"Crisis on Infinite Earths" will be the first thing back from The CW's winter hiatus, wrapping up its run on January 14 and setting the stage for the return of the Arrowverse shows and other CW series beginning the next week. The network released a new calendar image today that gave fans a look at the winter premiere dates, including the returns of various shows and the premiere of DC's Legends of Tomorrow. There are not many surprises here, except maybe that The Flash is waiting a while to come back, debuting two weeks after Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow's ostensible midseason premieres.
Of course, in the case of both Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, these dates are a little misleading. While the "Green Arrow and the Canaries" backdoor pilot and the Legends season premiere will take place on the dates listed, the "true" return date for both shows will be January 14, when they air back to back with the fourth and fifth chapters of "Crisis on Infinite Earths." As "Crisis" is being treated like essentially its own show, with the Legends episode described as a "special," there's a little truth to both.
While "Crisis on Infinite Earths" features Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) from Legends, they are teaming with an alternate universe version of Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) and the Waverider, allowing the writers to skirt issues raised by the Legends finale last May, in which time was rewritten and, among other things, Zari is no longer a Legend.
A late-January return date for Black Lightning also means that whatever happens to him in the final hour of the Crisis will likely play a role in the midseason premiere; at a minimum, we are assuming and hoping that his family will not stay dead, and so it will be a big shift from the end of the midseason finale.
The "Crisis" event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes. The battle brings together together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
Following the Crisis, Nancy Drew is actually the first show back, airing a new episode on January 15. January 16 sees the return of Supernatural and Legacies, and the 17th is Charmed and Dynasty. Batwoman and Supergirl will return on Sunday, January 19; All American and Black Lightning will come back on Monday, January 20; January 21 will bring back Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, with The Flash taking over Arrow's time slot on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. once Arrow ends for good on January 28. Riverdale will be back on January 22.