The war between DC Comics and Marvel has, much like Afghanistan in the 1980s, become a proxy war involving The CW and Netflix.
In fact, the comic book companies have virtually taken over both platforms with a number of successful series in recent years. But some of the sparkle might be wearing off for one CW show.
Arrow had a terrible premiere night on The CW on Wednesday, with overnight ratings showing a 29 percent drop in viewers compared to last year. Even worse, when it came to the key advertising demographic of adults 18 to 49 – a key demo for CW – Arrow was actually down 36 percent.
That absolutely could be bad news for the Stephen Amell series that has become the cornerstone of DC programming at the network.
But then again, it seemed all the networks had a bad night across the board, according to The Wrap. Even the highest-rated show of the night, Fox’s Empire, dropped to 9.2 million viewers – a series low. Empire had to share viewers with reality television as Survivor proved it was still going strong even after more than 15 years, snatching 7.3 million viewers for CBS.
Arrow might also have dampened the series premiere of Frequency, the series from former Supernatural executive producer Jeremy Carver based on the 2000 movie, which settled for 1.4 million viewers. That was a fall of 26 percent from its lead-in.
Competition for Frequency included Criminal Minds on CBS (losing 11 percent of its lead-in), Law & Order: SVU on NBC, comedies on ABC, and the new series Lethal Weapon on Fox, which also is based on a movie.
Lethal Weapon lost only 18 percent of its Empire lead-in.
Yet the season is still young, so don’t write those eulogies quite yet. Arrow still has plenty of time to rebound – and it needs to, because it could become the new standard-bearer for the small network once Vampire Diaries ends its run this season.
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