Why Is Arrow's Final Season Only 10 Episodes Long?

Arrow final season costume header

The CW reaches a milestone this season, as the popular Arrow finally comes to an end. The Green Arrow series spawned an entire television universe of DC shows, including the upcoming Batwoman. Some of these other series, such as Black Lightning and Legends of Tomorrow, feature shorter, 13-episode seasons. Meanwhile, Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl had longer, 20-odd-episode seasons. For its final season, however, Arrow has just 10 episodes to say farewell. Here are the behind-the-scenes reasons for the show's conservative final-season episode count.

RELATED: Arrow Season 8 Will Bring Back Another Dead Character

Season 7 Was Meant to Be the End

Arrow Season 7

Star Stephen Amell originally felt the series would, or should, end with Season 7, which coincided with the completion of his contract. "I’ve always been a fan of television shows that not only don’t overstay their welcome but end in a manner that really packs a punch," he said in a Facebook Live stream. "And so it had always been my hope that we would know when we were gonna finish this journey and not limp to the finish line, so to speak."

RELATED: With Three Major Series Ending, The CW Reaches a Turning Point

However, after a discussion with executive producer Greg Berlanti, Amell said he agreed to return for a shortened Season 8, to tie up loose threads.

Crisis On Infinite Earths


Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim rejected online speculation that Arrow was artificially extended to an eighth season to set up the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover: "That’s just patently untrue." That said, without the revelation of the details of the deal Oliver made with The Monitor in "Elseworlds," and the warning that Green Arrow will die in the upcoming crossover, both Arrow's ending and the events of "Crisis" would carry less emotional heft.

Tasked om the Season 7 finale with warning other worlds of the coming "Crisis," Oliver's new mission will more than likely cover the bulk of Season 8. That's further implied by the presence of several retired characters in Season 8, including the deceased Moira Queen, Malcolm Merlyn and Tommy Merlyn.

Most interestingly, the crossover episode involving "Crisis" is only the season's third to last. That leaves two more episodes to deal with the fallout, as well as wrap up the series. Given the timing of "Crisis," this again makes the abbreviated season perfect for storytelling.

Returning Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Katie Cassidy as Black Siren, Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke and Ben Lewis as William Clayton-Queen.

KEEP READING: Arrow: Amell Teases Oliver's Ending - 'It's What I Pitched for a Long Time'

South Park Attacks Burger King With Randy Marsh's Weed Burgers

More in CBR Exclusives