The CW managed to hand out 12 early renewals for its 2021-2022 season, including Walker, All American, Batwoman, Charmed, Dynasty, The Flash, In The Dark, Legacies, Legends of Tomorrow, Nancy Drew, Riverdale, and Roswell, New Mexico, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The latter five shows have yet to premiere this season.
Mark Pedowitz, of The CW, stated with regards to the release of these early renewals, “Though we’re just a few weeks into the season, we wanted to get a strategic head start on next season with these early renewals, which allows our production teams to start laying out story arcs and hiring staff, and at the same time, continues to provide us with a strong, stable schedule to build on for next season. As The CW’s 2020-2021 season kicks into high gear, we are thrilled creatively with the direction of our first new shows out of the gate, Walker and Superman & Lois, that we wanted to order the additional episodes to complete their first seasons, and we are particularly pleased with the huge success of the launch of Walker, which debuted as our most-watched series premiere in five years,” via The Hollywood Reporter.
Newcomers Superman & Lois, Kung Fu, and The Republic of Sarah are still awaiting information regarding the status of their series. However, Superman & Lois, which is slated to debut later this year, was given two additional episodes by the network, bringing its first season to a total of 15. Similarly, Walker, was given five more episodes, bringing its first season to a total of 18 episodes. Meanwhile, The CW DC dramas hailing from Greg Berlanti (Arrow) Black Lightning and Supergirl are both concluding their runs this season. While news of these renewals is usually announced during the network’s January day at the Television Critics Association’s winter tour stop, “the pickups should still be considered early given that The CW pushed its fall launch from its traditional October kickoff to late-January as a result of the pandemic,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Batwoman’s second season trailer was just released at the end of last year, following a series of announcements in relation to new cast members for the upcoming season. Following the exit of star Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), who played Batwoman, Javicia Lesley (God Friended Me) is slated to take on the iconic role. Alex Morf (Gotham) was cast as DC Comics villain Victor Zsasz, and Shivani Ghai (The Catch) as villain Safiyah. Batwoman did have plans of a crossover with Superman & Lois, however, these plans were reportedly canceled due to the dangers of COVID-19.
Renewing these series earlier than usual allows writers and showrunners more time to plan their upcoming season, potentially in terms of production during the ongoing pandemic and the rollouts of vaccines across the nation. This uncertainty has halted filming on multiple productions where film-makers have attempted to make safety a priority for everyone on set. Moreover, a stay-at-home order placed by California Governor Gavin Newsom during the holidays last year also furthered difficulties in the industry.
The network is in the midst of developing several spinoffs that are expected to air this season, including All American‘s Homecoming, Nancy Drew‘s Tom Swift, and Black Lightning‘s Painkiller. With the cancellation of Black Lightning and Supergirl, The CW will be adding Kung Fu, Republic of Sarah, Walker, and Superman & Lois, while ending Arrow, The 100, and Supernatural, and canceling the Riverdale spinoff entitled Katy Keene.