The CW Is Shaking Up This Year’s 4-Show DC Superhero Crossover

Last year's team-up drove the network's most-watched week ever

Last year's four-series superhero crossover took place over four nights, but The CW will restrict it to two nights this year. Bettina Strauss/The CW
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After its annual crossover of all its DC superhero shows yielded the highest ratings in CW history, the network is shaking things up a bit for this year’s big team-up between the casts of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
This season’s mega-crossover will take place over two nights, Nov. 27 and Nov. 28, instead of an entire week, the network announced at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A.
Supergirl and Arrow will kick things off on Monday, Nov. 27, and the crossover will continue the following day with The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Last year, the crossover lasted four days, Monday through Thursday, which led to the network’s most successful week ever, according to The CW president Mark Pedowitz.
But this fall, with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow already paired together on Tuesday nights, Pedowitz decided that “it would be better, tighter in terms of storytelling” to do the annual crossover over just two nights, with Arrow moving to Monday for that week only. “This was a tight, concise way of doing it.”
However, Pedowitz said that the network might return to the four-night approach next year.
Pedowitz is optimistic about the state of all four superhero shows going into this season. Supergirl found its way last year and “I’m really happy where they’re headed,” he said. As for The Flash, “I think we’re done with speedster villains,” and the show will “find the light” from its first two seasons.
The Arrow team “found their mojo” last year, as “they got back to what the first and second season of that show was,” said Pedowitz. And Legends of Tomorrow overcame a “rough” first season by having “the most fun second season anybody could have. It’s just a fun romp.”
Pedowitz said The CW’s new fall military drama Valor “is extending the CW brand,” but “at the end of the day, it’s going to be a great soap, with a military background.”
He has spent six years trying to launch a military show on The CW. In his previous job at ABC Studios, where he made Lifetime’s Army Wives, Pedowitz realized “there was a real need, people wanted to see these types of shows.”
While military shows have “always” worked, Pedowitz noted, “in this fractionalized country, more people support the military than not, and will give a show like this a shot.”
As for its Dynasty reboot, the show’s producers “put a new twist on a brand,” said Pedowitz. “It’s fun, it’s escapism.” With The Vampire Diaries and Reign going off the air, the network hopes this show will keep women watching the network.
Unlike his broadcast peers, Pedowitz had always taken the approach that he doesn’t care how audiences watch The CW’s shows—whether on linear or digital—as long as they watch, period. “The CW has always been an outlier in broadcaster,” said Pedowitz, who would prefer that audiences watch his shows live or in the windows that will allow them to be included in C3 or C7 ratings. But the network’s numbers will be “much higher” once Nielsen finally completes its total audience measurement rollout, he predicts.
“For us, we understood that we had to evolve, and the only way to evolve was to become a multiplatform player,” said Pedowitz of his network.
He was asked about TNT and TBS chief Kevin Reilly’s recent assertion that corporate consolidation will lead to fewer networks. While contraction is “the nature of the beast,” broadcasting is “far from dead,” Pedowitz said. “The one thing I am confident of is that the way The CW is positioned today, as a multiplatform player, it’s going to be around for a helluva long time.”

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.