The CW’s 15th anniversary is just days away, meaning that our March Madness-style bracket tournament — which was launched to commemorate the milestone — is fast approaching its grand finale.
Indeed, it is time for the Final Four round, in which Arrow sets its sights on Supernatural‘s Winchester bros, and Smallville hopes to leap The Vampire Diaries in a single bound. Who will make it to the very final round?
Before we invite you to cast your latest votes, beneath the current bracket are a few words about why each of these Final Four competitors, alphabetically ordered, deserve to advance to the finals — if not also go on to win the whole shebang.
ARROW | Yes, it spawned the Arrowverse and (thus far) more than 30 total seasons of superheroic television, effectively rebranding The CW during its run. But Arrow also hit the bull’s-eye by delivering a more serious, grittier spin on what to date had been bright-n-shiny TV superhero tales. Its success not only brought The CW buzz, but opened the doors for a monsoon of superhero/comic adaptations elsewhere.
SMALLVILLE | Years after TV’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman wrapped its run and years before Superman would return to the big screen, this mild-mannered YA drama (which debuted on The WB) focused on the hero’s grounded, “no flights no tights” beginnings, while also nicely mining the comics’ rich history. In short, Smallville walked so that Oliver Queen & Co. could one day run.
SUPERNATURAL | As the longest-running CW show – 15 seasons (and maybe a prequel?)! — Supernatural could win this bracket based on just longevity. But you don’t stay on the air for a decade and a half without creativity, passion and a little bit of magic. Over its historic run, the series wowed with imaginative episodes (“The French Mistake,” “Scoobynatural,” to name a few) and brought fans to tears by way of the emotional bonds between Dean, Sam, Castiel et al.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES | Like fresh blood to an undead hottie, The Vampire Diaries was an addictive treat for much of the 2010s — and even today, as new viewers still find themselves drawn to Mystic Falls on Netflix. Regardless of whether you were Team #Delena or #Stelena, we can all agree that this angsty Kevin Williamson drama with a killer supernatural hook also played a key role in defining The CW’s identity as a network.
UPDATE: The below polls are officially closed, with Supernatural and Smallville advancing to the championship round. Click here to determine our tournament winner!