Friday, May 6, 2016

Supergirl Show Rumors-Canceled? Shuffled To The CW?

Like many, I have been waiting to hear about a Supergirl Season 2.

I have read many thought pieces about the show and have responded to some of them.
I have read articles that talk about how bad the ratings were.
I have read articles about how good the ratings were.

I have read articles that talk about how great it is to have a feminist show like this.
I have read articles that lambast the show for not being feminist enough.

I have read articles that the show is going to be renewed for CBS.
I have read articles that the show is going to be canceled.
I have read articles that the show is going to be moved to a different network.
I have read articles that it is moving production to Canada.
I have read articles that it will be renewed but with fewer episodes.

I have read so many articles and heard so many rumors that I felt exhausted. I showed support here and in social media. But I realized that I just needed to wait for a decision to be announced.

But then this article came out which sounded less like an opinion piece and more of a news item:

The article talks about how Supergirl is an expensive show and the ratings didn't blow anyone out of the water. And maybe, a move to the CW with the concomitant slash in budget is the eventual destiny of the show. Here are a couple of blurbs.

CBS boss Leslie Moonves is deep in talks with Warner Bros. Television about the fate of its super-expensive comic-book series starring Melissa Benoist, which wrapped up a less-than-superlative first season last month. 
That has set the stage for a last-minute stare-down between Moonves and Warner Bros. TV chief Peter Roth. CBS will announce its fall schedule in two weeks at the upfront presentations in New York, so the clock is ticking to hammer out a deal. The youth-skewing CW already has “The Flash” and other superhero franchises (there was a crossover between “Supergirl” and “The Flash” this season), and its audience is much more aligned with “Supergirl” than is CBS’ much-grayer viewership.
 Fans have suggested such a move for months and lately the Hollywood rumor mill has gone into overdrive that “Supergirl” is flying to CW. But that move would be fraught for both producers and fans, as budget-conscious CW shows don’t tend to collect huge license fees for the studios. The upshot of a CW shift is that there would very likely be big budget cuts in the offing for “Supergirl.”
You never like to see the verb 'embroiled'. That has a negative connotation, one of conflict.

And then yesterday, Deadline had an article that had a few more details about costs, locations, and tax breaks. But it had no specifics on what was actually happening. Here is that link:
(Hat tip to and Mart Gray)

And a couple of blurbs:

WBTV is looking to trim the budget of Supergirl as the studio is in conversations with CBS about a second-season renewal. The show commands a very high license fee, and a reduction of that and/or the number of episodes ordered by the network are considered a possibility. Then there is the possibility of the show not getting renewed by CBS.

I can understand how moving to Vancouver, dropping effects, and trimming episodes would save money. But would it be the same show. It is said to be the most expensive show on CBS right now between production costs and license fees. Something has to give.

And then some optimism from Deadline:

Still, 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.

Still, Supergirl has been part of traditionally older-skewing CBS’ effort to attract younger demographic via newer dramas like Supergirl‘s Monday companion Scorpion. The network brass likely will weigh in all these factors as they head to New York during the next few days to start working on the network’s 2016-17 schedule.

Frankly, I'm trying to wrap my head around all these talks.

I'll start out by saying I absolutely loved the show. I felt it captured everything that I love about the character. It is appointment watching by me and my daughters. I ... have ... loved it.

Supergirl was the highest rated new show on CBS. But it has never felt like a CBS show. It never was really embraced by the network which didn't air any repeats to see if it could pick up new viewers. But the show ended up losing about 50% of the audience it had for the premiere.

It is an expensive show. But the effects have been great. The show has felt Super with the fights on wires, massive heat vision battles, satellite-hoisting super-strength, and shape-shifting. The episodes have felt like mini-movies at times. Can the network afford to keep up that level of action and effects?

It is a heartfelt show and does have women in positions of authority on all levels. But at times, the gender politics have seemed simple.

Unfortunately, I can see both sides of this conundrum.

So what will make me happy ...

Well, in the best of all possible worlds, CBS picks up the show and leaves the budget untouched. But I fear that isn't going to happen.

