‘Supergirl’: Why Season 2 isn’t a Done Deal Yet
Supergirl may have initially seemed like a shoo-in for renewal, but the show’s future is now looking a little more uncertain. Several weeks after the series freshman season finale, CBS is still holding off on greenlighting a second season, reportedly due to concerns over the show’s high costs.
As The Wrap reported earlier this week, the network and Warner Bros have reached a stalemate in their last-minute negotiations over the show’s hefty $3 million per-episode price tag. CBS apparently feels that the expensive costs aren’t justified by the show’s ratings, which have dwindled pretty drastically since its widely watched premiere. After kicking off with a strong 13 million viewers, the show has since lost about half of its audience, with the Season 1 finale garnering a little more than six million viewers.
As an effort to address some of the network’s financial concerns, WBTV has reportedly begun exploring ways to trim the show’s budget. According to Deadline, the studio is seriously considering moving the series production from Los Angeles to Vancouver next season. The show reportedly previously committed to filming in California, under the expectation that it would receive a tax credit from the California Film Commission. But its application was not approved, increasing the show’s budget projection. A move to Vancouver would not only lower costs, but also make sense logistically, as the city is host to Supergirl producer Greg Berlanti’s other superhero shows, Arrow and The Flash (both on the CW).
Another possibility is for CBS to reduce the number of episodes in Season 2. The show’s freshman season aired 20 episodes, but Deadline reports that the network is considering decreasing its order in the case of renewal. That, combined with potentially lower licensing fees from WBTV, would help lower the show’s hefty costs.
Even if CBS decides against renewing the series altogether, Supergirl still has options. Speculation that the show could end up on The CW has long since been circulating and with negotiations for Season 2 still ongoing, the possibility has once again resurfaced. The transition would be easy, as the younger-skewing network is co-owned by CBS and Warner Bros. and already has a solid DC Comics lineup that would pair well with Supergirl. Even so, Supergirl might still prove too expensive for The CW, which usually operates at lower budgets.
But the CW isn’t the only place where Supergirl could end up, should it not get renewed at CBS. Per Deadline, Hulu has also expressed interest in taking on the series, as part of its continued efforts to grow its original programming.
Of course, before any network (broadcast or otherwise) can make a move, CBS has to make its final decision on Supergirl‘s renewal. While the show might be expensive to produce, the network has plenty of reason to keep it around. Even after seeing a decline in ratings, the show is CBS’s No. 1 new drama, thanks in part to strong DVR play and a 2.4 average score in the key 18-49 demo. Not to mention, Supergirl is a significant part of CBS’s efforts to attract a younger demographic.
Whether these factors will be enough for the network to move forward with Season 2 — possibly with a reduced episode order — remain to be seen. Either way, fans can likely expect a resolution sooner rather than later, as networks execs are reportedly aiming to make a final decision on the show’s fate before CBS upfronts later this month.