Barry Allen may be facing his most challenging villain yet this season on The Flash, but it looks like the Scarlet Speedster somehow manage to find a way to keep running. The CW has renewed The Flash for its fifth season.
The announcement that the DC superhero series will return was hinted at when network president Mark Pedowtiz told reporters during the Television Critics Association winter press tour that he expected The CW's current superhero lineup (the so-called Arrowverse that includes Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow) to be renewed for the 2018-2019 television season.
"At the moment, it's a little too soon," Pedowitz said. "We're noted for announcing at winter TCA that we're picking up shows, we just weren't ready to do that yet. A couple more weeks [and] we'll probably get around to it. I'm pretty confident we'll see them all back"
The renewal of The Flash signals that The CW isn't moving away from its DC superhero shows in the near future. The network was the only broadcast network to see its ratings hold steady between 2016 and 2017 rather than declining, due largely in part to the strength of its comic book-inspired series. While both Riverdale and Supernatural both held steady or improved between years, The Flash was joined by Legends of Tomorrow with only single-digit ratings drops.
And it isn't just the strength of the existing superhero shows that The CW is banking on. The network launched Freedom Fighters: The Ray, an animated series on the web-based CW Seed -- its main character, The Ray/Ray Terrill (Russell Tovey) appeared in the network's "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover event in November -- and a new, live-action series, Black Lightning, airs in the time slot following The Flash despite the series being independent of the Arrowverse. Now that The Flash has been confirmed to return, it's a solid sign that the heroes are here to stay and fight bad guys another day.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.