Arrow (TV Series)
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Arrow TV Series

Arrow
Arrow Intertitle.png
Genre
Based onCharacters
by DC Comics
Developed by
Starring
Composer(s)Blake Neely
Country of originUnited States
Original English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes170
Production
Executive
Production location(s)Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cinematography
Editor(s)
  • Kristin Windell
  • Andi Armaganian
  • Paul Karasik
  • Jessie Murray
  • Thomas Wallerstein
  • Carol Slutz
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time40-43 minutes
Production
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkThe CW
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseOctober 10, 2012 (2012-10-10) -
January 28, 2020 (2020-01-28)
Chronology
Related showsArrowverse
External links
Official website
Production website

Arrow is an American superhero television series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, a costumed crime-fighter created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, and is set in the Arrowverse with other related television series. The series premiered in the United States on The CW on October 10, 2012, and was primarily filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In January 2019, The CW renewed the series for a ten-episode eighth season, announcing in March that it would be the final season. The season premiered on October 15, 2019 and featured the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event; the series finale aired on January 28, 2020.

Arrow follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who claimed to have spent five years shipwrecked on Lian Yu, a mysterious island in the North China Sea, before returning home to Starling City (later renamed "Star City") to fight crime and corruption as a secret vigilante whose weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Throughout the series, Oliver is joined by others, among them former soldier John Diggle (David Ramsey), I.T. expert and skilled hacker Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), former assassin Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), aspiring vigilante Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), Oliver's sister Thea (Willa Holland), and attorney-turned-vigilante Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). During the first five seasons of the show, characters from Oliver's past appear in a separate story arc based on Oliver's flashbacks. Starting with season seven, a series of flash-forwards focus on Oliver's children William and Mia, exploring how present events would affect their future and Green Arrow's legacy.

The series takes a new look at the Green Arrow character, as well as other characters from the DC Comics universe. Although Oliver Queen / Green Arrow had been featured in the television series Smallville from 2006 to 2011, on The CW, the producers decided to start clean and find a new actor to portray the character. Arrow has received generally positive reviews from critics. The series has received several awards and multiple nominations.

In October 2014, a spin-off TV series titled The Flash premiered.[1] This was the first extension of the shared "Arrowverse" universe. The Flash was later followed in 2015 with Vixen and Supergirl, in 2016 with Legends of Tomorrow, in 2017 with Freedom Fighters: The Ray, and in 2019 with Batwoman, which are all part of the same shared universe.

Plot

The series follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, who claimed to have spent five years shipwrecked on a mysterious island, before returning home to Starling City.

In season one, Oliver returns to Starling City and is reunited with his family and friends, including Tommy Merlyn and Laurel Lance. By night, he acts as a vigilante, known as "The Hood",[2] hunting down those listed in his father's notebook, with assistance from John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. A conspiracy known as "The Undertaking", led by Malcolm Merlyn, threatens the city. The season also features flashbacks to Oliver's first year on the island, and his struggle to survive, alongside both new allies, including Slade Wilson, and foes.

In season two, following the death of Tommy Merlyn, Oliver vows to no longer kill. Operating under new alias "The Arrow"[3][4] this is tested when the city comes under attack from Slade. He also struggles to balance his vigilante activities alongside his role as CEO of Queen Consolidated. The season sees the return of Sara Lance, now also known as "The Canary", as well as the introduction of government agency A.R.G.U.S and its leader Amanda Waller. The flashbacks see Oliver face a new threat on Lian Yu, as well as revealing the origins of his feud with Slade.

In season three, following Sara's murder and the loss of his family's company to Ray Palmer, Oliver refuses to believe he can lead a normal life whilst continuing as The Arrow. He becomes embroiled in a conflict with Ra's al Ghul, in order to protect his sister Thea. Felicity becomes Vice-President of the now renamed Palmer Technologies and Laurel sets out to follow in Sara's footsteps, assuming the mantle of Black Canary. The season's flashbacks see Oliver escape Lian Yu, only to be forced to work with Waller in Hong Kong, attempting to stop the release of a lethal pathogen.

In season four, Oliver and Felicity are living in Ivy Town, but return to the renamed Star City, to fight terrorist group H.I.V.E., led by Damien Darhk. Oliver adopts the moniker "Green Arrow"[5] whilst also running for mayor. The discovery of the existence of his son William, and his decision to conceal the truth, leads to the breakup of his relationship with Felicity. Laurel is killed by Darhk, and Oliver discovers his plan to detonate nuclear weapons. The season's flashbacks see Oliver returned to Lian Yu by Waller, where he attempts to in infiltrate criminal group Shadowspire.

In season five, Oliver and Felicity recruit a new team of vigilantes to aid their mission, including former police detective Dinah Drake, as the new Black Canary. Oliver struggles to adjust to his break-up with Felicity, alongside trying to balance his new role as mayor with the threat posed by the deadly Prometheus. The season also sees the introduction of an antagonistic version of Laurel Lance, known as Black Siren, a doppelganger from Earth-2, who made her debut during the second season of The Flash. In the season's flashbacks, Oliver travels to Russia where he joins the Bratva, and is trained by Talia al Ghul, before returning to Lian Yu.

In season six Oliver attempts to balance his vigilantism alongside his role as mayor, whilst also being a father to William, following the death of the boy's mother. He rekindles his relationship with Felicity, with the pair marrying in the season's Arrowverse crossover. A new threat in the form of terrorist hacker Cayden James and his criminal gang emerges. When Ricardo Diaz kills James, and with team Arrow facing a bitter split, Oliver is forced to enlist the aid of the FBI, striking a deal that leads to his incarceration in federal prison.

In season seven, Felicity seeks new allies to help catch Diaz, and release Oliver from prison. Following his defeat of Diaz and prison release, Oliver and his team are deputized by the SCPD. His half-sister, Emiko Queen, emerges as the new Green Arrow; however, it is later revealed she is the leader of terrorist group the Ninth Circle. The season features flash-forwards to twenty years into the future, with the now adult William receiving a mysterious message. Joining with Oliver's former allies, he discovers his sister, Oliver and Felicity's daughter Mia, and works to save the city from another attack.

