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Arrow says goodbye after significantly changing The CW's trajectory and perception

  • The superhero series ending tonight after eight seasons paved the way for The CW's DC shared universe and annual multi-show crossovers. It also led to The CW's male viewership jumping from 30% in 2011 to 50% in 2017. "It's hard to imagine that ordering Arrow to series was ever considered a bold move for The CW, but the success of the show was never a sure thing," says Kaitlin Thomas. "When the DC series launched, The CW was known more for — and I say this lovingly — melodramatic, female-centric programs like Gossip Girl and 90210 or the wacky antics of dramedies like Hart of Dixie than it was for comic book fare. This was despite the fact Smallville had just ended a 10-season run, split between The WB and The CW, a year prior. Meanwhile, there was no guarantee that the growing success of Marvel's feature films — The Avengers had come out just five months earlier — would translate to the small screen, especially on the fifth broadcast network and for a character who was not terribly well known outside the realm of DC Comics." Thomas adds: "However, even though the network benefited greatly from having Arrow as one of the programs leading its lineup these past eight years, the reality is that its success also resulted in a limited variety of programming being offered. The bold, creative choices that characterized the first half of the 2010s have given way to rubber stamping, both in terms of the types of shows the network develops and its renewal strategy. This leads to stability and consistency, and while knowing a show will likely end on its own terms is comforting for viewers, the result is still a network that, despite expanding original programming to six days a week in 2018 and increasing the number of original series it airs throughout the year, looks increasingly similar. This doesn't translate to bringing in potential new viewers — or retaining those who've grown tired of the superhero genre."


    • Arrow bosses promise to give everyone a satisfying ending: "It’s really important for me and Marc (Guggenheim) to honor all of our characters,” says showrunner Beth Schwartz. “We spent a lot of time in the room brainstorming endings for all our characters, whether they were series regulars in Season 8 or they were series regulars in Season 1. We really wanted to give everyone a satisfying ending, so that you could envision what their lives would be like after the show was over.”
    • Arrow cast and crew post farewell messages in advance of the series finale "Today’s bittersweet," tweeted Stephen Amell. "Arrow meant so much to me for so many years. It was a transformative journey... but it was time to let it go. I lace my boots and don the hood one last time tonight. I’ll forever cherish being an ambassador for Oliver Queen. Thank you for the honor."
    • Presenting Arrow's 25 best fights

    TOPICS: Arrow, The CW, Beth Schwartz, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Amell