CBS announced today that their new series Supergirl will get seven additional episodes giving it (close enough to) a full season order. The announcement does not come as a huge surprise because the show bowed to some of the highest ratings seen be a scripted series this season. Its number have cooled considerably since its debut and it did drop to a series low last Friday (likely because of the holiday week, though), but it is still performing well enough compared to the network’s other shows. And I’m guessing the plan was always give it a full season unless it stumbled out of the gate (which it didn’t). The fact that it is only getting twenty total episodes for its first season instead of the usual twenty two likely has to do with costs as this is certainly an expensive series to produce. It’s also possible that the recent ratings drop off could have factored into that as well, but probably not too much. And they may have been up against a deadline to make a decision in time to get the additional episodes completed in time to get them on the air. All that said, I do believe that CBS wants this one to be performing better than just average during its first year in order to get a renewal. As costly as this show certainly is, I’m guessing that if it is not one of the better rated shows on the network by season end, then it could find itself on the bubble. And I consider it no coincidence that they announced last week that a young Superman would make an appearance on the show later in the year as that will likely bring a ratings boost. And there are also rumors of The CW’s Flash crossing over later in the season. [Update: Flash/Supergirl producer Greg Berlanti has dismissed this rumor.] That makes me wonder if they aren’t keeping open the possibility of sending Supergirl over to the fifth place network if it can’t keep its numbers up on CBS, though I think it would be cost prohibitive. (I’m also hearing rumors of Constantine showing up on The CW’s team up series Legends of Tomorrow, but I am waiting to see some official sources cited). In any case, we know now that Supergirl will fly through twenty full episodes and possibly get introduced to the Arrow-verse as well. Where it goes beyond that will depend on its ratings altitude at season end.
Also announced today, Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels will be getting a third season. That comes as no surprise and I have been predicting that since before its second season began. The animated Star Wars spin-off may not be drawing huge ratings in the 18-49 demographic, but it does well enough with its younger target audience and I’m sure the merchandising associated with it is quite profitable. Whether this one generates as many episodes as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, though, remains to be seen. That one typically had twenty two episodes per season vs. thirteen for Rebels and George Lucas envisioned a minimum of hundred episode for Clone Wars (it topped out at 121 and never fully completed its story arc). Animated shows don’t typically run that long these days and Disney may have an endpoint in site for Rebels of four or five thirteen episode seasons. But if they do wrap it up, rest assured that they will have another animated Star Wars entry in the pipeline ready to take up the mantle (and keeping that merchandise in stores). But in the mean time, we know it is getting a third season and a fourth is a good bet as well.
Note that with the ratings delay due to last week’s holidays, the usual ratings round up post will not hit until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest and more likely sometime on Wednesday morning. In the mean time, keep an eye on the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for the latest ratings news as well as any breaking announcements.