10:00am PT by Rick Porter, Lesley Goldberg
'Arrow': Female-Led Spinoff in the Works at The CW
The CW is not quite ready to say goodbye to Star City.
The network is developing a spinoff of Arrow that would center on three of its female characters: Katherine McNamara's Mia Smoak/Green Arrow and the Canaries, Katie Cassidy's Laurel Lance and Juliana Harkavy's Dinah Drake.
The potential series is set to air as a backdoor pilot in Arrow's 10-episode final season, which begins Oct. 15. Showrunner Beth Schwartz, Marc Guggenheim, Jill Blankenship and Oscar Balderrama are co-writing the episode and will serve as executive producers along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions, which produces all of The CW's DC Comics series in association with Warner Bros. TV.
The CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters in August that the door was open to another spinoff of Arrow, which spawned the connected universe that also encompasses The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and the soon-to-debut Batwoman.
"Nothing is ever 100 percent done," Pedowitz said at the time. "You learn that over time. There's a possibility, but we haven't had a discussion about what that storyline will do as [we plot the] next generation [of DC shows]. There is another property we're looking at for the following season."
The CW announced in March that Arrow's eighth season would be its last. "This was a difficult decision to come to, but like every hard decision we’ve made for the past seven years, it was with the best interests of Arrow in mind," Schwartz, Berlanti and Guggenheim said in a joint statement. "We’re heartened by the fact that Arrow has birthed an entire universe of shows that will continue on for many years to come. We’re excited about crafting a conclusion that honors the show, its characters and its legacy and are grateful to all the writers, producers, actors and — more importantly — the incredible crew that has sustained us and the show for over seven years."
The pilot order arrives as The CW is weeks away from launching the next phase of its Arrow-verse with Ruby Rose-led Batwoman. Pedowitz has been open about entering what he called the "next generation" of his DC shows. The younger-skewing network's current roster includes The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning.
Berlanti, meanwhile, currently has a TV-record 19 live-action scripted shows in the works and several more in development across multiple broadcast networks and premium cabler Showtime. The prolific producer continues to help launch new writers and program nearly two-third of The CW's full primetime lineup. Via his $400 million overall deal with Warners, Berlanti has clauses in his contract that provide bonuses for reaching a certain number of shows.
The Arrow-verse has become a network-defining brand for The CW, with The Flash ranking as its most-watched original series. The decision to do yet another spinoff from Arrow comes as the network is saying goodbye to the flagship as well as the long-running staple Supernatural this year. Last season, The CW parted ways with critical darlings Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. With both of those female-focused shows having wrapped, the network is leaning deeper into female-fronted programming with Batwoman and now this Arrow spinoff.
This is The CW's first pilot order of the 2019-2020 broadcast season.