What Happens to ‘Arrowverse’ Shows If WarnerMedia Sells The CW?

Warner Bros. owns DC Entertainment. And under its umbrella, The CW has generated several DC superhero series. But now that WarnerMedia is planning to sell The CW, what’s going to happen to all its Arrowverse shows?

WarnerMedia announced plans to sell The CW

Tyler Hoechlin in 'Superman & Lois'
Tyler Hoechlin in ‘Superman & Lois’ | Bettina Strauss/The CW

The CW falls under the corporate ownership of WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, both parent companies have decided to put the network up for sale. 

Reportedly, The CW — a network formed when WarnerMedia and CBS merged The WB and UPN — hasn’t been profitable since its 2006 inception. Its deal with Netflix to stream shows like The Flash and Riverdale did bring in some revenue. But that arrangement ended when WarnerMedia and CBS joined the streaming game with their own platforms and began moving their titles to HBO Max and Paramount+.

As of now, there’s no word on where The CW will land. But reports suggest that Nexstar, a company that owns hundreds of local stations and cable channels, including ones that host The CW, may be one of the top contenders. 

What will happen to the Arrowverse if The CW gets sold

If WarnerMedia and CBS do sell The CW, the network could potentially lose its roster of DC series. But if WarnerMedia keeps a minority stake, it may allow The CW to continue developing and airing the Arrowverse shows. 

As of now, WarnerMedia hasn’t revealed its plans for the superhero series. But in a statement to his staff, CW CEO Mark Pedowitz suggested the network continue to create quality content. 

“We must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done,” he said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us — with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms — and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.”

Some Arrowverse shows are just getting started

The Arrowverse is a shared television universe set in The CW’s DC series. It began with Arrow in 2012 and continued to grow with shows like The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Some of the more recent series include Batwoman and Black Lightning. 

The network’s latest series, Superman & Lois , is heading into its second season. It is the second-highest DC show airing on The CW following The Flash. So it will be interesting to see where WarnerMedia ultimately places the series. 

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Stargirl, which just concluded its second season, is not officially part of the Arrowverse yet. But by introducing John Wesley Shipp as The Flash John Garrick, creator Geoff Johns hinted his plans to cross the show over. However, if The CW is sold, it is yet another DC property that may be impacted. 

Some of The CW’s DC series have already been added to the HBO Max library, including Superman & Lois, Batwoman, and Stargirl. So, in the long run, if there is a sale, there’s a chance the rest of the Arrowverse shows will end up there as well.