The CW

The CW logo displayed on a smartphone

The CW logo | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The CW debuted in September 2006 after CBS and Warner Bros. teamed up to create a new TV network. Its name combines the first letter of “CBS” and “Warner Bros.”

Early on, the CW was best known for teen dramas, thanks to series such as Gossip Girl, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries.

Later, the network saw success with genre programming, beginning with 2012’s Arrow. The eight-season action-superhero drama earned accolades from critics and viewers alike. Its success spawned a whole universe — the Arrowverse — comprising seven TV series: Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman, and Superman & Lois.

The CW’s most popular current shows include the teen drama Riverdale, adapted from the Archie comics; the football drama All American; The Flash; the fantasy drama Legacies; the mystery series Nancy Drew; and the action/superhero drama Batwoman. 


  • Year founded: 2006
  • Top programs: Riverdale, All American, The Flash, Legacies, Nancy Drew, Batwoman, DC’s Stargirl
  • How to watch: Direct local TV, the CW app, cable and satellite providers, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, the CW app, Netflix
  • Cost: Free on direct local TV or the CW app, but only the latest few episodes; $8.99-$15.99 per month for the CW on Netflix, but not the most recent seasons; $64.99 per month via Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV for on-demand streaming
  • Most popular original series, movies, and shows: Gossip Girl, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, Arrow, Smallville
  • Best known for: Action-superhero dramas, teen soaps

Featured Articles:

‘Batwoman’: Ruby Rose’s Former Costars Claim She’s a Liar Who Was Fired From the Show


Grant Gustin Almost Cried After Watching This ‘The Flash’ Scene


‘All American’: Daniel Ezra Listened to This Rapper to Perfect His American Accent


‘Riverdale’: Is Archie the ‘Most Boring’ Character on the Show? Some Fans Think So


Visit the CW website.

Read more about the CW. Plus, stay up to date on shows: