Does The Flash Have A Ratings Problem?

The Flash was a huge ratings winner for its first two seasons on The CW. Barry Allen was an upbeat superhero with an infectious grin whose adventures rarely ended in the same gloom and doom as we've come to expect over on Arrow. Unfortunately, some of the novelty of Barry Allen could be wearing off. The numbers for Season 3 so far may indicate that the show is having a problem keeping its audience. The latest episode took The Flash down to a series low in both the 18-49 rating and overall viewership.

Season 3 got off to a rough start when the premiere drew a 1.2 rating in the essential 18 - 49 demographic and only 3.1 million viewers overall. Both measurements were significantly lower than the premieres of Season 1 and Season 2. Still, there was a possibility that the low Season 3 premiere numbers were a fluke. Plenty of variables could have accounted for the ratings drop. The big question was of how the show would perform in its second week of Season 3.

That question got an unfortunate answer. Episode 2 drew a mere 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic and 2.75 million viewers, according to TV By The Numbers. Considering the show was in the middle of its two-part Flashpoint story and the previous episode had ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, the big drop for the second episode does not bode well for The Flash Season 3.

Apparently, Flashpoint and Doctor Alchemy were not enough to entice everybody to return for the next episode. Judging by reactions on social media, Flashpoint and Barry's reckless meddling in the timeline has been more frustrating than fun for some. A number of Arrow fans certainly seemed miffed that Barry's time travel shenanigans were affecting more than just his own show. The Scarlet Speedster may not have as much appeal as he did in seasons past, and that's a big problem in a show called The Flash.

Of course, even the low numbers for The Flash's second Season 3 episode were far higher than the numbers won by Arrow in its Season 5 premiere. Arrow only attracted 1.9 million viewers and drew a 0.7 rating in the 18 - 49 demographic. The ratings for the CW debut of Supergirl beat the latest episode of The Flash with a 1.1 rating and 3.3 million viewers, although it should be noted that The Flash premiere beat the Supergirl premiere. We'll have to wait and see if Supergirl experiences a similar drop for its second episode. If Legends of Tomorrow debuts to lower ratings on Thursday, we may be able to call the slump a trend for the returning CW superhero series rather than a problem unique to The Flash.

Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see what's next for Barry Allen in the wake of Flashpoint on The Flash. The ratings are still great by CW standards, so we shouldn't worry too much just yet. Check out our fall TV schedule to see when the other superhero series air on weekday nights.

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).