While Supergirl may have all the buzz and The Flash all the prestige, there’s something to be said for the fact that Arrow is entering year five of its run, and to celebrate, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for that new season at San Diego Comic-Con.
However, while a fan favorite and legacy series for The CW’s DC franchise, this is the year that could change many things for Arrow on the business front. No longer is it a foregone conclusion the show will continue. Up until now, renewals were mandatory to create a syndication friendly episode package. Last year, the show crossed the necessary minimum of 88 episodes. This year, it will cross the even friendlier 100th episode mark. This means ratings need to hold true for the series now more than ever.
Last season was an all time low for Arrow on the ratings front, averaging just 2.9 million viewers overall. This is way down from the previous season’s 3.52 million average. While CW programming generally makes its money on the backend through hefty licensing deals, like one that was recently signed with Netflix, The CW is going to start demanding better performance for its shows as the network becomes more and more of a player. Emmy nominations and Golden Globe wins for its non-superhero shows don’t count for nothing.
Arrow is taking up a slot that could be filled by a newer show that might perform better. This isn’t to say the series should be cancelled, but rather that it could. If the series continues ticking down in ratings, it might make sense for Warner Bros. to call it quits on Oliver Queen’s tale sometime in the next two to three years.
The CW’s DC world is filling up fast with more and more metahumans, and it’s beginning to leave The Green Arrow as the odd man out. But, what we’re also seeing these days is the creation of new overall deals at Warner Bros. TV that allow for certain actors to jump between shows within the franchise, such as Wentworth Miller and John Barrowman. It’s entirely possible that just becauseArrow might come to an end soon it won’t necessarily mean the end of Oliver Queen and The Green Arrow as we know it.