The next best option would be WB decreasing the license fee so that the show's production budget remains intact. Hopefully Warner Brothers sees the potential for recouping the lost cash on merchandise and building a new franchise.

If the budget is going to be slashed, the show will feel very different. But, if there are going to be major budgetary changes, I actually would want the transition to the CW where it might grab a bigger or steadier audience. Also, the numbers Supergirl generated on CBS which are said to be lackluster would be tremendous for the CW so all the talk of cancellation might evaporate.

That said, if we don't see Supergirl flying, if we don't see super-feats, if we don't get that epic nature, I worry the show's quality will suffer.

I just don't know.
I feel like I am working through my stages of grief when it comes to Season 2. First I was in denial about any problems. Then I was angry that it hadn't been renewed already. Now I am bargaining.

Head to the CW?
Stay on CBS with less cash?
Get canceled and end on a high note?

What do you all think?


Firebird said...

Coming from someone who's a resident of "National City" this whole season has felt like a topsy turvy roller coaster ride when it came to all the news and rumors that went on behind the scenes. Believe me, it hasn't been easy trying to stay quiet during all of this. As the old saying goes, "it ain't over till it's over".

As for the possible move to Vancouver. That's the one factor I too believe would change the whole dynamic of the show. Only time will tell if the move is for the better in terms of storytelling. Perhaps we'll get better character development since the lower budget would inevitably force the writers to focus more on character interactions rather then big budget spectacles. For me personally, this move would feel like the equivalent of losing the home team though.

I only hope that with all the chatter about more crossovers between Arrow, Flash, or even Legends of Tommorow with this possible move, that viewers don't use that as their only reason to tune in as Supergirl deserves so much more then that.

Martin Gray said...

Thanks for this piece, it's tough to keep everything straight. Yeah, staying on CBS would be great.

What I don't get is why Warners just don't drastically cut the license fee, surely it's a matter of someone pays them an amount, or they get nothing. And as you say, licensing.

Anonymous said...

As I've posted here Anj, I'm cautiously optimistic for the Best Case Scenario(TM) : renewal of S2, increase in
ep count, and TPTB seeing what a great character Supergirl is. But I'm also cautiously pessimistic for the
worst case scenario : cancellation of S2, and TPTB doing another COIE on the character and all the exposure,
merchandising and renewed montly title news of the last couple months.

Personally I'm taking the course of "waiting for the OFFICIAL announcement," whatever it may be. From the sounds
of things, we should find out in two weeks the final fate of the TV series.

Again, Best To All Supergirl Fans Everywhere! The last year has been a helluva ride, that's for sure!


SG Fan said...

I'm just so annoyed, depressed, and frustrated by all this at the same time.

Supergirl was! I made sure to tune into every episode Live, I downloaded a season pass from iTunes. As I understood between downloads and live viewings the show did well enough. Heck I've seen it advertised in a couple streaming/on demand commercials for different companies.

YET the Curse of the Supergirl Fan seems to strike again! It's like we can't be allowed to enjoy our favorite character without this fear we won't see her again. And I hate that!

I guess out of all the options that aren't a CBS renewal, moving to the CW is okay. I mean I love Flash and it doesn't seem like the skimp on him using his powers. I more worry they wouldn't be able to keep everyone like David Herrwood or Calista Flockheart. I mean the show wouldn't be the same without Cat. Maybe CBS moving the production where they can save some money combined with a few less episodes will work too.

Like Anj said I just don't know what to feel right now other than a sense of unease and I hate that.

UGHHHHHH come CBS stop being the old peoples' f-ing network with your five different versions of NCIS and give us our damn show!

Anj said...

Thanks so much for the comments and for echoing my feelings.

I guess we are all just playing the waiting game.

Anonymous said...

