The CW will, again, unite the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow in fall 2017.
The CW have successfully turned the concept of gigantic crossover events of its Greg Berlanti-developed DC Comics series into an annual thing. Thus, with time quickly creeping up for another sublime small screen superhero association that will, again, team the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, the network has unveiled the details for their 2017 crossover event.
While plot details of the 2017 crossover are still being kept a secret, we now know when to expect the television event.
Supergirl will kick off the crossover on Monday, November 27 at 8 p.m.
Arrow will then be passed the baton later that night (on a special, non-timeslot airing,) on Monday, November 27 at 9 p.m.
The Flash continues pushing the storyline in the Speed Force on Tuesday, November 28 at 8 p.m.
Legends of Tomorrow will host the culminating chapter that same night on Tuesday, November 28 at 9 p.m.
This schedule represents some changes from last year’s “Invasion!” crossover, which conformed to The CW’s 2016-2017 schedule, which had Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow on a four-night, Monday-Thursday configuration. This consolidation of the crossover into a two-night event may be designed to remedy the ratings disparities in last year’s event, which saw an odd drop-off in its climactic chapter in Legends of Tomorrow. Indeed, despite the 2016 crossover’s overall uptick, a good portion of the audience did not stick around for the conclusion; something The CW does not wish to repeat.
Yet, this year’s two-night approach is still very much a scheduling experiment. As The CW president Mark Pedowitz explains in a statement on the strategy:
“We felt that, in this particular case, we already had Flash and Legends paired. It would be better and tighter in terms of storytelling to make it like a two-night, two-hour miniseries. We thought this was a tight, concise way of doing it. Next year, we may go back to four nights.”
One notable detail about the 2017 crossover is that it will likely be the first true four-way crossover event. While last year’s “Invasion!” did span all four CW series, the storyline’s kickoff on Supergirl manifested simply as a teaser at the end of the episode; one that was recapped in the second part on The Flash, rendering the Supergirl portion as pointless. Additionally, while Black Lightning is set to debut in The CW’s cavalcade of DC Comics stars this season, it is unlikely that the electricity-wielding hero will be taking part in the 2017 crossover and that series will, for now, remain a separate superhero offshoot. However, it’s still early enough for plans to change.
With that, fans, especially of the comic-book-savvy variety, are left to speculate on what DC Comics-inspired storyline (if any,) the 2017 crossover could adapt. While speculation for last year’s crossover plot was wild, very few predicted that it would adapt Keith Giffen and Bill Mantlo’s obscure and forgotten 1988-1989 Invasion! DC comic book crossover. Will they go the obscure route again? Will it be something major, like the time-bending 1994 comic book event Zero Hour? Or, will Flash actor Grant Gustin’s recent comment about wanting to adapt 1985-1986’s monumental Crisis on Infinite Earths story come to fruition earlier than he hinted?
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