CW Cancels Superman & Lois, Marking End of DC Superhero Era

Much-loved DC Comics characters Superman and Lois aren’t going anywhere—you might have heard about that James Gunn movie in the works—but their iteration on the CW is coming to an end. The fourth season of Superman & Lois, due to arrive next year, will be its final.

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Superman & Lois’ series finale will also mark the end of another era. Though the show was only tangentially connected to the Arrowverse—which dominated the CW’s programming for over a decade, starting in 2012 with Arrow and also included The Flash (which ended in May of this year after nine seasons), as well as Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, and Batwoman, plus all those dang crossover events—it was still part of the CW’s DC superhero programming phenomenon. That’s over, especially now that Max is the central streaming home for all things DC.

As Deadline reports, Superman & Lois was renewed in June but there were some strings attached; “producing studio Warner Bros. Television agreed to deliver the new [season] at a significantly lower license fee to make them feasible for the network under its new lower-cost original programming model.” That meant fewer episodes (season four will have 10, shorter than previous installments) and budget cuts to help make up for the show’s FX budget—which is why only a four of season three’s regular cast members (the Kent family, played by Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Michael Bishop, and Alex Garfin) will return as season regulars in season four.

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“Over the last three seasons, Superman & Lois redefined both the superhero genre and family drama as Tyler, Elizabeth, and the entire cast effortlessly portrayed these classic characters with new layers of depth and complexity that had never before been explored in the Superman universe,” Brad Schwartz, the CW Network’s President of Entertainment, said in a statement shared by the trade. “As Superman embarks on his final flight, the team is leaving us with an absolutely epic 10-episode must-watch-every-minute farewell to one of the most legendary CW families ever.”

There’s no firm date attached to Superman & Lois’ final season, other than some time in 2024 on the CW.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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