One of the rumors out there is that Calista Flockhart has a clause in her contract that allows her to depart the show if the production moves out of Los Angeles. It would seem IF the show does change locations then some casting changes would inevitably follow....90% of the current palaver seems to focus on the exact "circumstances of renewal", and not "whether or not the show is renewed".
That having been said despite crossover potential and a lower bar for success I'd regard losing Calista, Chyler and allegedly Harewood as serious dramatic setbacks for the show, regardless of my transitory criticism of each character. I wonder if they would recast all these roles or completely revamp the show's setting IF they move to Vancouver.
There is an old saying in My Family "Time Enough to Give Up Hope At the Wake"....and we aren't at the Wake for Supergirl the TV Show.

Martin Gray said...

Of the three actors mentioned by JF, I'd be OK with Harewood going - he's a great actor and a lovely chap, but I don't like J'onn being on the show, and he'd be the easiest to lose, logically.

Anonymous said...

I can also confirm having read similar rumours that have been brought up in the comments regarding Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh and Harewood departing from the show if production moves out of Los Angeles. They're making the rounds on CBR and some other forums too. That would truly be a death knell for the show if some of the major supporting cast go. Not the biggest fan of the show myself even if it is a million times better than the Snyderverse take on the Super Family and the concept of heroism. But I would fear for the show if things don't stay the way they were for Season 1. If the budget is slashed and corners cut due to fears of low views, the show won't even appeal to its previous fans. Even if it wasn't perfect, the show had legitimate attempts to present multiple fictional alien species, capturing the powers better than Smallville (even if the slow motion speed effect was cool on SMVLLE) and doing less to achieve more would be a bad strategy. Perhaps it might be better just to let Supergirl pass away slowly and silently so it doesn't become the embarrassment that Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow are.


KET said...

Lots of mindless speculation about the actors, considering that the real factor facing the show is mostly that it lost its California tax credits. Harewood is presently in South Africa filming Madiba with Laurence Fishburne; seems like he's always the first one to mobilize to another location if there's a job waiting for him. As for Leigh and Flockhart, there are likely family matters that could be at stake here (Facinelli as well, since he has two daughters, IIRC). However, all of these things are merely baseless rumors, since what's really disrupting a renewal is the show's loss of its California tax credits, the results of which has burst the budget. Everything else being discussed is just a lot of smoke and mirrors.

A production move to Vancouver might provide some tax break incentives, or it might not be enough, as the BC government just lowered its film tax subsidies earlier this week from 33 to 28%. This change takes place in October, and will likely affect every film and TV show already in production in Vancouver. This is the real question of whether the Supergirl show stays in LA or heads north to save's simply a matter of crunching the budget numbers to find out what will work for a second season (which will likely start late again, since there's no contracts on the table being signed yet until CBS and WB-TV reach an agreement).

Meanwhile, Melissa is still busy working on Patriots Day in the Boston area.


Uncle Screensaver said...

It's depressing. Supergirl would say for us to have hope, but with Sgirl's track record with being associated with failure, it's tough not to be mourning already. The show performed well overall, but the fact that the final episode had a drop of like 50% with the massive budget for a TV show in episodes and the major marketing of it it's not easy. Especially when you have shows like "Blindspot" and "Lucifer" almost immediately getting a second season and we have yet to read - the execs have yet to hear anything solid regarding "Supergirl."

I think they could still work with the budget but just have a limited number of episodes. A smaller episode count isn't a bad thing when you look at British dramas and American ones, such as "Wayward Pines," "Penny Dreadful," and "Fargo." "Flash" this season has become a disappointment as has "Arrow," at least in these last episodes, and I think that if they had had a lower episode count, and still the successes they have, "Supergirl" wouldn't be so pressured to live up to that standard.

In any case, major changes to the show might cause DC to change plans on the ongoing comic book, and the character herself, so I think that's what makes me the most concerned.

Anonymous said...

If SG stayed on CBS, it might not get a 3rd season if ratings continue to decline. At least on CW, there's a higher chance of a 5-6 season run. As long as the stories are good, I dom't mind if the SFX are Smallville/Flash level.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Season 1 of "Supergirl," and sincerely hope that it is renewed in any form! IMHO, if the show moved to The CW I think it could be a blessing in disguise, cutting the budget and dumping some of the (ultimately) unnecessary CGI and focusing on character development, like "The Flash." If it gave us more crossovers, that's an added bonus! As 'Anonymous' mentioned, it's far more likely to have legs in The CW stable than it would on CBS, where it would, in all likelihood, continue under a constant cloud of network meddling and cancellation fears!

