CW Boss Claims Superman & Lois Died For James Gunn’s Man of Steel

The CW’s Arrowverse was once the talk of the superhero town, and arguably DC’s more successful live-action venture in the 2010s. But in recent years, the network’s superhero outings have all been shuttered, with Superman & Lois standing as the last Arrowverse hurrah for one more season.

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In a recent interview with TheWrap, CW’s entertainment president Brad Schwartz and overall company president Dennis Miller talked about keeping some shows from the old regime. Superman & Lois has apparently performed quite well in previous seasons, but it was allegedly Warner Bros.’ call to cap it at four seasons. “They don’t want a competing Superman product in the marketplace,” Schwartz explained, effectively laying the blame for the show’s end at 2025’s Superman: Legacy from James Gunn.

This isn’t the first time the Arrowverse has been put in this position: WB asked Arrow’s creators to put in several Suicide Squad regulars like Deadshot and Amanda Waller in its show to get audiences used to them before their silver screen debut. The show was also apparently keen to do something with Harley Quinn, but those plans had to be junked once she was a principal lead in the film. Both Deadshot and Waller, along with Katana, were killed off or disappeared. The same was true of Deathstroke, who was a recurring character on the show: when it seemed like he’d be getting a solo movie (or be the villain in a planned solo movie for Ben Affleck’s Batman), Arrow’s Deathstroke had to walk into the mist, never to be seen again.

It’s a weird situation DC has put the Arrowverse in, least of all because it let Grant Gustin’s version of the Flash stick around for Ezra Miller’s (possible) entire tenure as the Flash in the movies. Batman’s also been fairly exempt from this rule, since Gotham was on during Affleck’s Bat-tenure, and Robert Pattinson’s version is getting to co-exist with the evental Bats who’ll headline The Brave & the Bold.

However, it’s also worth noting that the new CW regime is about saving (and eventually making) money lost by the old bosses. Schwartz even admitted when he and Miller came onboard, the network had “lost a lot of money.” And like WB Discovery, it’s in a penny-pinching move: Superman & Lois has had to dump several longtime series regulars and writers for its final season, and the episode count has been slimmed down from a standard 13-15 range to just 10. Schwartz similarly told TheWrap other veteran shows like All American and Walker will stick around on the network…as long as their budgets stay relatively the same.

Either way, four seasons is a solid run for any show, and getting too long in the tooth has long been an issue with the medium (especially ones on this network). It’s not ideal, but at least Superman & Lois gets to go out on its own terms and deliver as much of an ending as it can.


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