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The CW is two-for-two so far with its rookie class.
The network’s breakout freshman hit The Flash and its critically lauded Jane the Virgin have sprinted to early full-season pickups just two episodes into their runs, it was announced Tuesday. The Arrow spinoff has been picked up for an additional 10 episodes, bringing its first season count to 23 episodes, while Jane the Virgin has been picked up for a back-nine, bringing it to 22.
“We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with The Flash launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and Jane the Virgin recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country,” said The CW president Mark Pedowitz. “Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and The Flash and Jane have both exceeded our expectations on all counts. I’m thrilled to announce full-season orders for both of these terrific new series.”
Heavily marketed and highly publicized, The Flash — starring Grant Gustin in the title role — made a huge splash for The CW on Oct. 7, premiering to an impressive 4.2 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — the second-biggest debut for the network behind the 2009 launch of The Vampire Diaries. The one-hour entry also topped competitors ABC and Fox in the 8 p.m. Tuesday time period. (With live-plus-three factored in, The Flash rose to 6.1 million viewers, the network’s most-watched debut to date.) It has also received positive notice from critics; The Hollywood Reporter‘s chief TV critic Tim Goodman called The Flash “wholly entertaining.”
Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, Jane the Virgin has received near universal acclaim for star Gina Rodriguez (Goodman called her “the breakout star of the fall”), who plays a 23-year-old who becomes pregnant after her doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her. In its second outing, ratings for the one-hour comedy ticked up 9 percent in viewership to 1.75 million and rose 17 percent in adults 18-49 to a 0.7.
The pickups cement both series’ spots on The CW for the 2014-15 television season, bringing the number of DC properties to two (joining Arrow). The network will look to add a third to its stable when Rob Thomas‘ iZombie launches in midseason.
Casting for The Flash has also been fast and furious, with a slew of DC characters and genre favorites joining the ranks: Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold), Dominic Purcell (Heatwave), Victor Garber (Martin Stein), Robbie Amell (Ronnie Raymond) and Clancy Brown (The General) among them.
The Flash series had been in the works since July 2013 when the project was fast-tracked at The CW with the intention of expanding the DC universe. (CBS previously aired a Flash series from 1990-91 with John Wesley Shipp, who appears on The CW version as Barry’s father.) Gustin made his debut as Barry in a well-received two-episode Arrow arc in December 2013, before moving on to the spinoff. The Flash will still maintain an Arrow presence over the course of the series; crossovers have been set for episodes four and eight.
The Flash, which serves as an origin story for the crimson-suited speedster, was developed by executive producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns. Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Rick Cosnett, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh and Jesse L. Martin also star in the Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti Productions/DC Entertainment production.
Jane the Virgin hails from CBS TV Studios and Warner Bros. TV, in association with Electus. Jennie Snyder Urman, Ben Silverman, Gary Pearl and Jorge Granier serve as executive producers. Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglas, Justin Baldoni, Ivonne Coll, Brett Dier and Jaime Camil also star.
The Flash and Jane the Virgin join a scripted roster at The CW that includes Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Supernatural, Reign, The 100 (Oct. 22), Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast, with iZombie and The Messengers launching next year.
ABC kicked off the action on the young season on Oct. 9, picking up Shonda Rhimes‘ highly rated How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish for full runs, with Fox joining in on the action, ordering a full season for Batman prequel Gotham.
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Robert De Niro