In the eighth and final season, the Monitor recruits Oliver to aid him in his mission to prevent the coming Crisis. William, Connor Hawke, and Mia mysteriously time travel from 2040 to the present-day Star City. During the Crisis, Oliver sacrifices himself and becomes the Spectre in order to stop the Anti-Monitor. Following their final battle, a new universe is born at the cost of Oliver's life. However, he is reunited with Felicity in a "paradise dimension",[6] in the final scene of the series.

Episodes

Arrow series overview
SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankAverage viewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
123October 10, 2012 (2012-10-10)May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15)1473.68[7]
223October 9, 2013 (2013-10-09)May 14, 2014 (2014-05-14)1813.28[8]
323October 8, 2014 (2014-10-08)May 13, 2015 (2015-05-13)1203.52[9]
423October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07)May 25, 2016 (2016-05-25)1452.90[10]
523October 5, 2016 (2016-10-05)May 24, 2017 (2017-05-24)1282.21[11]
623October 12, 2017 (2017-10-12)May 17, 2018 (2018-05-17)1191.76[12]
722October 15, 2018 (2018-10-15)May 13, 2019 (2019-05-13)1251.58[13]
810October 15, 2019 (2019-10-15)January 28, 2020 (2020-01-28)1721.52[14]

Cast and characters

  • Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen / Arrow / Green Arrow,[15][16] a billionaire playboy turned hooded vigilante-hero who is initially known as the "Hood", "Vigilante", and simply "Arrow". He is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. He survives on an isolated island for five years after the sinking of his father's yacht. Oliver returns to his home city with a mission--to right the wrongs of his father and save the city from the crime that has grown in his absence. Amell was one of the first actors to audition for the role, and Kreisberg felt that he "hit the target from the outset" and "everyone else just paled in comparison".[17] In season six's finale, Oliver confesses he's the Green Arrow and is sent to prison where he's known as "Inmate 4587". The actor, who was already in shape from Rent-a-Goalie, did physical fitness training at Tempest Freerunning Academy in Reseda, California. Amell received archery training as well, which included watching a video on how archery has been displayed inaccurately or poorly in television and film before learning the basics of shooting a bow.[17][18] For Amell, the appeal of portraying Queen was that he saw multiple roles tied to the same character: "There's Queen the casual playboy; Queen the wounded hero; Queen the brooding Hamlet; Queen the lover; Queen the man of action, and so on".[17] Amell also portrays Dark Arrow (Oliver's Earth-X doppelganger) in the sixth season's crossover "Crisis on Earth-X".[19]
  • Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance / Black Canary (seasons 1-4) and Laurel Lance / Black Siren / Black Canary (recurring season 5) (seasons 6-8[a]),[21] based on the DC Comics character of the same name,[22][23] an attorney turned vigilante and former girlfriend of Oliver Queen. Cassidy said she was drawn to the show by Berlanti, Nutter, Kreisberg, and Guggenheim, whom she called smart, creative, and edgy.[24] Cassidy sees her character as a "caregiver" to her family, which led her to become an attorney. She said, "I think that she's very, very driven, and she has a huge heart ... she's sensitive. She has really strong morals and values, and she expects everybody to live up to them the way that she does".[25] The Earth-1 version of the character dies near season four's end, but Cassidy returned as a series regular for season six as the Earth-2 version of the character who first appeared in the spin-off show The Flash.[26][27]
  • Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn (season 1; recurring seasons 7-8; guest seasons 2-3, 6), Oliver's best friend,[28] the son of Malcolm Merlyn and boyfriend to Laurel Lance. His character dies in season one's finale but Donnell reprises his role as hallucinations and flashbacks in subsequent seasons, and also portrayed his Earth-X doppelganger Prometheus and a posthumous impersonation by Human Target in season six. He is brought back to life by Oliver when he restored the multiverse in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event.
  • David Ramsey as John Diggle / Spartan[29] Oliver's partner, confidant, and bodyguard, who becomes part of their vigilante team.[30] Named after comic book writer Andy Diggle, and created specifically for the show, Diggle was designed to be Oliver's "equal in many respects". Guggenheim further explained that Diggle's mutual abilities are a means of setting him up early in the series as a confidant for Oliver's vigilante persona.[31]
  • Willa Holland as Thea Queen / Speedy (seasons 1-6; guest season 7; recurring season 8), Oliver's younger half-sister; based on a DC Comics character with similar traits.[32] The character is later revealed to be the daughter of Malcolm Merlyn. Holland exited the series in season six. Guggenheim stated that the door is always open for Holland to reprise her role as Thea.[33] After departing the series in the sixth season, Holland returned in a special guest star role during season seven.[34]
  • Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen (seasons 1-2; recurring season 8; guest season 5), Oliver and Thea's mother.[35] She is murdered at the end of season two,[36] but was brought back by Oliver after he restored the multiverse.
  • Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance (seasons 1-6; recurring season 8; guest season 7), Laurel and Sara Lance's father and Starling City police detective.[37] The character is partly based on the DC Comics character Larry Lance. The character dies in season six's finale,[38][34] but his death is averted after Oliver restored the multiverse.
  • Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak / Overwatch (seasons 2-7; recurring season 1; guest season 8).[39][40] Introduced as an IT technician at Queen Consolidated she later becomes part of Oliver's vigilante team, adopting the codename 'Overwatch'.[41] She is loosely based on the character of the same name, from the 1984 Fury of Firestorm comics run.[42] The character goes on to develop a romantic relationship with Oliver, with the pair marrying during the 'Crisis on Earth-X' crossover event. She becomes stepmother to Oliver's son, William and mother to their daughter Mia. During season four she works as CEO of Palmer Tech, and in season seven founds her own company, Smoak Technologies. Rickards was initially cast as a one-off guest star but was promoted to a series regular for season two, after becoming a recurring character throughout season one.[43] Describing the character's personality, Rickards stated "Felicity is really focused, and I think that focus can be overpowering. The whole bubbly/awkward thing is a product of the focus. I don't think they're parts on their own."[44] In March 2019, Rickards announced she would be leaving the series ahead of its final season.[45] She returned as a special guest star for the series finale.[46]
  • Colton Haynes as Roy Harper / Arsenal (seasons 2-3 and 7; recurring seasons 1 and 8; guest seasons 4 and 6), a character based on the DC Comics character of the same name.[47] He is also Thea Queen's romantic partner. Haynes was moved to series regular status at the beginning of season two, following his recurring appearance in season one.[48] Haynes left the series after season three when his contract ended, and later appears as a guest star in the fourth, sixth, and eighth seasons[49] (attributing his departure from to his mental and physical health at that time),[50] but returned as a regular for season seven.[51]
  • Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke (season 2; recurring seasons 1 and 6; guest seasons 3 and 5), a mercenary and international terrorist. He is based on the DC Comics character of the same name.[52] Bennett was initially cast as a recurring character for season one,[52] before receiving series regular status during season two.[53]
  • John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn / Dark Archer (seasons 3-4; recurring seasons 1-2; guest seasons 5-8),[54] a wealthy businessman who is the father of Tommy and Thea. He serves as Oliver's nemesis. He is based on the DC Comics character Merlyn. After being a recurring guest star for the first two seasons, Barrowman became a series regular in season three.[55] Barrowman reprised the role in season five during the crossover event "Invasion!" and later with his character's apparent death occurring off-screen, and again in season seven's crossover "Elseworlds" in a hallucination.[56]
  • Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt / Mister Terrific (seasons 5-7; recurring season 4; guest season 8), based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Holt is a technological savant, inventor and medal-winning Olympic decathlete, who works with Felicity at Palmer Technologies.[57] Kellum was upgraded to series regular in the fifth season.[58] Kellum exited the series during season seven,[59] but returned for the season finale.[60]
  • Josh Segarra as Adrian Chase / Prometheus (season 5; guest seasons 6 and 8), based on the DC Comics characters Adrian Chase and Prometheus. The new Star City district attorney, he is later revealed to be the arch-villain Prometheus in season five. He is considered as one of the best Arrow villains; Chase committed suicide at the end of season 5 as a last-ditch effort to prove a point to Oliver, that everything he touches, dies.[61][62]
  • Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog (seasons 6-8; recurring season 5), a dishonorably discharged Marine with an estranged daughter who joins Oliver's vigilante team. He is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Gonzalez was promoted to series regular from season six.[63]
  • Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake / Black Canary (seasons 6-8; recurring season 5), an undercover detective in Central City who later joins Oliver's team, taking on the Black Canary mantle. Harkavy was promoted to series regular from season six.[63]
  • Kirk Acevedo as Ricardo Diaz / Dragon (season 7; recurring season 6), a drug lord recently released from incarceration who terrorizes Star City, and targets Oliver. Acevedo was promoted to series regular for season seven.[64]
  • Sea Shimooka as Emiko Queen / Green Arrow (season 7; guest season 8), Oliver's paternal half-sister and a vigilante who takes over the Green Arrow mantle after Oliver's imprisonment.[65]
  • Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak / Blackstar / Mia Queen / Green Arrow (season 8; recurring season 7), Oliver and Felicity's daughter in the flash-forwards set in the 2040s. Promoted to series regular for season eight.[66][67]
  • Ben Lewis as Adult William Clayton (season 8; recurring season 7), Oliver and Samantha Clayton's son in the flash-forwards set in the 2040s. Promoted to series regular for season eight.[68]
  • Joseph David-Jones as Adult Connor Hawke (season 8; recurring season 7), Ben Turner's biological son, Diggle's adopted son and an agent of Knightwatch in the flash-forwards set in the 2040s. Promoted to series regular for season eight.[69][70] Jones previously appeared in Legends of Tomorrow as John Diggle Jr. / Connor Hawke.[71]
  • LaMonica Garrett as Mar Novu / The Monitor (season 8; guest season 7), a Multiversal being testing different Earths in the multiverse in preparation for an impending "crisis". He made his first appearance in the Arrowverse crossover Elseworlds.
    • Garrett also portrays the Anti-Monitor, the Monitor's polar opposite, an evil being dedicated to ending the multiverse.[72]

