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Marvel and Netflix are currently on the cusp of releasing the highly anticipated super-team miniseries The Defenders, but DC's small screen universe on The CW has been mixing and matching its heroic groupings for years, with last year being the first showcasing all four of the current Arrow-verse shows. And though we may never know how Daredevil and Iron Fist truly compare as far as viewership totals go, The CW is much more transparent with such information.
As such, here is how Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl all stack up against each other when it comes to the key 18-49 adult demographic, that all-important number that can make or break a TV series' future. What's more, some of the stats provided here (via TVBytheNumbers) averaged the entire season out in Live+Same Day ratings, as well as both the delayed viewing metrics of Live+3 and Live+7, offering a clearer picture of each show's fandom at large. Perhaps an indication of how things will go this fall? We'll see.
3. Arrow (Tied)
Rounding out the lowest ratings tier is Arrow, The CW's O.G. hero series (in a post Smallville world). Season 5 replaced the magic-tinged focus of Damien Darhk with a drive to give the Emerald Archer a proper conclusion for the five-year flashback-friendly cycle explaining Oliver Queen's evolution into the Green Arrow. But that apparently wasn't enough to draw back the fans that had already started tuning out after Season 3's Ra's al Ghul antics, and Season 5 was the least-watched season yet, with 2.21 million viewers on average. I think many would agree that nowhere near enough people tuned in to see Prometheus' well-received havoc across Star City. (Perhaps the season's recent arrival on Netflix will boost things accordingly.)
Live+Same Day: 0.6 rating
3. Legends Of Tomorrow (Tied)
Legends of Tomorrow is in the same waters as Arrow for the ratings game. Making a nightly shift to follow in The Flash's Tuesday night footprints didn't exactly bring about waves of new viewers for its sophomore season, which brazenly upped the ante in embracing the inherent silliness of its heroes and villains time-traveling to bygone eras. The show's average viewership throughout Season 2 was around 2.57 million, slightly higher than Arrow's, which means its age demographic skews that much slightly higher/lower than its predecessor. That might not be surprising, though, since it's a show where an ass-kicking group of comic superheroes both history to the point where dinosaurs are running around the planet; it speaks to the inner 12-year-old in us all.
Live+Same Day: 0.6 rating
For its big move to The CW from its initial home at CBS, Supergirl flew just past Team Arrow and the Legends in the advertiser-friendly ratings, which was presumably a great discovery for any network execs who might've been worried about the show not successfully carrying over for whatever reason. Of course, even the proper introduction of Superman, the addition of Teri Hatcher and more Lynda Carter couldn't maintain an audience as large as it was on CBS -- where it averaged a 2.4 demo rating and 9.81 million viewers -- but with an average of 3.12 million or so tuning in on a weekly basis, Supergirl is still on a different planet compared to some other CW series. Season 3 will be the true test, for both Kara and the show itself.
Live+Same Day: 0.7 rating
1. The Flash
At the peak of the Arrow-verse is the timeline-bouncing and logic-thwarting drama The Flash. A series that never fails to get viewers chatting about the last-second reveals and Barry's bonkers decision-making, The Flash is easily the network's most popular show, with its live episodes earning a same-or-better demo rating than the delayed stats for everything else except Supergirl. And it also net an average of 3.5 million viewers for every Savitar-infused episode, which is definitely cheer-worthy for all involved. Without a speedster as a major villain, Season 4 will kick off by not immediately Flashpoint-ing the craziness of Season 3's finale, which will hopefully introduce enough of a refreshing jolt to keep the fanbase glued to their screens, waiting for that next easter egg to show up.
Live+Same Day: 1.1 rating
Live+7: 1.9 rating
Did those numbers come out to about how you saw things going down at The CW, or did you think Arrow was way more popular than that? For what it's worth, all four shows noted above outperformed everything else on The CW's programming roster, so they're all likely safe for years to come. Rally your friends to be sure and tune into Arrow Season 6, The Flash Season 4, Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 and Supergirl Season 3 when this fall arrives. Until then, check out all the shows hitting the small screen soon with our summer premiere schedule.