Ahead of its day before press at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, The CW handed out early renewals to seven veteran series.
Returning for the 2017-18 broadcast season are all four DC Comics shows — The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow — as well as dramedies Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, alongside its longest-running original, Supernatural.
Missing from the list are The 100, iZombie and The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, all of which have yet to debut their current seasons. (Reign will end with its upcoming fourth season and The Vampire Diaries also will sign off later this year.) Rookies Frequency and No Tomorrow — freshmen who did not gain back-orders for the first time in network history — as well as forthcoming Archie Comics redo Riverdale also remain in limbo ahead of the network's upfront presentation in May.
"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,” CW president Mark Pedowitz said early Sunday in a statement announcing the news. "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."
Arrow will return for its sixth season; Crazy — TV's lowest-rated original but an awards season player for star Rachel Bloom — will return for its third; Jane — also an awards player for lead Gina Rodriguez — will return for its fourth; Greg Berlanti-produced DC fare Legends will return for its third; Flash — The CW's highest-rated original — will return for its fourth; CBS import Supergirl will return for its third (and second on the younger-skewing network); and Supernatural will return for its impressive 13th cycle.
The renewals come as little surprise given the network's stability; this time last year, Pedowitz renewed an impressive 11 series. The roster of holdouts are for all of The CW's midseason fare, with Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals also expected to return next season sans the flagship, sources say. The fate of the bubble shows should not be considered bleak at this time, given that all have yet to launch; The 100 and iZombie remain cult favorites and the network must balance its roster with dramas from co-owners Warner Bros. Television (which produces five of the seven shows renewed Sunday) and CBS Television Studios (behind Crazy and Jane).
Pedowitz has a history of sticking with lower-rated series like Crazy and Jane largely for their status as critical favorites and awards season players. This season, The CW reduced episode orders for both Crazy (from 18 to 13) and Jane (from 22 to 20), leaving many questioning their futures. (Both Rodriguez and Bloom are nominated for best actress in a comedy series at Sunday night's Golden Globes.)
Midseason dates for the bubble series follow: Riverdale (Jan. 26), The 100 (Feb. 1), Reign (Feb. 10), The Originals (March 17) and iZombie (April 4).