CBS had high hopes for ‘Supergirl’ starring Melissa Benoist as the titular Girl of Steel. The show was one of the most highly anticipated of the 2015 fall season, but after debuting to strong ratings– about 13 million people tuned in for the premier– the numbers have dropped off almost by half as the season went on. A guest-appearance by Grant Gustin as ‘The Flash’ from sister network The CW gave the show a boost, but with ‘Supergirl”s $3 million per episode budget, the older-skewing CBS is on the bubble as to whether or not to renew it for a sophomore season, despite the story ending on a cliffhanger.
One last ditch effort to save the show may be to transfer it over to The CW, which is co-owned by CBS and Warner Brothers (who own DC Comics, the publisher of the ‘Supergirl’ comic) and attracts a younger demographic.
Reportedly CBS head Leslie Moonves and Warner Bros.’ TV head Peter Roth are negotiating to determine the fate of ‘Supergirl’ but CBS needs to announce their new fall lineup in two weeks. The network excels with cheaper and older-skewing procedurals like ‘NCIS’ and middle-of-the-road sitcoms like ‘The Big Bang Theory’. NOT coincidentally, both shows are #1 in their categories. A sci fi, FX-heavy show like ‘Supergirl’ is much more expensive to produce and hasn’t delivered ratings that come close to those others. While CBS is reportedly keen on bringing the show back, it may not make financial sense.
Regardless of ‘Supergirl”s fate, a smaller budget may factor in either way. CBS may keep the show, but will most likely have to slash the funding to justify it. And if it moved to The CW, the budget will have to be cut anyway, because The CW is a much smaller network and doesn’t have that kind of money to invest in its shows, which don’t garner the ratings of shows on CBS, ABC, NBC or FOX. But the demographic they do attract is young folks which are the most desirable to advertisers.
The CW already has ‘The Flash’, ‘Arrow’ and the rocky ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ with all three already renewed for new seasons in the fall. Could ‘Supergirl’ slide into the mix seamlessly? Or will that be one DC superhero show too many for one network?
Either way, CBS should make a decision within the next two weeks. Do you want more ‘Supergirl’? Which network is the better fit?