CW boss Mark Pedowitz is well aware that the network’s unprecedented cancellation spree — which included Arrowverse series Batwoman (after three seasons) and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (after seven seasons) — came as “a bit of a shock.” (Yeah, that’s an understatement.)
The younger-skewing network — which on Thursday confirmed that Riverdale would end after a proper seventh and final season — axed an additional seven series on May 12, including Charmed, Dynasty, 4400, In the Dark, Legacies, Naomi and Roswell, New Mexico.
“I realize the pattern is different from what we’ve done in years past, so I can see why this came as a bit of shock to you and to the fans,” Pedowitz told reporters during an executive call Thursday. “Look, none of these were easy decisions. We had long conversations with our studios and parent companies, and everyone recognized that this was a time of transition for The CW. So unfortunately, some difficult financial and strategic decisions needed to be made at every level.
“Despite some of the rumors out there, I want to be very clear: Content was never a factor in deciding not to move forward with a show,” Pedowitz maintained. “We are very proud of the stories we told, the producers and writers who created those shows, and all the talent that we’re fortunate to have had on this network…. I have always been a bastion of giving a long-running series a proper ending, so our creatives can finish telling the story on their own terms, and the fans who have invested all of this time are hopefully satisfied. We also tried to do that this year.”
Pedowitz went on to explain that The CW went into this year with “a general idea” of “what shows could be bubble shows.” Amid the network’s rumored sale, and thus its uncertain future, “We did not know 100 percent what was going to happen, so we encouraged all of those producers to treat their finales as if they could be series finales,” he said. “We wanted to do the right thing by the series and by the fans. Ultimately, the producers are stewards of their own creative visions; they are the storytellers. We, at The CW, always strive to be collaborative and provide guidance and direction. Unfortunately, sometimes there are fans that lose out by these decisions, and that, I emphasize, is never anyone’s intention.”
Of the network’s cancelled series, Pedowitz reaffirmed Legacies creator Julie Plec’s previous promise that the Vampire Diaries/Originals offshoot would have “a perfectly proper series finale.”
Are you still mourning The CW’s many cancellations? Hit the comments with your reactions to the network head’s statement.