Production

Development

The idea for a Green Arrow TV series was first discussed during the sixth season of Smallville, with talk of spinning off Justin Hartley's portrayal of the character into his own series. Hartley however refused to entertain the idea, feeling it was his duty to respect what Smallville had accomplished in five seasons, and not "steal the spotlight" because there was "talk" of a spin-off after his two appearances. According to Hartley, "talking" was as far as the spin-off idea ever got.[73][74] A spin-off series in which Oliver led the Justice League made it into early development. The series was to have been helmed by Stephen S. DeKnight, who would later go on to be the showrunner for the first season of Marvel's Daredevil.[75]

In January 2012, following Smallvilles conclusion, The CW prepared a new series centered around the character Green Arrow. Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim were announced to be developing the series.[76] A week later, the series was ordered to pilot with David Nutter signed to direct. Nutter also directed the pilot for Smallville, the aforementioned series following Clark Kent on his journey to become Superman.[77] When developing the series, producer Marc Guggenheim expressed that the creative team wanted to "chart [their] own course, [their] own destiny", and avoid any direct connections to Smallville. Thus rather than continuing on with Hartley's incarnation of the character, they opted to cast a new actor in the role and establish the series as its own separate continuity.[78] At the end of the same month, Stephen Amell was cast in the titular role of Oliver Queen.[79]

The series does not initially feature super-powered heroes and villains. This decision was, in part, based on the executives' desire to take a realistic look at the characters in this universe.[80] Production on the pilot began in March 2012 in Vancouver,[81] which would continue to act as the primary filming location for the series.[17] The series' skyline shots use a combination of footage from Frankfurt, Germany, Center City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Maryland, Back Bay, Boston, and Tokyo, Japan.[82] The series was given a full season pick up on October 22, 2012.[83]

I think the idea is to--not all the time, and not with a set regularity--but I think it is critical to explore how he went from the person that he was when he left the island--which is extremely different: he's spoiled, he's entitled, he's a bit of a jerk--and he comes off it something very, very different. So we're going to explore how he gets there.[80]

- Stephen Amell on the use of flashback storytelling.

