For fans of the CW’s original programming, it’s a been rough couple of days. Not only have fan favorites like Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman been abruptly canceled, earlier this week the network bid farewell to other series including Naomi, Charmed, and Roswell, New Mexico. There’ll still be some original content coming out for the 2022-23 season, including Gotham Knights and Supernatural’s prequel series The Winchesters, but for a network that let some of its series go on for quite awhile, the culling has been nothing short of shocking. Add to that the news of Warners and CBS Studios are currently attempting to sell off the network, and it feels safe to say that the network may look pretty different after the 2022-23 season.
The Hollywood Reporter published an investigative piece on Friday detailing the CW’s recent events, and it all basically comes down to money. In 2011, current network owners Warners and CBS Studios struck a partnership with Netflix to bring their series to that platform. (A season of The Flash, for example, would arrive on Netflix a week after its season finale aired.) International rights also contributed to the network’s rise during the 2010s, allowing them to air original series on Friday and Sunday nights, and contributed to the renewals of several shows over the years. Ever wonder why Riverdale keeps on going? It’s because internationally, it’s considered a “Netflix Original” and is treated like a relative big deal on the platform.
But in 2019, Warners and CBS Studios, who are now overseen by Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global thanks to recent mergers, ended their deal with Netflix in favor of their respective streaming systems HBO Max and Paramount+. As a result, the Netflix revenue went away, and their international has been slowly dwindling as the focus has been on building up these newer platforms. Legends, along with other cancelled shows like Charmed and Roswell, were all included in that original Netflix deal. But now that the shows included in that deal are gone, nearly all of the CW series for the 2022-23 season will be available to stream on The CW’s website and their app, CW Seed, which is said to be of “particular interest” to those looking to buy the network.
Fans who’ve spent their time recently taking to social media in the hopes their favorite show will get renewed or picked up by HBO Max or Paramount+ may be out of luck. Further in the Reporter’s piece, they reveal that the streamers couldn’t snatch up a show like Legends or the also canceled Vampire Diaries spinoff Legacies due to their being packaged into that Netflix deal. While characters from Legends and Batwoman have a chance to show up in the still airing Superman & Lois or The Flash, that may be as far as they get. By all accounts, and unless those fandoms can work their magic, those shows are dead and gone.
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