The CW’s traditional early-renewal blitz has finally arrived, although the volume of pickups is down from previous years.
The network on Tuesday renewed seven series for the 2022-23 TV season, including All-American (for Season 5), The Flash (for Season 9), Superman & Lois (for Season 3), Riverdale (for Season 7), Walker (for Season 3), Kung Fu (for Season 3) and Nancy Drew (for Season 4).
This marks the first time in four years that The CW has waited until spring to issue its first wave of scripted renewals. (By comparison, in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the network had already handed early pickups by February.)
The “delay” — coupled with the more modest number of renewals — comes as The CW’s corporate parents, Paramount and WarnerMedia, are exploring a sale of the network. (Local-TV behemoth Nexstar is said to be among the suitors.)
If and when a deal goes through, the new owners are expected to implement a new programming strategy, potentially leaving many current CW series vulnerable to cancellation or, in a rosier scenario, primed for relocation to ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia’s respecting streaming outlets, Paramount+ and HBO Max.
In announcing Tuesday’s renewals, CW Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz (not surprisingly) did not address the sale chatter.
“As we prepare for the 2022-23 season, these scripted series, along with the alternative series we renewed earlier, will serve as the start of a solid foundation utilizing some of our most-watched series for us to build on for next year and beyond,” the exec said in a statement. “These dramas are also important to our overall digital strategy, as they are some of our most-streamed and socially-engaged programming, and we look forward to adding more new and returning series to help strengthen and expand our multiplatform footprint.”
Where does all of this leave The CW’s 12 remaining bubble shows? Scroll down for our “gut check” on all of the network’s in-limbo series.