CBS is yet to make a renewal decision on its freshman series, but there are conversations about one of them, Supergirl, making a jump to sister network the CW. Such a move had been rumored for awhile but I hear talks are now real, going concurrently with CBS’ renewal process, which is nearing the finish line. I hear CBS has until end of day today, Wednesday, to make a decision on Supergirl, but that could conceivably get extended again. It is unclear whether an agreement would be reached because it is a tall order for a show of that scale to be produced for the CW. Producing studio Warner Bros. TV already is making a pre-emptive effort to trim costs, prepping a move of production from Los Angeles to Vancouver in Season 2. That would bring the show, from producer Greg Berlanti, together with his CW superhero drama series, which all are based in Vancouver.
Of the other CBS freshman dramas, word is that medical drama Code Black, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, has solidified its position and looks good to return but is expected to undergo tweaks. Limitless, which is fully owned by CBS, is considered 50-50 at best and does not look very promising at the moment. It is a recognizable title that makes money for the studio internationally, comes from Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, and is part of the network’s push into attracting younger audiences on the hourlong side that also has included Scorpion, already renewed for next season, and Supergirl. Comedy Life In Pieces is considered a safe bet to return, while Rush Hour is not coming back.
Supergirl, which commanded a very high license fee in its freshman season, had been eyeing a partial order at a lower price at CBS. The CW frequently had been mentioned as a possibility because of Supergirl‘s young skew, the CW president Mark Pedowitz’s public comments about regretting not going after the project when it was originally pitched, and the fact that the CW is co-owned by CBS and Warner Bros. (There had been other potential suitors for the show, including Hulu.) Supergirl would give the CW four DC superhero series, one of which, Flash, already crossed over to Supergirl, making for a seamless possible transition into the CW DC universe.
This is the second time Supergirl had been rumored to move from CBS to the CW. It didn’t happen after the pilot last year, and there are still skeptics who say that it would be hard for Supergirl to be produced at a price point where it could make financial sense on the CW. Previously, drama Ringer moved from CBS to the CW after the pilot.
At the end of the day, it is up to CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves, who is holding all the cards in the situation since the company controls CBS and the programming on the CW, to make the call whether Supergirl would stay or not on CBS and whether it would go to the CW. Being based on a DC property, if it moves to the CW, Supergirl would remain solely owned by WBTV and not a co-production with CBS TV Studios as the original CW series automatically become.
Despite the fact that its numbers tapered off significantly after a strong start, Supergirl, aided by a solid DVR play, averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18–49 in a competitive time slot, ranking as the No. 1 new CBS drama and No. 4 new network series overall (behind only Blindspot, Life in Pieces and Quantico) in the demo this season. It is CBS’ youngest-skewing new drama and averaged nearly 10 million viewers.