As the dust settles on Warner Bros. Discovery’s merger and the subsequent cost-cutting exercise that have seen the cancelation of Batgirl and other high-profile projects, the partially owned The CW has now taken over the reins as upheaval capital of the industry. As well as reports of numerous job losses at the network, which earlier this year scrapped several scripted shows such as Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Dynasty and Nancy Drew, Deadline reported that The CW has not commissioned any back orders for prequel shows Walker: Independence and The Winchesters, and there has been no decision made over whether either spin-off series will be returning for a second season.
According to the report, this is not limited to just these two shows, which respectively involve former Supernatural co-stars Jared Padalecki and Jenson Ackles, but the lack of back orders for the 13-episode seasons does not immediately mean that they will be soon joining the scripted series graveyard that has been filling up over the last few months.
The move comes following Nexstar’s purchase of a 75% share in The CW, and their desire to cut costs at the network by replacing much of its scripted content with unscripted and cheaper-to-produce shows. Following the cuts made back in the summer, which saw several Arrowverse shows not being renewed, the recent list of casualties includes The Flash, Riverdale and Stargirl, which will all be ending after their current seasons.
Will The Winchesters Get a Second Season?
Along with Walker: Independence, The Winchesters has gained good reviews and sparked some interest on its debut. Telling the story of Mary and John Winchester, many years before their sons Dean and Sam were born, The Winchesters debuted with a 100% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an initial 74% approval rate from audiences. In addition to this, it also locked in the title of the most-viewed premiere of the season.
While these numbers are hard to argue with, there is still no way of knowing exactly how The CW will move forward with the show. Similarly, Walker: Independence, posted high ratings, with a lower critical score but a higher 85% audience rating. While both shows have clearly found their audiences, whether that will be enough to see either show renewed for next season is something that no one currently seems to know, and it looks like a decision won’t be made immediately.
There are still several scripted shows currently in line for renewals at The CW, and since Nexstar purchased the network, they have committed to continuing to provide a home for Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount content, with both studios continuing to hold a 12.5% share in The CW. However, with Nexstar seemingly pushing for cheaper content for the network, the days of the Arrowverse and other large-budget shows may well be at an end.
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