2022-23 The CW Renew/Cancel Wrap-Up: Final Thoughts on Superman & Lois, Gotham Knights, The Winchesters & More as Nexstar Moves in a New Direction

With last week's decisions on All American: Homecoming, Gotham Knights, and Superman & Lois, the CW has finally decided the fates of all of their produced scripted originals, over a month after decision would traditionally be finalized. It was a season of many broken traditions, particularly for The CW, which will see very few of their existing shows making returns next year. Keep reading for my final wrap-up of one of the most bizarre seasons of television any network has ever experienced.


Final Prediction Before Fate Announced

All American

Likely Renewal


Likely Renewal

All American: Homecoming

Leans Renewal

Superman & Lois

Leans Cancellation

Walker Independence

Leans Cancellation


Leans Cancellation

The Winchesters

Likely Cancellation

Gotham Knights

Likely Cancellation

Kung Fu

Likely Cancellation

The Flash

Final Season


Final Season

Predictions in bold = correct prediction

All American: The CW's #1 show in the all-important 18-49 demographic, this show was said to have received its very-early renewal as part of a contractual obligation when Nexstar purchased the network. That is, to say, this was the only true guarantee on this uncertain lineup. My likely renewal prediction for it was as certain as I was willing to get for a CW show this season, but it was always far and away the most likely renewal on the network. Given that it will be a sixth season show next season, on a network that has cleaned house in recent seasons, its future beyond that point is very murky.

All American: Homecoming: Though it had to wait over a month longer than usual to finally learn its fate, Homecoming was eventually granted a renewal. I had the show as "leans renewal," though I heavily doubted that prediction as time ticked on without any news. Its Netflix deal, and strong (by CW standards) ratings should have been enough for it to have been renewed a long time ago, but with Nexstar slashing costs as much as possible, its financials were a clear hurdle, especially as it was co-produced by Warner Bros, which itself has been slashing costs and canceling shows under the leadership of David Zaslav. It's only going to be in its third season next year, and clearly isn't any sort of priority for The CW, leaving its future up in the air. It's seemingly too early to wrap it up with advanced warning, so its fate will again rely on how many self-produced shows The CW wants to keep on its schedule going forward, and on whether they can make the financials work again.

Gotham Knights: While this show would have had a long life in the CW of years past, it was always out of place in the modern era of CW. Most of the network's superhero shows are gone by now, with The Flash and Stargirl ending their runs earlier this season. The show being such a misfit led to some pretty poor treatment by The CW, being the only new show shoved to midseason and being ragged out all the way until the end of June. While that wasn't a sign of doom for Superman & Lois (more on that down below), a new show in such a scenario was always going to have trouble making it. Ratings here fluctuated between solid and downright nightmarish, never really finding its own loyal audience. This show was, sadly, always doomed to be one-and-done.

Kung Fu: In a way, it's sort of a miracle this show lasted as long as it did, as it was a mediocre performer last season to begin with, with a seemingly minimal streaming presence. Despite the, it survived round one of the CW mass cancellation bloodbath, avoiding falling to a cancellation Waterloo alongside Charmed, Legacies, Dynasty and other shows that enjoyed similar ratings, but seemed to be more popular than it. Its final season averaged just a 0.07, never making much of an argument to be one of the few seasons to survive this season, and it ended this season as one of the network's likeliest cancellations.

Stargirl: This season's first show to fall victim to the CW axe, Stargirl was cut fast, having been canceled in early November ahead of its third season finale. It was the first sign of how deadly this season would prove to be for CW programs, though certainly not the last. This show had an interesting right, starting out on the ill-fated DC Universe streamer before moving to The CW in season two, after the network repeated its first season the day after its DCU releases. The network that seemed like a refuge for the show quickly proved to be just a short-term stay of execution, and the show was unable to run against the tides of cancellation. It was a correct prediction for me, though I wasn't as certain as it as I would've been had The CW not called it quits so early in the season.

Superman & Lois: My only miss this season was Superman & Lois, which clearly deserved a renewal but seemed too expensive to actually receive one. In the end, it received a delayed pickup for season four, which I very much anticipate to be its last. The season will only run for ten episodes, and saw the exits off of half of its cast. With that in mind, it makes sense that the renewal was so delayed, as it's clear just how much negotiating had to go on just to make a ten-episode renewal financially viable.

Walker: Also picked up for season four this season was Walker, the only show to be renewed in May before the Upfronts. Though the show's 18-49 ratings leave much to be desired, it brings in large viewership totals and is likely among the cheaper productions on the network, which is why I saw it as one of the likeliest pickups. A cancellation here would have been a surprise, which is the only show on The CW that I could say that about. It's also the show that I would envision has the best odds of surviving next season as well, though we've got plenty of time to go until those decisions will be made.

Walker Independence: While I wasn't certain of this show's cancellation, it was fully deserved, having averaged just 0.05 in the key 18-49 demo. It was, at the very least, a stable show, with seven of thirteen episodes hitting 0.05 (three hit a 0.06, two hit a 0.04, and one made it all thew way up to a 0.07). This is why I saw a path to renewal, as it would have been a relatively reliable show with a decent viewership base that could have allowed the CW to not think too much about its Thursday programming, allowing for a continued Walker-themed Thursday lineup. However, the weak 18-49 ratings, and likely weak streaming performance, made it just another cut this season.

The Winchesters: This show started well enough, but it flatlined along the way, thanks in part due to the numerous time slot moves it endured over only thirteen episodes. The CW never really seemed to know where they wanted to air this show, and now we know the true answer: nowhere! Ratings-wise, the axing is justified, as it was rating at just about half its premiere rating by the end of its short first season. It seems to be that a Supernatural franchise was never meant to be, as this one couldn't even come close to holding up to its parent series.

Closing thoughts: This season on The CW was practically unprecedented, but in the end, it was relatively easy to see where things were headed, as most of the networks underperforming flops got the chop. Next season will be a bigger question mark, as Nexstar continues to remake the network as a hub of imported, cheap programming from Canada and the UK. The few originals that they have left will seem out of place, and probably don't have much time left. The CW of the past is very nearly dead, and a new era is ahead of us. The CW Renew/Cancel will return next season, for what could prove to be its last hurrah.

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