For those who watch network TV, the month of May is typically when we learn what new shows are arriving in the fall, what shows are coming back for a future season, and what gets cancelled. If you watch anything on The CW, this May has been a particular rough one, as the network behind the Arrowverse, Vampire Diaries franchise, and much more cancelled 10 shows — from new shows like The 4400 to old heads like Legends of Tomorrow — ahead of the 2022-23 season.
The CW cancellations come as the network’s two parent companies, Warner and CBS Studios, are attempting to sell it off now that they’ve got new avenues to push their shows in the respective forms of HBO Max and Paramount+. While the network is in the process of finding a potential buyer, shows are still being made for it: both The Flash and Superman & Lois are returning with new seasons this fall, as are the constantly chaotic Riverdale and Nancy Drew. What new shows on the horizon aren’t “new” new, but exist in the form of Supernatural prequel The Winchesters; the Batman-adjacent Gotham Knights; and Tom Swift, a spinoff of Nancy Drew.
Whether or not the CW survives past 2023, it definitely feels like some kind of change is in the air for the network. When it first debuted in January 2006 as a replacement for defunct networks UPN and The WB, and with some of their shows along for the ride, nothing suggested the CW would make much of an impact. But the debut of Arrow in 2012, along with the consistent success of Supernatural and Vampire Diaries, served as a turning point for the network. The CW became known for its melodrama and often flat acting, to say nothing of falling back on romantic woes to stretch relationships to their breaking point. But at their best, CW shows have been reliable crowd pleasers that often get sluggish in the middle but manage to recover in time for the the finale. And you generally didn’t worry about if they’d be abruptly cancelled…instead, you’d just wonder to yourself when a CW show was going to finally let itself end.
For this week’s Open Channel, tell us your favourite CW show that you enjoyed watching. Or failing that, tell us a show on the network you started to really like, but eventually had to walk away from it once it got to be too much.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.