It’s official: “Supergirl” will move from CBS to The CW for its second season, giving the network a staggering five DC Comics-based shows in the 2016-2017 season, along with “Arrow,” “The Flash,” iZombie” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Aside from its comic book company, The CW — with a lineup that skews younger and includes multiple female lead characters — seems like a better fit overall for “Supergirl.”
In a way, it feels like “Supergirl” has ended up where it always should have been. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t major questions as to what’s next for the cheery Melissa Benoist-starred series. Here’s a look at the four biggest questions surrounding the future of “Supergirl,” at least some of which may be answered this Thursday morning when The CW holds its upfront presentation and announces its fall schedule.
Does this mean more crossovers with “The Flash”? (And “Arrow”? And “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”?)
In late March, “The Flash” star Grant Gustin raced across network lines to guest on “Supergirl,” an episode which delivered a major ratings boost to the show. Beyond that, the episode — buoyed by the chemistry between the two heroes — was a uniquely fun experience, airing just days after the release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and showing that not every live-action meeting between DC superheroes needs to be dark and dreary.
So now that “Supergirl” and “The Flash” are on the same network — which was apparently an obstacle that had to be cleared to make the crossover happen at all — will viewers see more of the two heroes together on screen? In fact, it looks like the two shows will now be shooting in the same city, too, with “Supergirl” actor David Harewood — who plays Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz/The Martian Manhunter — reporting via Twitter that the series will move locations from Los Angeles to Vancouver, where the “Flash” and the rest of the Arrowverse (“Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow”) have always been filmed.
So why limit it just to Supergirl and The Flash fighting crime and eating ice cream? Why not Supergirl and the Green Arrow, or Supergirl hanging out on the Waverider?
As the “Flash”-centric episode of “Supergirl” established, the latter show takes place on an alternate universe from the Arrowverse. Which makes sense — if Supergirl, and her cousin Superman, existed in the larger “Arrow” world, one would think someone would have mentioned that at some point. But does it have to stay that way? Now four different shows starring characters that all exist in the same fictional comic book universe are all on the same network, being filmed in the same city and have Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg as executive producers. Will it continue to make sense to keep them all separate? Obviously no show should be integrated into another so much that it dilutes its individual strengths, but given how much the shared universe has worked out for “Arrow,” “Flash” and “Legends,” it could make sense to broaden it even further. “iZombie” the comic book didn’t take place in the DC Universe, so it makes sense for that to be separate — but Supergirl mixing it up with the rest of her fellow heroes is intriguing for sure.
Naturally, the question of exactly how “Supergirl” could be integrated into another fictional universe needs to be worked out, but considering how much “The Flash” plays with time travel and parallel Earths — and the long history of continuity shifts in comic books — it could probably be accomplished in 42 minutes or so.
Will the cast change?
Reportedly, one of the reasons CBS wasn’t quick to renew “Supergirl” is due to budget — unsurprisingly given its heavy use of special effects, it’s an expensive show. Given the relatively smaller size of The CW, one would think budget remains an issue — and that something probably has to give somewhere.
While visual effects may be cut back in Season Two, a typical place for shows to trim budgets is in the main cast. There’s no confirmation that will happen here, but it’s something fans might want to at least mentally prepare for — or at least seeing some of the regulars pop up less frequently than every episode. Here’s hoping that Calista Flockhart — who, given her profile, is likely the show’s most expensive cast member — keeps delivering pointed Cat Grant barbs for years to come.
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