It’s the end of an era: Superman & Lois will take one final flight on The CW.
The Nexstar-backed broadcast network on Thursday announced that the upcoming fourth season of the DC Comics drama from exec producer Greg Berlanti will be its final run. The 10-episode final season starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch will air sometime in 2024.
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“Over the last three seasons, Superman & Lois redefined both the superhero genre and family drama as Tyler, Elizabeth and the entire cast effortlessly portrayed these classic characters with new layers of depth and complexity that had never before been explored in the Superman universe,” said Brad Schwartz, president of entertainment at The CW. “We are grateful for the years of hard work and graceful storytelling from the show’s writers, producers, actors and crew, as well as our terrific partners at Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions. As Superman embarks on his final flight, the team is leaving us with an absolutely epic 10-episode must-watch-every-minute farewell to one of the most legendary CW families ever.”
The decision to conclude the superhero drama comes as producers Warner Bros. TV is clearing the decks of its DC Comics shows that fall outside of the universe currently being constructed by James Gunn. Berlanti, who launched The CW back into the superhero space with the Arrow universe of shows, laid the foundation for what became a full slate of shows that helped to redefine The CW under former CEO Mark Pedowitz.
Superman & Lois is the last of the Berlanti-produced DC Comics roster that previously included Gotham Knights, Batwoman, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, The Flash, Black Lightning, Stargirl and made-for-streaming shows Titans, Doom Patrol and Constantine (which originated on the now-defunct DC Universe before migrating to Max).
Gunn and Peter Safran were installed last year as co-heads of DC Studios and are following the Marvel blueprint of unifying its film and TV titles into one shared universe, an opportunity that was off-limits to Berlanti during his tenure with DC. Gunn and Safran are readying a Superman movie that the former will direct with David Corenswet as Clark Kent and Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane. Other DC characters played by Xolo Maridueña (Blue Beetle), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller) and John Cena (Peacemaker) will continue in the shared universe. The DC studio’s previous regime will end in December with the feature Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
As for The CW, after Nexstar took on oversight of The CW from CBS Studios and Warner Bros. TV (hence the C and W in its name) more than a year ago, the company has effectively gutted its U.S.-produced scripted originals. Only four shows remain on the network’s slate that were developed under Pedowitz: Superman & Lois, All American and its Homecoming spinoff, as well as Walker. Premiere dates have not yet been determined given the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
“While we’re sad to say goodbye to Superman & Lois at the end of season four, we’re grateful for the time we’ve had with our amazing cast, crew, vfx teams, editors, musical geniuses, and writers. Since the day this show was first discussed, it was about family. And that’s what was created — on and off screen,” said executive producers and co-showrunners Todd Helbing and Brent Fletcher. “We’d like to thank our partners at Berlanti Productions, DC, WB and The CW for their endless support and enthusiasm during this journey … and give a very special thank you to all the fans for tuning in. We’re thrilled about what we have in store in our final season, and can’t wait for everyone to watch as Superman, Lois and all our heroes face off against the biggest threat in the show’s history — Lex Luthor.”
Superman & Lois, like the three other holdover CW shows, underwent budget cuts as Nexstar attempts to make the network profitable for the first time in its history. (It’s worth noting that the network was created by both studios as a way to monetize content internationally and via streaming deals, with both revenue streams having since been cut off as CBS and Warners focus on their in-house streamers and keep SVOD and international rights for themselves.) The series cut the number of writers currently employed and has reduced its budget by focusing more on family and less on action scenes that require expensive visual effects.
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