The CW is bringing back the majority of its current slate next season after making a bumper renewal order including a second season of Walker.
The network has made the early decision to hand renewals to 12 current series, with president and CEO Mark Pedowitz sticking with stability as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on network’s schedules, the development process and pilot season.
Along with Walker, All American, Batwoman, Charmed, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, The Flash, In the Dark, Legacies, Nancy Drew, Riverdale and Roswell, New Mexico will return for the 2021-22 season.
Additionally, the youth-skewing network has given Walker an additional five episodes this season and handed Superman & Lois — which will launch with a two-hour event on Tuesday, February 23 — two additional episodes, taking its order to 15 eps.
Shows that are not included in the renewal order — Superman & Lois (left), Kung Fu and Republic of Sarah and returning summer series Stargirl – have yet to premiere their current seasons. so too much shouldn’t be read into their exclusion. Superman & Lois has received a vote of confidence with its back order ahead of its debut, while Stargirl previously had been renewed for this coming summer as a CW original, having started as a DC Universe series.
The network already revealed last fall that Black Lightning and Supergirl would be ending after this season.
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While the CW brass consistently have renewed the majority of the network’s slate around this time for the last few seasons– the network renewed 13 series on January 7 last year — today’s decision is unusually early as it comes only a couple of weeks after the network started rolling out its pandemic-delayed 2020-21 season.
Last month, the CW President and CEO Mark Pedowitz told Deadline that its plans for next season were fluid due to the pandemic. “Right now, we’re probably going to stay the status quo down the line with everything we have because a) they’re working and b) I’d rather have a known quantity on the air than an unknown quantity,” he said.
The move will help speed up returning series’ turnaround and get them back into production sooner with writers able to start earlier than usual.
“Though we’re just a few weeks into the new 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,” he said. “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.”
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Pedowitz added that the network was particularly pleased with the “huge success” of Walker, which he said was its most-watched series premiere in five years. The show, which launched on January, stars Jared Padalecki and follows the adventures of Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, a widower and father of two with his own moral code, as he returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years.
Elsewhere, All American returns for a fifth season, Batwoman is back for a third season, Charmed is heading into Season 4, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has scored a seventh season, Dynasty continues with a fifth season, The Flash is running off with Season 8, In the Dark has been greenlighted for a fourth season, Legacies gets a fourth season, Nancy Drew has received a third season, Riverdale returns for Season 6 and Roswell, New Mexico is back with Season four.
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