Comicbookrehab said...

If the show moves to the CW, the reboot could be explained away as "New episodes set in the Arrowverse" and we would be introduced to a new status quo. The only thing I could compare this to would be the number of times "Adventures of Superboy" changed format to suit it's budget.

Anonymous said...

Supergirl is unique in that it has a "lifeboat" in the form of the I am reasonably sure the show will be back this fall save unforgivable bungling on all sides.
I even suspect it'll be CBS when all is said and done....but thats merely a pious hope, I'm not convinced budget and Vancouver aside that the CW isn't a "Safer" Place for Supergirl.
Renewal or Cancellation I stake my claim now, this is THE BEST multimedia incarnation of Supergirl to date if a place can't be found for it thats an indictment of the corruption and degradation of Hollywood and no reflection on that show.


Wondering said...

While budget cuts would hurt the show, there is certainly a precedence for this kind of thing. Batman from the 60s and wonder woman from the 70s both suffered terrible budget cuts with shows being forced to bend over backwards. Though the moment that happened the shows evaporated after a single season.

A move to CW would be an alternative and it could certainly get the ratings. But then we would be saying goodbye to all the flying. And to outdoors scenes, and to scenes set in the daylight, and we would see all the same buildings from the Arrow and Flash shows....
And thats not even going into the confusing aspects of the multiverse and audience confusion over the show being in a different universe but on the same channel unlike Legends, Arrow and Flash which are all in one universe.

And its not really realistic to expect Warner to shave off licensing fees either. TV shows like this don't actually produce very much in the way of merchandise, and the bulk of the money their making from this show is out of the licensing fees.

That said, it would be REALLY smart of DC if they were to negotiate a decrease in the fees, in exchange for some solid commercial time. If they were to attempt commercials tie-ing into the Supergirl comic books, that would be a really good way to advertise for it and build up readers.
The Supergirl comic averaged what? 30,000 readers? The Supergirl tv show does at lowest, six million viewers. If even a tenth of those viewers picked up the Supergirl Comic, it would be the highest selling comic book in history. (As the current highest selling comic book did 600,000 purchases.)

Admittedly my suggestion probably wont happen, but it would be nice.

Martin Gray said...

Is there any reason the show would, if it went to the CW, actually have to switch Earths? It's not like Supergirl is on a world named Earth CBS.

Wondering said...

No it wouldn't but my point is more the fact that viewers will be confused that three shows on this network are all on the same Earth, but Supergirl is its own little thing.

Anonymous said...

If the show moves to CW, I wonder if they'l carry on as usual or if they'll have to do a minor reboot. If Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh and David Harewood decide leave the show, some characters like Cat Grant have become such important characters that perhaps recasting them rather than writing them out would be a better option. If they reboot with Season Two taking place on the same Earth as Flash/Arrow/Legends, they could say that the exact same events of season one occurred, with very minor differences (such as different actors playing Cat, Alex and J'onn).

Anj said...

If a move to the CW does happen and if the actors mentioned (Flockhart, Leigh, Harewood) don't go along, I would recommend a reboot.

I would move Kara to a new city with a new supporting cast. You could say her place in CatCo has changed necessitating a move to a different city. You could almost eliminate the DEO completely and just have her being a hero.

We should hear soon ...

Martin Gray said...

They could give Kara a Bold New Direction every year - could you GET more Supergirl?

Anj said...

So true Mart!!!

Make her a guidance counselor at a school!

Or a grad student in journalism/criminal psychology!

Anonymous said...

No NO No...."Inquiring Cameragirl for a local TV station who yearns to study acting!!!"

I miss "Supergirl Starring in Adventure Comics"....I just do.

The gag is, Melissa Benoist could sell all of this like water in a drought...
Not sure though, what a soft reboot of the series based on a network switch would entail....depends on who stays in the cast and who they can afford to keep given a notional lower budget.