Why CBS Dropped Supergirl, According To One Exec

Comic-based shows are all the rage right now. CBS premiered its first superhero series last fall with Supergirl, but Kara Danvers and Co. are moving to The CW for their next set of adventures. Supergirl did reasonably well on CBS, and many fans were expecting that the show would get a second season on CBS or none at all. According to one CBS exec, the decision to move Supergirl to The CW was had everything to do with numbers and nothing to do with the quality of the content. Here's what CBS entertainment president Glenn Gellar had to say about Supergirl's big move:

[It] actually worked very well, but at the end of the day, we really looked at the situation and said, 'How can we [and The CW] both win from this? We co-own The CW, so this was an opportunity for both CBS and Warner Bros. to really benefit from the success of the show.

Glenn Gellar revealed the motivation for CBS passing Supergirl to The CW in a panel at the TCA press tour (via TVLine), and it explains a lot about why CBS would give up its only comic property. Supergirl averaged more than 10 million weekly viewers (after delayed viewing and On Demand were tallied) and gave the network a superhero series in an era in which superhero franchises are dominating big screen box offices. Even if the ratings weren't particularly remarkable for CBS standards, Supergirl was the network's foot in the door to DC Comics. The fact that CBS dropped Supergirl for The CW's sake, rather than because it fell short, makes sense.

The CW would certainly benefit from even a fraction of Supergirl's CBS numbers. The Flash is currently The CW's highest-rated program, and its milestone was 3.67 million viewers. We shouldn't count on Supergirl necessarily achieving the same numbers on The CW as it did on CBS, but it could bring a boost in CW viewership all around and increase interest in the Arrow-verse. Supergirl will after all be joining a roster of comic series comprised of Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. The CW will now have primetime DC shows on four nights per week, and a gigantic crossover between the heroes is in the works. Supergirl could be much more important as a bolster to The CW than as a standalone on CBS.

Only time will tell how Supergirl does on The CW. Changes will definitely be in store for Kara on her new and much smaller network. We'll see less of the fabulous Cat Grant, but who knows? Maybe the new characters - including Superman himself - will help ease the pain of less Cat. Check out our breakdown of what we know so far about Season 2 for a look at what has been confirmed, and take a look at our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to catch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).