evil in a small New England town. While the new series has no direct connection to the original, one of the characters shares a name with Rose McGowan’s character (Paige), and Pedowitz has not ruled out the possibility of appearances by the original cast at some point.
Looking forward to this season’s highlights, the network announced that the Supergirl/The Flash crossover will feature the superheroes battling The Music Meister. The character has appeared in animated form on Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, leading to fan speculation that he may appear as the character on the shows. Executive producer Greg Berlanti has stated that no one has yet been cast in the role.
Also this season, The Flash will return to Gorilla City over the course of episodes 13 and 14. Actor Keith David will voice Solovar, the progressive leader of Gorilla City in the DC Comics canon.