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For the second straight year, The CW is on track to bring back virtually its entire in-season lineup.
The network has renewed 13 series for the 2020-21 season — all but one of its scripted shows that haven’t announced an end date in the current season. Arrow, Supernatural and The 100 are bowing out in 2020.
Returning next season will be first-year shows Batwoman and Nancy Drew, along with veterans All American (season three), Black Lightning (season four), Charmed (season three), Dynasty (season four), The Flash (season seven), In the Dark (season three), Legacies (season three), Legends of Tomorrow (season six), Riverdale (season five), Roswell, New Mexico (season three) and Supergirl (season five on The CW and six overall, as the first aired on CBS).
The only series not to receive a formal pickup is Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, which is set to premiere in February. The CW has, however, ordered 13 additional scripts, putting the Lucy Hale starrer on the path toward renewal.
“These early orders for next season give our production teams a head start in plotting out story arcs and a jump on hiring staff, and this also provides us with a strong foundation of established, fan-favorite CW shows to build on for next season,” The CW president Mark Pedowitz said Tuesday in a statement. “We’ve been thrilled with the creative direction of all three new series, and even though we are in the very early stages of our new full stack streaming strategy, which allows viewers to catch up on our new shows from the beginning, we’re already seeing incredibly positive results from our multiplatform viewership for Nancy Drew and Batwoman.”
The CW’s decision last season to renew all of its in-season series (save for those that had already announced endings) was the first time a broadcast network hadn’t canceled a show since at least 1981. The decision to do so again this year is an even bigger move for the younger-skewing network.
This year, The CW’s Netflix deal expired and, rather than renewing that pact, the network’s new scripted series will have new streaming homes. Batwoman and Katy Keene, produced by Warner Bros. TV, will stream on HBO Max, the forthcoming platform from co-parent WarnerMedia. Nancy Drew — owned by CBS TV Studios — will have its SVOD home on that studio’s platform, CBS All Access. All the rest of the network’s veteran shows, ending with All American and Roswell, will continue to stream on Netflix.
The show of faith in all three rookies comes as producers Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studios will lose financial revenue that comes from selling those shows to Netflix.
The CW, meanwhile, is continuing to rely on established IP as it develops new series. The network’s development slate for 2020-21 includes a Walker, Texas Ranger remake starring Supernatural‘s Jared Padalecki; a Kung Fu reboot from mega-producer Greg Barlanti; an Arrow spinoff centered on Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy’s characters; a sequel to the 1960s gothic soap Dark Shadows; and Superman & Lois, featuring Supergirl‘s Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch.
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