Outside of some nods during the Golden Globes, CW made some waves on the Internet yesterday when they announced that they are renewing all eight of their fall shows. This includes of course Arrow and The Flash, as well as Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Jane the Virgin, The 100, and Reign.
The return of Arrow and The Flash don’t come as much of a surprise as both shows were great in terms of ratings for the network and featured big crossovers with each other. In general, CW’s (and in turn Warner Bros.’) golden tickets to comic book adaptation TV dominance are showing great promise in letting DC Comics stay a step ahead of their rival Marvel in the TV market. Marvel has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now Agent Carter in the mix, but neither of them have gained quite the critical acclaim that even the first year of The Flash has – although Agent Carter has done well for itself in its first episode.
For an in-depth rundown about this type of “mid-reputable” show, as writer Noel Murray coined them, I point you to his fascinating article about shows similar to Arrow and The Flash, which can be found over on The AV Club.
Understand that “mid-reputable” isn’t the same thing as “middlebrow.” Middlebrow is a term often attached to mainstream films that are serious, but not arty. Most prestige television shows are more akin to middlebrow movies, in that most are fairly easy to grasp. Middlebrow is often used by critics as a pejorative—although it really shouldn’t be.
Essentially, there is a rise in TV shows that aren’t quite high-brow, high art like some might consider shows such as Breaking Bad, but they aren’t just churned out garbage either. There is a delicate formula to balance between being accessible and well-produced that the CW seems to have perfected with its longer running series Supernatural that has carried over to this new wave of DC shows.
In addition to the laundry list of shows being renewed for new fall seasons, another DC property, Vixen, is getting its own animated series coming to CW Seed. The show is being produced by Arrow’s own Marc Guggenheim and will most likely debut in the fall on the CW offshoot channel.