The CW’s Arrow is set to end after a shortened season 8. Why would the series, which launched an entire multiverse of shows, end now? After all, the other Arrowverse shows are still going strong. Let’s take a look at the reasons.
Ratings and the Legacy of Superhero Shows
When Arrow began in 2012, it was the very first superhero show The CW had broadcast. At the time, no one knew if it would be successful.
It was a surprise hit and it became proof of the concept. Soon, Arrow spawned other superhero spin-offs, including The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Today, Black Lightning is in its second season on The CW. Although it’s a DC superhero show, it is not considered part of the Arrowverse, demonstrating that now superhero shows can launch and sustain themselves without the help of the series that started the trend. A fact that’s become true of all The CW’s superhero series.
The Flash is currently the highest-rated superhero show on The CW and the other Arrow spin-offs have their own loyal fans. Plus, Arrow isn’t needed to launch a new superhero series like the potential upcoming Batwoman series.
The Story Has Been Told
As the longest-running superhero series on The CW, Arrow’s story has started to feel a little long in the tooth. At this point, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow has completed an arc from damaged outlaw vigilante to grown-up hero working within the confines of the law. There’s not much more for him to do.
During a Facebook live stream, actor Stephen Amell expanded on the decision to end the series. He said the ending has been in the works since late in season 6 when he approached executive producer Greg Berlanti about feeling both personally and professionally that the show should end soon.
Amell explained, “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. 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.”
He also said that the decision was mutual and included the show’s production company Warner Bros., The CW, and executive producers Berlanti, Beth Schwartz, and Marc Guggenheim.
The group agreed that ending the show after an abbreviated season 8 would be “best for the show creatively.”
Crisis on Infinite Earths
This news also sheds some light on next season’s Arrowverse crossover event, which we already know will be “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
After this year’s crossover, “Elseworlds” almost ended with the demise of Supergirl and The Flash, it’s been heavily teased that a superhero actually will meet their end in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
Playing Oliver Queen has been the greatest professional experience of my life… but you can’t be a vigilante forever.
Arrow will return for a final run of 10 episodes this Fall.
There’s so much to say… for now I just want to say thank you.
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) March 6, 2019
In “Elseworlds,” after learning that his superhero compatriots would die, Oliver made a deal with the Monitor to save their lives. We weren’t told what Oliver’s half of the bargain was, but many believe Oliver traded his life for theirs — a debt that will come due in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
Now with the news of Arrow ending, that theory holds even more water. We’ll have to wait and see when the crossover happens later this year. However, it would be a fitting end to the story of the superhero who kicked off the DC TV multiverse.