For the first five seasons Arrow features two storylines: one in the present, and the other, shown in flashback, during Oliver's time on the island five years before his rescue. These flashbacks are used to illustrate how Oliver transformed into the man that returns to Starling City.[80] Filming for the island flashbacks takes place in Vancouver's Whytecliff Park area, near beachfront homes. Much planning is required to keep the buildings out of camera frame.[84] Guggenheim said, "Stephen [Amell] has to wear a wig, and his look has to be changed ... there's a lot. It's actually incredibly ambitious to do these flashbacks every week, every single episode. Because like Andrew [Kreisberg] said, it's almost like it's its own show."[84] Regarding the flashbacks after the fifth season, Guggenheim and Mericle stated that the series would explore flashbacks from other character's perspectives, such as Curtis Holt, along with the possibility of flashforwards. Guggenheim said, "We still want to make [flashbacks] part of our storytelling, because we do like them. We like when those non-island flashbacks sort of illuminate what's going on in the present day. That'll always be a part of the show and a part of the show's storytelling structure. It just won't be telling a serialized story."[85]

The series develops relationship triangles: some love triangles, others designed to catch characters in "philosophical debates".[86] Kreisberg provides one such example: "Every week, Oliver will be facing a bad guy, but the truth is, his real nemesis is Detective Lance, who's trying to bring him into justice... His daughter is going to be caught in the middle, because she loves and respects her father, and she's always believed in what he believed, but at the same time, she's going to see this dark urban legend out there that's actually doing a lot of good; the kind of good that she wants to be doing in her role as a legal aid attorney."[86] Learning from previous experiences working in television, the producers worked early on identifying the major story arcs for the series, specifically the first season, including "mapping out" how to accomplish them. Taking inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Batman film series, the creative team decided to "put it all out there" and "not hold back" from episode to episode.[86]

The team strives to include various DC Comics characters and aspects of the DC universe. Guggenheim cited Big Belly Burger, a restaurant franchise introduced in the Superman comics, which appears in Arrow's third episode and onward. Kreisberg said, "There are so many characters in the DC Universe who haven't gotten their due in TV and film. We're so excited to reach into [the DC comics] roster and take some of these lesser-known characters that are beloved by fans, and do our spin on the characters."[84]

Ahead of the 100th episode, Guggenheim talked about the commitment to quality the series strives for, stating, "We never skimped on the writing, the production or in the post-process going, 'This is going to be one of those stinkers, we might as well cut our losses and move on.' We worked as hard as we possibly can on the scripts. If episodes have come in bad, we reshoot ... Even in season 5, we have no problems with doing reshoots, or pickups, or anything we need to do to make each episode as successful as it can possibly be." He also noted his biggest regret in the series was "I wish we had allowed the Oliver-Felicity storyline in season 4 to unfold at a more natural pace. We had set these tentpoles at the beginning of the season, and we were a bit too rigorous on how we hit them. That was a case where the planning overtook the storytelling. We didn't do things as naturally and as elegantly as we should have."[87]

On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a seventh season, which premiered on October 15, 2018.[88][89] On January 31, 2019, The CW renewed the series for an eighth season.[90] On March 6, 2019, it was announced that it season would be the final season of the series, with an abbreviated ten-episode run. Stephen Amell had approached Greg Berlanti towards the end of the sixth season about "mov[ing] on" following the expiration of his contract at the end of the seventh season. Amell had hoped that the show could go on without him, but Berlanti, Mark Guggenheim and Beth Schwartz decided to conclude the series with a shortened eighth season, which Amell agreed to.[91] The eighth season premiered on October 15, 2019.[92]

Arrow executive producers Berlanti, Guggenheim and Schwartz stated, "This was a difficult decision to come to, but like every hard decision we've made for the past seven years, it was with the best interests of 'Arrow' in mind. We're heartened by the fact that 'Arrow' has birthed an entire universe of shows that will continue on for many years to come. We're excited about crafting a conclusion that honors the show, its characters and its legacy and are grateful to all the writers, producers, actors, and -- more importantly -- the incredible crew that has sustained us and the show for over seven years."[93]

Design

The Arrow costume, worn by Stephen Amell, during the first season

The realistic approach to the series included the costume design for Oliver's vigilante persona, created by Colleen Atwood.[94] According to Amell, it was important for the suit to be functional, and the best way that he knew for that was if he could put the costume on by himself: "If I can put it on by myself, I think that people will buy it. And that was our idea. That's our world."[80]

In the second half of season two, Oliver replaces his "paint" mask with a domino mask, similar to one worn by the character in the comics. The change is addressed on-screen, with Kreisberg saying, "He doesn't just put on a mask. It's actually a big plot point in an episode, and there really is a story behind, not only the need for the mask but also who provides him with it."[95] On adding the mask now, Kreisberg stated that, "Conceptually, it was something we wanted to do because Oliver himself is evolving as the Arrow--from vigilante to hero, sort of from Arrow to Green Arrow--and we wanted to see that progression in his costume as well. As Oliver is embracing being a hero, being a hero means stepping out of the dark and being more of a symbol, so he has to take steps to conceal his identity more."[95] He added that it will "allow the Arrow to interact with people who don't know his identity in a much more organic way than having him constantly keep his head down."[95]

Costume designer Maya Mani put together roughly 50 mask options for the producers. Kreisberg said, "What's so wonderful about the design that Maya came up with is that it really is very simple, and it feels as if it's been part of his costume since the beginning ... once we finally had this mask and put it on Stephen [Amell], even Stephen was like, 'This is the right one.'"[95] In the episode "Three Ghosts", Oliver receives the mask from Barry Allen, who is able to create a mask that will help conceal his identity, while still being functional and allowing Oliver to see clearly.[96]

