Network upfronts are this week and for television fans that means this is the week that they find out about what's coming -- or leaving -- the lineups next season. If that weren't exciting enough, Arrow star Stephen Amell told fans at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Nashville that there would be a major announcement during The CW's presentation on Thursday.
"I'm gonna be in New York on Thursday for The CW's upfronts," Amell said. "And I get to make a really fun announcement. And The CW is just so freaked out that I'm going to spoil it at some point during this panel."
But what is that big, fun announcement? At this point, anything is possible. If you've been paying any attention to TV news over the past several days, then you know that it's been brutal when it comes to cancellations and renewals. Fan-favorite Lucifer got the axe by FOX, Gotham barely squeaked out a final, abbreviated fifth season on the same network. On ABC, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD also managed to get another season, though it's also for a shorter season. And if that wasn't enough, several eagerly anticipated new series weren't picked up at all, including the Supernatural spin-off, Wayward Sisters.
All of the network turmoil has left fans speculating what might The CW might have to announce on Thursday. Could it be an announcement that The CW is picking up Lucifer from FOX? Did the network change their mind about Wayward Sisters? The possibilities are many, so we've come up with a list of what we think the network might have to reveal during their presentation.
Read on for our thoughts on what The CW's big upfronts announcement might be.
The CW's digital platform, CW Seed, may not be as popular as the network proper, but it is the home of some great shows. In addition to archive programming of shows such as Everwood, Birds of Prey, and Constantine, CW Seed is also the home of original programming such as the animated Arrowverse -- including Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
The series follows the story of Ray Terill/The Ray, a man who went form fighting for rights in the public sector on Earth-1 to crossing over to Nazi Earth-X, taking the place of his doppelganger in that dystopian world. The character, played and voiced by Russell Tovey, made an appearance in the live-action Arrowverse during the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover last year.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray is the highest-rated CW Seed Original of all-time, streamed more often than anything else on the platform (except the long-running family drama Everwood.) It's possible that the big announcement is that the series is getting a second season, which is an exciting prospect since, as we've seen recently on The Flash, Earth-X's story is far from over.
Upfronts are usually when The CW announces the dates for the annual Arrowverse crossover event so it would make sense that the network would have one of its biggest stars on hand to share them with the world.
However, there could be a twist to the dates this year which would make it an even bigger deal. With The Flash set to hit the milestone 100th episode during the time the crossover traditionally takes place each year, it's possible that the network could announce that the Arrowverse will kick off their new seasons with the crossover event instead of waiting until closer to midseason. A choice to start with the crossover might also make for an interesting choice of stories to tell, depending on what event the Arrowverse tries to tackle this time around.
We see you, fans hoping for Crisis on Infinte Earths. We see you, but we don't expect to get an announcement of what the story will be, just the dates.
Even though it's been said repeatedly that Black Lightning is not part of the Arrowverse, that hasn't stopped fans and even those involved in the Arrowverse from hoping that Jefferson Pierce and company will become part of their shared universe -- if for nothing more than crossover potential. While we think this is unlikely -- again, it's been repeatedly stated that Black Lightning is in its own, separate world -- it's a possiblity and just the kind of think you'd expect at upfronts.
Lucifer fans are still reeling from news that the show would not be coming back for another season. That pain is likely even more sharp considering that the show's series finale tonight ended with a huge cliffhanger -- the show planned it that way as they thought it would keep them safely on the air.
Despite the cancellation, fans have been hoping that there would be a way to save the show. Some have called for the upcoming streaming services DC Universe to pick up the show, but still others see The CW as a perfect fit for the series. Should the network decide to swoop in and save the fan-favorite series, upfronts would make a great time to announce it.
However, it's also possible that the announcement is not that the show is saved, but that Lucifer (Tom Ellis) could be hopping over to the network to appear in the Arrowverse -- much the way Constantine (Matt Ryan) has.
Sure, Matt Ryan's Constantine is set to be a series regular on Legends of Tomorrow next season, but that hasn't stopped fans from hoping that The CW might decide to skip ahead and give Constantine his own live-action series again. One of the popular speculations about what the big announcement might be is that the network is developing their own live-action Constantine.
It's an exciting prospect, but one we think is very unlikely, especially since the original Constantine series has been off the air for three years.
Last fall, it was announced that The CW was developing Project 13, a series based on Doctor Thirteen and his daughter Traci.
Traci Thirteen in the comics first appeared as a supporting character in Superman. She is a young superhero (who occasionally used to drift to the dark side) who believes in the supernatural and eventually discovers her own latent extra-sensory powers. Her father, Dr. Terrence Thirteen, was created in the 1950s. He is a skeptic who constantly finds himself caught up in supernatural events while trying to debunk them.
According to Variety, who broke the story, Project 13 "would center on Traci, a twenty-something forensic scientist and believer in the paranormal who discovers her own hidden extra-sensory abilities when she joins her estranged, skeptic father to investigate mysterious cases of the paranormal and unexplained phenomena."
Interestingly, had Constantine not been cancelled by NBC, the first season of that show would have featured Dr. Thirteen. He was included in one of the scripts that the network ordered but never produced. It's possible that now, with Constantine appearing on Legends, the network might be moving forward with Project 13.
Another longshot item, the upfronts would be an idea place to announce that the often talked or joked about crossover between Arrow and Supernatural is finally happening. While we're still not entirely certain how the two shows would mesh, last year's upfronts is when Scoobynatural, the Scooby Doo/Supernatural crossover was announced so...maybe?
With The CW returning to programming on Sundays this fall, the upfronts is the place where we'd hear what the network has planned. If those scheduling plans involve a heavy emphasis on the Arrowverse -- a "Superhero Sundays" if you will -- having Amell on hand to make the announcement would be perfect considering that it was Arrow that kicked off the Arrowverse.
If the announcement isn't about Freedom Fighter: The Ray getting a second season on CW Seed, it's possible that the big announcement could be for another new series on the platform -- perhaps even an animated Smallville.
Last month, Smallville stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum admitted to fans at Awesome-Con that an animated version of the series could be fun.
“I said to Al [Gough, one of Smallville’s creators], we should do an animated Smallville,” Rosenbaum said. “That would be huge! I mean, Smallville: The Animated Series, with all the real voices? And I wouldn’t have to shave my head! We’ve got to do that. Can you imagine us on mics doing the same dialogue?”
With Lucifer cancelled, Welling would have an opening in his schedule. The former Clark Kent played Marcus Pierce on that series.
The last possibility we can think of for the big announcement would be that a major DC Comics character was coming to the Arrowverse.
While there are generally some pretty rigid rules about who the Arrowverse can use or references and who they can't. This season, Arrow name-dropped Bruce Wayne in the episode "Tribute". Many fans through that was a clear sign that the Caped Crusader was making his way to the Arrowverse. Thus far that hasn't panned out and isn't likely for season seven, but it's possible that other major characters could be showing up -- or maybe even some variation of the Justice League.
What do you think the big announcement might be at The CW's upfronts on Thursday? Let us know your thoughts in comments below!