The network has doled out early renewals to all its comic book franchises (“Arrow,” “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”) and to “Jane the Virgin,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and “Supernatural.” The CW will also resurrect DC’s “Constantine” as an animated series starring the voice of Matt Ryan on digital outlet CW Seed, produced by Greg Berlanti.
“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 CW president Mark 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.”
That the superhero shows will return is no surprise. The four have experienced some ratings erosion this season, but are still the net’s biggest draws and provide a good launch platform for new series, and perform well on streaming platforms. “Jane the Virgin” is a critical success, and “Supernatural” keeps chugging along with a stable fanbase in its 12th season (going into its 13th).
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is an interesting case. The series has of late been drawing just a 0.2 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, and a little more than half a million viewers total on the day it airs — even with delayed viewing lifts, it’s still a small audience. Yet the show is well-loved at the network, a critical darling, and now an awards-show veteran, pulling in a Golden Globe win last year and another nomination this year for star Rachel Bloom.
The key here is the CW’s massive streaming deal with Netflix inked in summer 2016, giving the streaming juggernaut full seasons of its shows a mere eight days after the close of their current seasons for a possible $1 billion price tag. That’ll buy you a few superheroes, a virgin or two, and, yes, even a crazy ex.