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One of the motivations behind TV crossovers is bringing two different series’ audiences to one programming block, and while this week’s two-night mash-up between Arrow and The Flash didn’t do exactly that, it was a still huge success for The CW. How good? Last night’s Arrow brought in the second-highest audience that the superhero drama has ever had. Obviously everyone loves boomerang-infused danger.
Here’s how the numbers stacked up. Arrow’s “The Brave and the Bold” was watched by over 3.8 million people, according to a press release’s Live Plus Same Day Nielsen ratings. (It’s weird when the ratings segment name is almost longer than the episode title.) The only episode that was watched by more people was Arrow’s premiere in October 2012, when no one quite knew what to expect. That episode brought in over 4.1 million, though it’s quite likely that “The Brave and the Bold” will see better numbers coming up over the next few days as people catch up via DVR and streaming.
That’s well over a million more viewers than those who tuned in for the pre-Thanksgiving Week episode “Draw Back Your Bow.” (And this week saw an increase of 70% in men 18-49, which hit a series high.) Although Arrow isn’t in trouble at The CW or anything, its ratings haven’t topped three million live viewers since Episodes 8 and 9 of Season 2. And I’m sure it won’t shock you to find out that those were the two episodes when The Flash’s Barry Allen was first introduced into this universe. Now, I’m not saying that Arrow absolutely needs Barry’s light, jovial energy in order to keep mass audiences coming, but it’s an interesting point. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the next crossover episode is to see how well it does.
Over on The Flash Tuesday night, “Flash vs. Arrow” brought in even more people, and was also the second-highest rated episode of the series. (But since it’s only eight episodes in, that’s not as big of a deal I guess.) 4.3 million people tuned in to watch an emotionally-fraught Flash beating up Arrow in a back alley, second only to the premiere.
Additionally, Wednesday night was the highest rated evening of programming in over two years, as Arrow’s strong numbers were combined with a season-high episode for The 100. Will the dark drama take another dip for next week’s “The Climb,” or will it retain its big numbers? Pretty sure with all that shirtless Stephen Amell will do the trick.