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The CW has the smallest audience of the networks, but there have been a few hits in recent years that have helped to raise the channel's profile and mix up its lineup. The most successful show when it comes to viewership has been The Flash, which has drawn unprecedented numbers for The CW. Superpowered speedster Barry Allen has won the hearts of plenty, and while he hasn’t had too easy of a time so far in Season 2, he’s led The Flash to an impressive ratings milestone. For the first time, The Flash was first in its timeslot.
The Flash achieved a 1.4 rating in the all-important 18 – 49 demographic, which is an 8% rise from the ratings for last week’s midseason premiere. Per Deadline, if the 8% rise in the demographic and 3.67 million viewers who tuned in are any indication, the Scarlet Speedster is only picking up momentum in the second half of Season 2. While 3.69 million total viewers didn't manage to beat all of the networks in total viewers during the timeslot, The Flash did achieve a ratings milestone by winning the 18-49 demographic in the 8 p.m. timeslot.
Of course, it couldn’t have hurt that this particular episode of The Flash looked pretty exciting from the early promotion. Barry’s Season 1 supervillain--who was behind the murder of his mother and who was supposed to be erased from existence--raced back into the Flash timeline. The episode – appropriately titled “The Reverse-Flash Returns” – brought back the familiar man in the yellow suit who caused so much trouble for Team Flash last year.
The return of Reverse-Flash – this time, wearing his own face as Eobard Thawne rather than one stolen from Harrison Wells – was a bit complicated thanks to the time travel shenanigans and alternate world settings that have been occupying so much of the show in Season 2, but the explanation was enough to justify bringing back Reverse-Flash without cancelling out everything that happened at the end of Season 1. There was definitely some satisfaction in seeing Barry defeat him and lock him up in the pipeline with no hope of manipulating his way to freedom a la the previous incarnation of Reverse Flash.
It should be interesting to see if Barry’s showdown with Reverse-Flash was a ratings fluke or if The Flash will be able to maintain its impressive numbers. The ratings milestone almost certainly is attributable to the fact that The Flash’s major competition NCIS over on CBS was airing a repeat episode this week, but The Flash dominating its timeslot is definitely a major victory for the network as well as the show.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.