Music

To compose the score for Arrow, executive producer Greg Berlanti invited Blake Neely, with whom he had first worked on Everwood. Neely created a score that combined electronic and orchestral cues, varying between action themes and romantic ones.[97] Berlanti told Neely the series would be dark, and the music should be as well. After reading the pilot script, Neely went away to start composing on his own.[98] According to Neely, "Of course, Oliver has his main theme but also sub-themes for the many layers of his character. He and Laurel have a love theme. Mom had a theme for the Undertaking. The bad guys all have themes, which makes it sad for me when one of them dies. So I try not to become attached to bad guy themes. Diggle has a theme. Even the Island itself has a theme."[97] A soundtrack for season one was released on September 17, 2013 by WaterTower Music.[99][100] Two versions of a soundtrack for season two were released on September 16, 2014 by WaterTower Music and La La Land Records; the compact disc release includes two exclusive tracks not available on the digital release.[101][102] On December 18, 2014, WaterTower Music and La La Records released a selection of music from The Flash / Arrow crossover episodes, as well as two bonus tracks from their respective 2014 midseason finales.[103] The Season 3 soundtrack was released in December 2015, consisting of 2 discs for the first time (previous albums consisted of one CD).[104]

Release

Broadcast

Arrow premiered on The CW network from October 10, 2012, during the 2012-13 television season.[105][106] In Canada, the show is broadcast simultaneously on the same day as the United States.[107] The show premiered outside North America throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland,[108] on October 22, 2012.[109] In Australia, the series premiered on May 1, 2013,[110] on the Nine Network, before moving to Foxtel for Season 4.[111]

Home media

Each season release contains additional features, which include: making-of featurettes, episode commentaries, deleted scenes, gag reels, Comic-Con panels, and highlights from the Paley Fest. Starting with season four and continuing through each subsequent season, the boxsets included the crossover episodes from other connected series, as well as commentary on those episodes.

Reception

Critical response

Season one received favorable reviews, with a Metacritic score of 73 out of 100, based on reviews from 25 critics, making it the highest rated CW show in five years.[112][113] Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes calculated an approval rating of 85%, based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 7.47/10. The site's consensus reads: "The CW nails the target with Arrow, a comic book-inspired series that benefits from cinematic action sequences, strong plotting, and intriguing characters."[114] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times called the series an interesting setup with a quality look, describing Amell as "a poster boy (no doubt literally) for the Katniss Everdeen set."[115] Brian Lowry at Variety described the series as a "handsome but stiff surrogate for Batman that could benefit from sharper execution."[116] In reviewing the final episode of season one, Alasdair Wilkins of The A.V. Club gave the season as a whole a rating of B+, noting that the show "hasn't quite figured everything out yet, but it's had some standout episodes."[117]

Season two received acclaim from critics for the action sequences, storytelling, performances of the cast, drama, and the portrayal of Slade Wilson.[118] Rotten Tomatoes reported a 95% approval rating based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 8.15/10. The site's consensus reading: "The second season of Arrow boasts more fantastic action, as well as a widening cast of intriguing, richly written characters."[119]Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the first half of season two a rating of B+, saying, "Arrow possesses an intelligence that shines through its TV-budget production values, which aren't too shabby. The writing is adult and witty, the action is exciting, and Amell holds the center with well-cultivated ease."[120]The A.V. Clubs Carrie Raisler gave the first half of season two a rating of A-. She said, "Arrow [has] officially established itself as one of the most satisfying shows on television. The most satisfying thing of all is that it did so by respecting its characters ... [Arrow respects] the character's comic-book roots in its overarching plotlines, all while using the network-appropriate soap-opera stories to do the heavy character lifting."[121]

Despite receiving positive responses for the season three premiere,[122] the second half of season three was met with criticism. The flashback sequences were characterized as sporadic and "superfluous", with Ra's al Ghul described as a "shallow" and "underutilized" villain "absent of clear antagonism",[123] although Matt Nable was generally praised for his portrayal of the character. Furthermore, while parallels to Batman had always existed in the show, the use of such a major character from Batman's rogues gallery and the essential application of the "Daughter of the Demon" and several other Batman and Ra's al Ghul storylines applied to Oliver Queen came under particular fire from viewers, who accused the show of "ripping off" Batman.[124] The season finale was described as "dull", "lacking scope", and "underwhelming" by IGN's Jesse Schedeen in light of the "high standard" the show had previously established for its finales. He cemented the mixed reception of season three as being "haphazardly paced" and "struggling to develop a clear sense of direction".[125] The third season holds a score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews, with an average rating of 8.37/10. The site's consensus concluding: "Arrow stays on target with new characters and a steady supply of exciting action."[126]

The fourth season received mixed reviews. The season earned praise given to the action scenes and Neal McDonough's performance as Damien Darhk. However, it also received increasingly negative reviews for its mundane flashbacks, lack of narrative focus, and formulaic season finale.[127] Ryan Fleming, of Deadbeatspanel.com noted that Arrow was "honoring the comics, but it isn't beholden to them. Characters ... have been introduced, but they aren't exact replicas of their comic counterparts. Instead, the characters tend to be loosely connected."[128] Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter noted the presence of the character Thea "Speedy" Queen as one of the larger departures from the comics in the series, as well as the character's early willingness to kill.[129]Comic Book Resources's Kevin Melrose has also noted the series tendency to have loose connections to the source material.[130] Rotten Tomatoes gave the season an 85% approval rating based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.55/10. The critical consensus reads: "Season four of Arrow flourishes with a refreshing new tone, a thrilling new villain, and a gripping story arc."[131]

The fifth season received mostly positive reviews from critics, giving praise for the performances of Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra, action sequences, storytelling, and the season finale.[132] IGN gave Season 5 a score of 8.7 out of 10, stating that the it "managed to overcome them and recapture a lot of what made the show so memorable in its first two seasons."[133] Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 88% based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 7.38/10. The site's consensus reads, "No stranger to dramatic twists and turns, season five of Arrow continues to introduce new villains and surprise viewers despite some inconsistency".[134]

The sixth season received mixed reviews from critics. IGN gave Season 6 a score of 6.7 out of 10, stating that it "captured the show at its best and worst, with a strong finish redeeming months of disappointment."[135] Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 64% based on 7 reviews, and the average score is 6.86/10. The site's consensus reads, "Arrows sixth season deals with the literal fallout from the explosion in season five's finale and promises a drastic change in direction for the series".[136]

