What’s The CW going to be giving us in Fall 2015-16

It’s the turn of the last of the main broadcast networks to show us what’s up its sleeves for the 2015-16 season – yes, here comes The CW! Now, if you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you’ll have noticed three things:

  1. The CW, which was traditionally a network intent only on serving teenage girls and young women the likes of Gossip Girl and vampire things, has slowly been trying to get boys to watch as well, with shows such as Supernatural*.
  2. It’s been doing big ratings with DC superhero shows.
  3. It still does the girl-thing really well*

So you shouldn’t be too surprised to see among The CW’s three new shows (yes, just three) a DC superhero show, a scary show, and a show for girls that’s also a bit for boys, too, and is pretty well done.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
A group of heroes and villains from The CW’s other big DC superhero shows, Arrow and The Flash, spin off and form their own group in order to save the world from the immortal Vandal Savage and his army. They know they have to because Rory from Doctor Who comes back from the future to tell them they have to.

Among the line-up are Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who have been playing brothers again over on The Flash, albeit villainous, very camp ones; Victor Garber (Alias, Legally Blonde, Deception, Eli Stone, Justice), who’s another Flash escapee, having played one half of Firestorm, although his other half (Robbie Amell) is noticeably missing here; and Brandon Routh – Superman in Superman Returns – has of course been doing sterling work as The Atom over on Arrow for the past season and actually now has his miniaturisation abilities.

More interestingly, Caity Lotz is back (yay!) as a Canary – the White one this time – despite having been killed off quite seriously at the start of Arrow’s third season and we have the completely new addition of Golden Age Hawk Girl (Ciara Renée). Arthur Darvill’s quite fun as ‘Rip Hunter’, and the villain is Vandal Savage, who’s a big name in both the comic books and the DC animated movies but so far hasn’t shown up in a live action piece.

Overall, it’s clear there’s been a marked progression over the years with the three series, from quite dark with aspects of fun in Arrow to cheesy fun that’s occasionally dark in The Flash to pretty much full on high comic book camp here. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Containment
Based on the Belgian TV series Cordon (coming to BBC4 soon), this sees a lethal virus break out in the US, resulting in a huge urban quarantine in Atlanta. Except – because it’s originally Belgian (cf Salamander) – there’s also a government conspiracy. Mostly, all a big soapy drama of not much excitement, in which everyone has to decide whether to do the right thing or not by their family, the law, little Timmy the cat, et al.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Following on from the success of the format-busting and decidedly meta Jane The Virgin, we have Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, in which 10 years after a girl is dumped by her boyfriend, she bumps into him in New York and, deciding she had the happiest time of her life with him, follows him as he moves to Los Angeles, hoping to rekindle their romance – while ignoring a far more obvious and more suitable guy right in front of her. Except her ex really just isn’t that into her and has a girlfriend anyway, but that’s not stopping her.

Coming from the director of 500 Days of Summer and with animated sequences, musical numbers and more, this is actually quite a funny, innovative-looking little piece that could go pretty much anywhere, so I’m certainly going to be giving it a try.

*Yes, I know that’s stereotypes – and I did watch Gossip Girl, myself – but if you look at the demographics, that’s what was happening on average.

  • Andy Butcher

    Oooh, nice Legends promo. Although still feel that resurrecting Sarah completely undermines the entire arc of Arrow's third season. All for having Caity Lotz back, because Caity Lotz, but would have preferred her to be playing a different character. Hell, even a clone of Sarah from the future (or something equally sillly) would be better than bringing her back to life now, imho.

    Containment doesn't look very promising. Not sure how they'll manage to maintain the CW's required level of preposterously attractive people when they're dying of a plague. Seems like a poor match for the channel, but I would love to be proved wrong.

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is either going to be very, very funny or make me want to curl up in a ball and whimper until it stops. No real idea which from the promo, will have to wait and see (absolutely love 500 Days of Summer, so am at least a teeny bit hopeful).

  • Re: Caity return. I think Arrow undermines itself all the time. To some extent, the appearance of Sara in the second season undermined the arc of the first season, which was all about everyone hating Oli for letting Sara die, heading off with her on the boat, etc. The whole Hong King arc this season undermines the idea he was stuck on an island for five years that was key to seasons one and two. And so on. Best to move on with these things.

    I think given the Lazarus Pit is there, it's at least a pre-existing McGuffin, rather than a rabbit out of hat, although I'd have been happier with a Flashpoint-esque Flash finale rewriting time to make it happen

  • Andy Butcher

    All fair points. 😉

    And there's still a good chance for the Flash finale to get all timey-wimey…

  • bob

    The CW makes up about half of what I watch… It does genre shows very well. However, I don't think spreading out the Arrow/DC verse does anyone any favours.

  • To be honest, I wish they had fewer crossovers. I don't mind them all existing in their own little bubbles, but the tones of them all aren't that compatible and you do get episodes of Arrow where everything would be fixed so easily if The Flash could just drop by.

  • JustStark

    you do get episodes of Arrow where everything would be fixed so easily if The Flash could just drop by.

    I'm guessing there are fewer episodes of The Flash where you sit going, 'You know what would have solved this plot right off? Archery.'

  • A couple but not many, no.

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