What Stargirl's cancellation means for the Arrowverse
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What Stargirl’s cancellation means for the Arrowverse

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BY November 4, 2022

Stargirl’s cancellation accelerated the Arrowverse’s downward spiral. The Arrowverse, once a thriving franchise and possibly the most successful superhero TV universe at its height, now seems to be nearing its end. When Arrow’s eight-season run came to an end in 2020, it started down the road to completion. At the time, it didn’t seem like the end of the program was a bad omen for the remainder of the Arrowverse; rather, it seemed like a natural ending. When Supergirl’s sixth season came to an end, a year later, that viewpoint started to change. The cancellations of Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman in 2022 came after that. The Flash’s ninth season would be its last, they announced it shortly after.

Since we realized that Stargirl ends after its third season, the program has now been added to the CW’s DC cancellations. Only Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights remain after that.

Stargirl's cancellation Source: The Hollywood Reporter

What next after Stargirl’s cancellation?

Beyond Stargirl’s cancellation, more remains. Clark Kent’s solo series occurs in the CW’s multiverse, as is Gotham Knights, despite none of them taking place in the network’s Earth-Prime. Nevertheless, the Arrowverse is still a long way from its heyday despite the brand ties between the shows. Superman & Lois takes place in a separate timeline, whereas Gotham Knights attracted negative attention after a harshly criticized trailer. The Justice U spinoff, in which John Diggle guides a squad of youthful heroes, is still in the planning stages. Apart from David Ramsey’s statement that a writer was in place, the series has not received any significant updates. Given that Stargirl is now over, the possibility of the Arrowverse completely concluding is real, especially in light of the reasons for the show’s cancellation.

So what does Stargirl’s cancellation mean? The network’s numerous cancellations throughout 2022 are evidence of the new strategy. Twenty22 saw the cancellation of several high-profile shows, including Riverdale (which will finish after season 7), Nancy Drew, the aforementioned Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman. The fact that The CW’s programming are aimed at younger viewers, while the network’s average viewer age is 58 could possibly be a contributing factor in Stargirl’s demise. Thus, Stargirl might not be of interest to the network’s regular viewers like the other canceled shows. Although there are still two more superhero shows on the CW, their futures may not be guaranteed as Nexstar abandons the network’s commercial model in favor of a different strategy for success.

Nexstar Media Group acquired The CW in 2022

Stargirl's cancellation Source: SuperHeroHype

Nexstar Media Group officially acquired The CW in October 2022. This happened with Paramount Global and Warner Bros. each holding a 12% ownership stake in the network. When taken into consideration, the company’s highly distinct commercial trajectory for the network provides context for the cancellation of Stargirl. In order to turn The CW profitable (the network previously operated at a deficit), Nexstar CFO Lee Ann Gliha indicated in August 2022 (via Deadline) that the business plans to slash costs at the network and concentrate on cheaper content:

“It’s no secret that the CW is not profitable, but this is not typical for fully-distributed broadcast or cable networks. In fact, according to SNL Kagan data, no other broadcast network operates at an ongoing loss. We expect to invest a low 9-figure amount over this 3-year period as we implement our plan. We view this amount as a proxy for a purchase price—or an investment made over time—rather than an ongoing drag on cash flow. You know us. We are profit and cash flow focused and expect this asset to achieve profitability.”

So guys, what do you think about Stargirl’s cancellation? Did you watch the show? And if you did, what do you think of it? Did you like it or not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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