The seventh season received more favorable reviews than the previous season, with 7.4 out of 10 from IGN, being attributed to Beth Schwartz's work with giving new life and energy to the show, while "full of missed potential." Particular success was given to Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards' performances as well as new directions for the show via "more willingness to take risks and venture off the beaten path this year, even if it often bit off more than it could chew with its large ensemble cast."[137] Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 88% based on 211 reviews, with an average score of 7.35/10.[138]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per season of Arrow
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Viewership
rank
Avg. viewers
(millions)
18-49
rank
Avg. 18-49
rating
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Wednesday 8:00pm 23 October 10, 2012 4.14[139] May 15, 2013 2.77[140] 2012-13 119 3.68 118 1.2[7]
2 23 October 9, 2013 2.74[141] May 14, 2014 2.37[142] 2013-14 128 3.28[8] N/A N/A
3 23 October 8, 2014 2.83[143] May 13, 2015 2.83[144] 2014-15 135 3.52 111 1.3[9]
4 23 October 7, 2015 2.67[145] May 25, 2016 2.19[146] 2015-16 145 2.90 110 1.1[10]
5 23 October 5, 2016 1.87[147] May 24, 2017 1.72[148] 2016-17 147 2.21 133 0.8[11]
6 Thursday 9:00pm[b] 23 October 12, 2017 1.52[149] May 17, 2018 (2018-05-17) 1.35[150] 2017-18 181 1.76 155 0.6[12]
7 Monday 8:00pm (1-17)
Monday 9:00 pm (18-22)
22 October 15, 2018 1.43[151] May 13, 2019 (2019-05-13) 0.95[152] 2018-19 172 1.58 147 0.5[13]
8 Tuesday 9:00pm[c] 10 October 15, 2019 0.84[153] January 28, 2020 0.73[154] 2019-20 120 1.52 106 0.6[14]

In the United States, Arrows premiere episode drew 4.14 million viewers, making it The CW's most-watched telecast of any show on any night in three years, and The CW's most-watched series premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. In its second episode, Arrow became the only new network drama in the 2012-13 season to hold its ratings in both adults 18-34 and adults 18-49 from its premiere to its second week.[83] In Australia, the premiere received 1.32 million viewers, making it the third most-watched broadcast on the network that night.[155] The UK broadcast was the highest-rated telecast of the week on Sky 1, with 1.85 million viewers.[156] In Canada, the first episode got 1.32 million viewers, making it the fourth most-watched airing of the night and the twenty-third of the week.[157]

Accolades

Awards and nominations received by Arrow
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2012 IGN Awards Best TV Hero Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) Nominated [158]
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Television Series - Genre Arrow Nominated [159]
2013 Broadcast Music, Inc. BMI Television Music Awards Blake Neely Won [160]
Canadian Society of Cinematography Awards TV Drama Cinematography Glen Winter (for "Pilot") Won [161]
TV Series Cinematography Glen Winter (for "Vendetta") Nominated [161]
Leo Awards Best Casting Dramatic Series Coreen Mayrs, Heike Brandstatter (for "An Innocent Man") Nominated [162]
Best Cinematography Dramatic Series Gordon Verheul (for "Lone Gunmen") Nominated [162]
Glen Winter (for "Pilot") Won [162]
Best Dramatic Series Joseph Patrick Finn, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Melissa Kellner Berman, Drew Greenberg, Jennifer Lence, Wendy Mericle, Carl Ogawa Nominated [162]
Best Production Design Dramatic Series Richard Hudolin (for "Pilot") Won [162]
Best Stunt Coordination Dramatic Series J. J. Makaro (for "Pilot") Won [162]
J. J. Makaro (for "Vertigo") Nominated [162]
Best Visual Effects Dramatic Series Jean-Luc Dinsdale, Pauline Burns, Andrew Orloff, Dave Gauthier (for "Burned") Won [162]
NewNowNext Awards Best New Indulgence Arrow Nominated [163]
Cause You're Hot Stephen Amell Nominated [163]
People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama Arrow Nominated [164]
Saturn Awards Best Youth-Oriented Series on Television Arrow Nominated [165]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Show Arrow Nominated [166]
Choice Breakout TV Star Stephen Amell Nominated [166]
Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor Stephen Amell Nominated [166]
Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Katie Cassidy Nominated [166]
Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show Arrow Nominated [166]
UBCP/ACTRA Awards Best Newcomer Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [167]
2014 Constellation Awards Best Male Performance in a 2013 Science Fiction Television Episode Stephen Amell (for "The Odyssey") Nominated [168]
Best Science Fiction Television Series of 2013 Arrow Nominated [168]
IGN Awards Best TV Action Series Arrow Won [169]
Best TV Hero Oliver Queen People's Choice [170]
Leo Awards Best Cinematography Dramatic Series Gordon Verheul (for "Sacrifice") Nominated [171]
Best Dramatic Series Greg Berlanti, Joseph P. Finn, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Wendy Mericle Nominated [171]
Best Lead Performance by a Male Dramatic Series Stephen Amell (for "Crucible") Nominated [171]
Best Lead Performance by a Female Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards (for "Three Ghosts") Nominated [171]
Best Make-Up Dramatic Series Danielle Fowler (for "Keep Your Enemies Closer") Nominated [171]
Best Stunt Coordination Dramatic Series J. J. Makaro (for "The Scientist") Nominated [171]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor Stephen Amell Nominated [172]
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Television Series - Genre Arrow Nominated [173]
Saturn Awards Best Youth-Oriented Television Series Arrow Nominated [174]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show Arrow Nominated [175]
Choice TV Female Breakout Star Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [175]
Young Hollywood Awards Super Superhero Stephen Amell Nominated [176]
2015 Leo Awards Cinematography C. Kim Miles (for "Blind Spot") Nominated [177]
Costume Design Maya Mani (for "Suicide Squad") Nominated
Lead Performance - Female Emily Bett Rickards (for "Left Behind") Nominated
MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year Stephen Amell & Emily Bett Rickards Won [178]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Arrow Nominated [179]
PRISM Awards Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline Katie Cassidy Won [180]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Arrow Nominated [181]
Choice TV Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Stephen Amell Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Liplock Stephen Amell & Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Villain Matt Nable Nominated
2016 MTV Fandom Awards Ship of the Year Stephen Amell & Emily Bett Rickards Won [182]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Network TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Arrow Nominated [183]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Arrow Nominated [184]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Liplock Stephen Amell & Emily Bett Rickards Nominated [185]
Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi Arrow Nominated
2017 Leo Awards Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series Shamus Whiting-Hewlett (for "Sins of the Father") Nominated [186]
Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Emily Bett Rickards (for "Who Are You?") Nominated
Best Stunt Coordination in a Dramatic Series Curtis Braconnier, Eli Zagoudakis (for "What We Leave Behind") Won
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Hero Stephen Amell Nominated [187]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Network TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Arrow Nominated [188]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Arrow Nominated [189]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Stephen Amell Nominated [190]
Choice TV Actress: Action Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Show: Action Arrow Nominated
Choice TV Villain Josh Segarra Nominated
2018 People's Choice Awards The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018 Arrow Nominated [191]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series Arrow Nominated [192]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Action Stephen Amell Nominated [193]
Choice TV Actress: Action Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Ship Stephen Amell & Emily Bett Rickards Nominated
Choice TV Show: Action Arrow Nominated
2019 Leo Awards Best Stunt Coordination in a Dramatic Series Jeff Robinson, Eli Zagoudakis (for "The Slabside Redemption") Won [194]
Saturn Awards Best Superhero Television Series Arrow Nominated [195]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Action Arrow Nominated [196]
Choice TV Actor: Action Stephen Amell Won
Choice TV Actress: Action Emily Bett Rickards Nominated

