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Greg Berlanti, Arrowverse & Riverdale Veteran, Reacts to CW's Changes

Greg Berlanti, Arrowverse & Riverdale Veteran, Reacts to CW’s Changes

The CW has undergone significant changes in recent years regarding its programming. Once known as the home of numerous original series such as the Arrowverse, which included DC-inspired television series like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, the network has seen a shift since its acquisition by Nexstar in 2022. Now, more of the content is either licensed or co-produced. Currently, only three original series remain: Superman & Lois, All American: Homecoming, and All American. Out of these, only All American will return for the 2025 television season. Greg Berlanti, the producer behind the Arrowverse and Riverdale, recently shared his thoughts on these changes.

“We have a few that are about to come on for their last seasons. We have All American, which was picked up for an additional season that we’ll start shooting again this summer. And then we have two on the NBC fall schedule, one called Brilliant Minds which hasn’t premiered yet, and one Found which premiered last year at the end of the year,” Berlanti told Deadline. “It was obvious from a few years ago that CW would do less programming so we come in and figure out what stories we want to tell. The joy of being at Warner Bros. is we can make shows everywhere.”

Despite adapting to the evolving content strategy at The CW, Berlanti is continuing to create shows for other networks. However, not everyone is keen on the network’s new direction. Jared Padalecki, known for his roles in Walker and Supernatural, recently criticized The CW’s shift towards what he termed “easy cheap content.”

“I talked with the head of CBS and the head of Nexstar/CW, I talked with the other [executive producers] on Walker and I think it was a multivariate kind of issue,” Padalecki said when asked about Walker’s cancellation earlier this year. “My understanding is — and again, this is just what I’m told — that Nexstar is going in a different direction with The CW. I mean, they have an hour of Trivial Pursuit and an hour of Scrabble coming up. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just download the app or grab a board game and play with your friends, but they’re clearly just — what’s that great quote? It’s like, ‘if somebody tells you who they are, ask questions. If somebody shows you who they are, believe them.'”

He continued, “I feel like The CW that I was a part of last year is not The CW that I was a part of under [former chairman and CEO] Mark Pedowitz for that entire almost 20-year stretch. They’re just changing the network around, where it’s not really going to be a TV network as much as it’s going to be, ‘Here’s something fun for an hour that you’ll never watch again, but hopefully you watch it. And it’s cheap!’ And I hate to say that, but I’m just being honest. I mean f-ck it. They can’t fire me again. I’m just being brutally honest.”

Padalecki’s candid remarks underline the sentiment that Nexstar is focused on inexpensive, easy-to-produce content to fill airtime. This strategy represents a stark departure from the network’s previous approach under Pedowitz, which emphasized long-running, narrative-driven series. These shifts at The CW reflect broader trends in the television industry, where economic pressures and changing viewer habits are driving networks to reassess their content strategies.

The changing landscape of The CW echoes broader industry trends, suggesting that networks are increasingly prioritizing cost-effective, easily consumable content over more ambitious, serialized storytelling. As the network moves forward under Nexstar’s leadership, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact its long-term viewership and brand identity. For now, both industry insiders like Berlanti and former network stars like Padalecki offer contrasting viewpoints on the future of The CW.

Source: ComicBook, Deadline