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Sources say the freshman drama starring Melissa Benoist has been renewed for a second season — on the younger-skewing network.
The move comes as producer Warner Bros. Television had been looking for ways to reduce costs on the series, which ranked as CBS’ most expensive first-year show. Despite moving production from Los Angeles to Vancouver (where all of The CW’s other DC Comics shows are filmed), CBS ultimately decided that Supergirl‘s ratings, even with a reduced licensing fee, did not justify a second season.
The show ranks as the No. 1 new CBS drama and fourth-best new series overall among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic (with a 2.5 rating with seven days of DVR). That’s a hit by The CW standards when compared with fellow DC fare Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, with Supergirl having already crossed over with the latter.
Based on the DC characters, Supergirl is produced by Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow, Legends) and Ali Adler. The series went into the season as one of the most-anticipated dramas on the fall schedule.
Following a strong take-off, the show co-starring Calista Flockhart — who, despite being adamant about working in L.A., agreed to remain on the series with its move to Vancouver — came back down to earth and finished its 18-episode run with an average of 10 million total viewers.
While not the runaway hit many expected, Supergirl had been part of CBS’ larger effort to attract younger viewers and focus on empowered women, a high priority for former network president Nina Tassler.
Rumors about a move to The CW — which originally heard the pitch for the series but opted to pass — had been considered unlikely given its price tag, but that obviously changed as WBTV remained committed to returning the series for a sophomore run.
For her part, Adler told The Hollywood Reporter that producers created the cliffhanger finale as if the series were returning and had already mapped out what a second run would look like. “Season two is going to be more reflective of their past and how they’re going to change their future as a result of it in a really emotional way,” she said. “We definitely want to continue making more of this show.”
Supergirl becomes The CW’s fourth DC Comics show on its slate for the 2016-17 broadcast season. Prolific producer Berlanti, meanwhile, is likely to have yet another comic book take next season as Archie Comics entry Riverdale has been a front-runner at the network since it was picked up to pilot. Overall, Berlanti stands to have at least five shows on the schedule next season — including NBC’s already renewed Blindspot — with a total that could grow to seven should NBC renew bubble drama The Mysteries of Laura and The CW order Riverdale.
Supergirl becomes the latest show to jump from CBS to The CW. In 2011, Sarah Michelle Gellar starrer Ringer was developed at CBS but picked up to series at The CW. This season, The CW also picked up Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was developed by corporate sibling Showtime.
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William Jackson Harper
Friends: The Reunion