Other media

Arrow has generated other media and spin-offs, including digital comic books and Internet-based mini-episodes with characters from the series.

Digital comics

Arrow (2012-13)

To promote the series, DC Comics produced a 10-page preview comic for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, written by Kreisberg, illustrated by Omar Francia, and featuring a cover by artist Mike Grell. The comic was regarded by the production crew as sharing the same canon as the series, with Kreisberg commenting, "[For] anyone who grabs a copy: Hold onto it and as the series progresses, you'll appreciate it more and more."[197] It was later released free online.[198] On October 10, 2012, DC Comics debuted a weekly digital comic tie-in written by Kreisberg and Guggenheim and drawn by various artists, including Mike Grell, which remained in continuity with the television series.[199] The comics were to be released initially as digital chapters, and then later be collated to produce monthly print issues.[200] The series lasted for 36 chapters, running until June 2013. These were collected, together with the initial preview comic, in two volumes with the first released digitally in October 2013 and the second in both print and digital formats in May 2014.[201][202]Titan Magazines published the comics in a physical format in the UK. The first issue was published on October 17, 2013 and contained the first four chapters of the series, with the complete series lasting 6 issues.[201][203]

Arrow: Season 2.5 (2014-15)

A follow up to the original digital title, Arrow: Season 2.5, is written by Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu, one of the show's executive story editors and writers, with art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. Arrow 2.5 is intended to tell one continuous story across two arcs, that fits within the television narrative. Guggenheim stated, "We've tried to put in all the elements that people like about the show ... We're going to see what's happened to Detective Lance after he collapsed in the season [two] finale. A good chunk of the burning questions left over will get answered in the tie-in comic. Particularly towards the latter half of the series, we're going to start introducing characters [in the comic] who you'll see in Season 3 ... before they show up on TV."[204] On the comic's relationship to season three of the show, Guggenheim said, "Season three is designed to stand on its own feet without requiring anyone to do any outside reading. But what the comic book will give is a deeper appreciation for some of the moments [in the show] and a more complete narrative experience. If you want to go deeper into the story, that's what Season 2.5 is for." Shimizu added that the comic also allows the writers to "accomplish things on the page that are nearly impossible to do with our production schedule and our budget", including bigger action sequences, as well as visits to locations such as Kahndaq that cannot be recreated on the show. Additionally, the series has one to two pages each issue dedicated to the Suicide Squad, leading up to their own issue later in the run.[205] The character Caleb Green, who has ties to Robert Queen, was created specifically for the comic.[206] Guggenheim said "The goal is to end Season 2.5 basically five minutes before Season 3 begins."[207] The comic launched digitally biweekly on September 1, 2014, with its first physical release featuring a collection of the digital releases releasing on October 8.[204] The series featured 24 digital issues, which constituted 12 physical issues.[206]

Arrow: The Dark Archer (2016)

A third series, Arrow: The Dark Archer, is written by Barrowman with his sister Carole, and with an art team led by Daniel Sampere. The comic, initially set between season three and four of the show before flashing back, explores a younger Malcolm Merlyn and his past, with Corto Maltese and Nanda Parbat featured. Barrowman, who initially pitched the series to DC Comics as another with the ability to tell Merlyn's backstory, said he "had a backstory in my head for Malcolm from the beginning and a lot of it has made its way into our comic and onto the screen. I think it's always been my job to help the audience relate to Malcolm in some way despite his questionable morals and evil ways." Executive producers Guggenheim and Kreisberg helped the Barrowmans ensure the story would fit within the continuity of the series. The 12-chapter series was released digitally once every two weeks starting January 13, 2016, before the entire story was collected in a single print edition in September 2016.[208][209]

Blood Rush

On November 6, 2013, a six-episode series of shorts, titled Blood Rush, premiered alongside the broadcast of the show, as well as online. The series, which features product placement for products of its sponsor, Bose, was shot on location in Vancouver, similarly to the main show. The miniseries features Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes and Paul Blackthorne reprising their roles of Felicity Smoak, Roy Harper and Quentin Lance, respectively.[210]

The episodes set during the course of the second season of the television series, show Roy coming to Queen Consolidated to have a meeting with Oliver. As he is out, Felicity tells Roy to go wait in the lobby.[211] As Roy leaves, Officer Lance calls Felicity, telling her that the blood sample the Starling City police found on the vigilante, which Felicity destroyed, has resurfaced. Felicity then calls Roy, using Oliver's voice encoder, asking him to break into the lab to retrieve the sample.[212] Felicity guides Roy through the lab, where he is able to recover the sample. As Roy is leaving, doctors enter the room, seemingly trapping him.[213] He notifies Felicity, who then hacks into the building's PA system, and issues an evacuation notice, giving Roy a chance to escape.[214] Roy gets out of the room before it enters into lock down, and is able to avoid two guards with the help of Felicity and exit the lab.[215] Roy returns to Queen Consolidated, and Felicity offers to mail the acquired sample for Roy as he goes in to meet with Oliver.[216]

