Earlier this week, The CW announced that its inaugural DC Comics adaptation Arrow, would be ending with a shortened eighth season. Debuting in 2012, the live-action series launched the network's popular Arrowverse, a shared television universe of DC adaptations including The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and the planned Batwoman series. However, with its flagship series coming to an end in the middle of the 2019-2020 television season, it does open the question of how, exactly, fans will refer to the television shared universe with its namesake conspicuously off the air.
With Arrow soon gone, that will effectively make The Flash the oldest Arrowverse series. But while it's currently the show that receives the most viewers across the network, the Flashverse doesn't exactly have the same ring to it as the current moniker. Similarly, no other existing series could serve as an effective banner series for the shared universe, as amusing as referring to it as the Legends of Tomorrowverse may seem initially. What's more likely is for the network to rebrand the shared universe to something reflecting the source material rather than an existing series.
Leading into the 2018-2019 television season, The CW had promoted its returning superhero programming under the branding DCTV. It is important to note that this promotional campaign included fellow CW superhero series Black Lightning which, while certainly a DC Comics adaptation, is not officially part of the Arrowverse, taking place in a separate continuity altogether. However, given the nature of next year's annual Arrowverse crossover, this may remain the case.
Titled "Crisis on Infinite Earths" after the landmark comic book story by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the crossover event will see the heroes of the Arrowverse teaming up once again to save the DCTV Multiverse. There has been speculation that the alternate Earth of Supergirl may be merged with the prime Arrowverse Earth, as well as Black Lightning's alternate Earth, thus making the DCTV banner more of a catch-all to include all of the network's DC Comics adaptations.
Of course, the network may not end up changing the moniker at all, as a clear sign of respect to the series that kicked off one of the most extensive shared universes currently on television. As Arrow star Stephen Amell claimed following news of the series' impending ending, he probably won't be completely gone from the Arrowverse after the conclusion of Season 8. Retaining the Arrowverse banner not only recognizes how this shared universe started, but maintains the importance of its debut protagonist leaving the door open for his return in an unknown capacity.
With The CW seeking to freshen up and reinvigorate its programming lineup, a series like Arrow couldn't have lasted forever; not every CW series can be Supernatural. The question now is whether the network intends to rebrand its DCTV television shows to reflect its new direction and debuts or continue to acknowledge the history and importance of the series that made it all possible nearly a full decade ago. The Arrowverse is guaranteed to continue in some capacity on The CW after the loss of its namesake series; the big questions remaining are in what form and under what name moving forward.
Airing Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW, Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, Kirk Acevedo as Diaz and Katie Cassidy as Black Siren.