'Supergirl' will return for season 2, but not where you'd expect

The CBS superhero show has been renewed for a second season but will move to the CW, home to such programs as 'Arrow,' 'The Flash,' and 'Legends of Tomorrow.'

Darren Michaels/CBS Entertainment/AP
'Supergirl' stars Melissa Benoist.

Supergirl will be flying back to television, but you’ll have to look for her in a new place. 

The CBS superhero program “Supergirl” will be coming back for a second season, but Kara’s adventures will be appearing on the CW, not CBS.

The CW, which also airs superhero programs such as “The Flash” and “Arrow” and has found great success with them, is owned by network CBS and Warner Bros; the latter releases movies and TV shows about DC Comics characters, of which Supergirl is one. 

The Flash and Supergirl already know one another – the Flash appeared in a crossover episode of “Supergirl” earlier this year. “Flash” in particular has gotten very good ratings (it’s now in its second season) and the CW’s trio of superhero shows, “The Flash,” “Arrow,” and “Legends of Tomorrow” are all co-created by Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, among others. 

Many critics see “Supergirl” going to the CW as a natural move for the program. “Since 'Supergirl' was first announced in development at CBS, both fans and industry insiders have questioned whether the major network famous for its crime dramas was the right fit for the show,” Entertainment Weekly writers James Hibberd and Natalie Abrams noted. 

Meanwhile, David Betancourt of the Washington Post wrote, “[The decision] shouldn’t be looked upon like a demotion to the minors after a year in the broadcast ‘big leagues.’ If anything, a new season on the CW could be just what the show needs to soar highly creatively – and become more in touch with its characters’ comic-book roots.” Mr. Betancourt noted that CBS most likely needs ratings to be better than they are and that having Supergirl on the CW could bring about fun crossovers with her fellow heroes.

The DC superhero programs over at the CW have become a hallmark of the network’s lineup and the Hollywood Reporter recently recognized Mr. Berlanti’s contributions to the shows, naming him as their TV producer of the year.

How has Berlanti’s leadership affected these shows? Hollywood Reporter writer Lacey Rose noted that his superhero shows range from “dark but still has a fair amount of humor” to “downright goofy.”

“If you're going to do something like ‘The Flash,’ part of what made Barry Allen so great was that he was this guy in the middle of all these superheroes who couldn't believe that he was there, and he loved it,” Berlanti told the Hollywood Reporter.

"So inherent in this character was this heartbroken sadness and sacrifice, but at the same time this joy," he added. 

The producer told the Hollywood Reporter he works to update the diversity of the characters his shows are depicting.

“In ‘The Flash,’ Iris West was never black in the comic books, and for ‘Supergirl,’ James Olsen was never black in the comics,” he said. “So I wanted to contemporize these comics that I loved growing up and have them reflect the society that we live in now.” His shows added LGBT representation as well, he added, with gay and bisexual characters appearing on “Arrow.”

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