The CW Aims for Superhero Domination With ‘Legends of Tomorrow’
It looks like the CW is set continue its dominance of DC Comic-inspired TV shows. As announced this week, the network has issued a series to the much-discussed Arrow/Flash spin-off, now entitled DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Described as a superhero team-up, Legends of Tomorrow will star Arthur Darvill as time-traveling Rogue Rip Hunter, who desperately tries to prevent the bleak future he’s seen by assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains. The ragtag team must join together to confront an immortal threat that’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen— one that not only puts the planet at stake, but all of time itself.
The series will star a mix of new and returning characters, including The Flash‘s Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (played by Wentworth Miller), Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), and Dr. Martin Stein/one half of Firestorm (Victor Garber). From Arrow, Brandon Routh will reprise his role as Ray Palmer/the Atom, and Caity Lotz will also join the upcoming show, although her Arrow character, Sara Lance/Canary, died earlier this season. New characters will include Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) and Jay Jackson (Franz Drameh).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the spinoff has yet to film a pilot and was ordered without any actual footage having been seen. Given the huge success of both Arrow and The Flash, though, it’s no surprise that the CW is willing to bet on the new project – especially since it hails from the same creative team. Per THR, the drama will be executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who developed both Arrow and The Flash, and Marc Guggenheim, who co-created Arrow. Berlanti and Kresberg are also the producers behind another upcoming DC Comics project, CBS’s Supergirl, which was recently picked up to series.
With the spinoff order, the CW will have four shows based on DC Comics on its 2015-16 lineup. In addition to Arrow, The Flash, and the new Legends of Tomorrow, the network also has its freshman series, iZombie, which was recently renewed for another season. All three of the comic shows have performed well for the channel. The Flash became the network’s second-most watched premiere of all time in its debut this past fall and continues to rake in over 3 million viewers weekly. It’s also been a critical success, currently holding a 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, Arrow has been drawing an average of 2.76 million viewers throughout the current season (which is its third). As a non-superhero DC series, iZombie has drawn a smaller audience (with a little over 1 million viewers weekly), but is a critical hit, with a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Whether Legends of Tomorrow will mark another successful entry into the CW’s growing superhero empire remains to be seen, but the project is inarguably an exciting contender — especially given the success that Berlanti and the rest of the behind-the-scenes team has already had on the network. Not to mention, the mash-up of characters should help draw both Arrow and The Flash viewers. With this spin-off, it’s clear the network is looking to corner TV’s superhero market, especially among the crossover trend.
For the CW, Legends of Tomorrow marks one of three total pilots the network has decided to move forward with. The epidemic-themed drama Cordon and the comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (originally a pilot for Showtime) will also join the network’s 2015-2016 slate.