Video games

A Green Arrow skin based on Oliver Queen's appearance in Arrow appears in the 2013 video game Injustice: Gods Among Us as downloadable content. The playable skin was given as a bonus reward to the first 5,000 voters of Injustices promotional Battle Arena competition, but was later released as a free download. Stephen Amell lends his voice and likeness to the skin.[217]

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham features an Arrow downloadable content pack that adds multiple playable characters, including Arrow, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Huntress, Slade Wilson, Roy Harper, Canary, and Malcolm Merlyn as well as vehicles and an exclusive level set during Oliver's time in Lian Yu. Amell reprised his role in addition to voicing the traditional Green Arrow in the game, while Cynthia Addai-Robinson reprised her role as Amanda Waller.[218][219]

The video game Lego DC Super-Villains features DLC inspired by Arrow in the "DC Super Heroes: TV Series DLC Character Pack". The DLC pack includes The Atom, Green Arrow, and Mister Terrific as playable characters.[220]

Novels

On February 23, 2016, Titan Books released Arrow: Vengeance, a tie-in novelization written by Oscar Balderrama and Lauren Certo, which is set before and during the second season, detailing the origins of Slade Wilson, Sebastian Blood, and Isabel Rochev, and how they eventually meet and collaborate with each other to battle Oliver's alter-ego as seen in the television series.[221] On November 29, 2016, Titan Books released The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen, a tie-in novelization written by Susan and Clay Griffith, set during the second season of The Flash and the fourth season of Arrow, which features characters from both shows;[222] the story continued in Arrow: A Generation of Vipers, released on March 28, 2017, again written by the Griffiths.[223]

In August 2017, it was confirmed that Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim would co-author a fourth novel, alongside James R. Tuck, entitled Arrow: Fatal Legacies, which was released in January 2018. The novel focuses on events between the fifth-season finale and sixth-season premiere.[224]

Guidebooks

The first guidebook to be released was Arrow: Heroes and Villains by Nick Aires and published by Titan Books, released in February 2015.[225] Described as "a companion" to the series, the book features sections on the various characters of the series, along with descriptions, backgrounds, comic book origins, and "where they stand as of the end of the second season of Arrow".[226]

A follow up to Heroes and Villains by the same author and publisher, titled Arrow: Oliver Queen's Dossier, was released in October 2016, during the series' fifth season. The book is presented as information collected by the Green Arrow and Felicity Smoak over the course of his four years of activity. Included in the book are "handwritten notes" and "police reports" regarding the Green Arrow and those he targets.[227]

Arrowverse

Spin-offs

In July 2013, it was announced that Berlanti and Kreisberg, along with Nutter and Geoff Johns, would be creating a television series, The Flash, based on the character of the same name, with an origin story for Barry Allen.[228] The character, played by actor Grant Gustin, was set to appear in three episodes of season two of Arrow, with the final one acting as a backdoor pilot for the new series.[229] However, it was announced in November 2013 that the backdoor pilot would not be happening, with a traditional pilot being made instead.[230] In January 2015, The CW president Mark Pedowitz announced the intention to do a Flash and Arrow crossover every season,[231] and The CW announced that an animated web-series, Vixen, featuring the DC heroine of the same name and set in the universe of Arrow and The Flash, would be debuting on CW Seed in late 2015.[232] The character later made a live-action appearance on Arrow in the fourth-season episode "Taken". The next month, it was reported that a spin-off series, which is described as a superhero team-up show, was in discussion by The CW for a possible 2015-16 midseason release. Berlanti and Kreisberg would executive produce alongside Guggenheim and Sarah Schechter. The potential series would be headlined by several recurring characters from both Arrow and The Flash, with the potential for other Arrow/Flash characters to cross over to the new series as well.[233][234] In May 2015, The CW officially picked up the series, titled DC's Legends of Tomorrow.[235]

During the 100th episode of Arrow season 5, some returning characters from previous seasons make an appearance in "Invasion!", a crossover episode of Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow,[236] where Thea, Diggle, Sara, Ray and Oliver are abducted by the Dominators and were put in dream stasis to gather intel while they are shown what would their lives be like if Oliver never got on the boat. Further crossovers occurred with "Crisis on Earth-X" in 2017,[237] and "Elseworlds" in 2018.[238] In 2019, the crossover event was "Crisis on Infinite Earths", which wrapped up in early 2020.[239]

In August 2019, it was reported that another untitled spin-off was in development.[240] In September, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that The CW was developing a female-led spin-off series, with Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy, and Juliana Harkavy as the leads, reprising their roles from Arrow. The report also confirmed that an episode of Arrows final season would serve as a "backdoor pilot" for the potential series.[241] In October, Marc Guggenheim released an image indicating Green Arrow and the Canaries as the name for the new series.[242] A couple weeks later, McNamara announced via Twitter that the backdoor pilot episode had begun filming.[243] The episode aired on January 21, 2020, as part of said season and marked a season high in overnight ratings.[244] The episode received generally positive reviews from critics.

Constantine

In August 2015, it was confirmed that Matt Ryan would appear on Arrow in the fourth-season episode "Haunted", per a "one-time-only-deal" that would involve his character being "brought in to deal with the fallout of the resurrection of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) via Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit."[245][246][247] Due to Arrow and Constantine sharing the same studio, the producers of Arrow were also able to acquire Ryan's original outfits. John Badham, who was a director on Constantine, directed the crossover episode.[246] On filming the episode, Guggenheim stated it felt like the production team was "doing a Constantine/Arrow crossover, and it's so exciting ... we're just really glad we got the chance to extend Matt Ryan's run as Constantine by at least one more hour of television. I think you'll see he fits very neatly into our universe. It never feels forced, it feels right."[248]

Notes

  1. ^ Although Cassidy is billed as a "special appearance" in season 8, she is still considered a series regular for season 8.[20]
  2. ^ For episode 8 ("Crisis on Earth-X Part 2"), the show was moved to Monday 9:00pm to fit the chronology of the crossover.
  3. ^ For episode 8 ("Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four"), the show was moved to 8:00pm on Tuesday January 14, 2020 to fit the chronology of the crossover.

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