CBS and Warner Bros. Television in showdown over Supergirl licensing fee
The drama over whether freshman series Supergirl‘s renewal has taken a new turn. For months now, fans have been screaming for CBS to simply move the show over to The CW alongside other DC Comics shows Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Now, it seems that option may actually be on the table.
The Wrap reports that CBS is keen to renew the show, despite the less-the-stellar ratings, but they’re concerned about the high license fee Warner Bros. Television is charging them. In its first season, CBS paid $3 million per episode in licensing fees for Supergirl, which is high for a new show regardless, but is especially not justified by the show’s ratings.
The television networks will announce their fall schedules in upfront presentations in New York two weeks from now, so a decision has to be made soon. One potential option is, yes, to move Supergirl over to The CW, which makes sense because CBS and Warner Bros. Television co-own that network. That would cut back on the licensing fee, but Warner Bros. is not likely to be in a hurry to lose that money. It would also mean significant budget cuts for Supergirl as a whole, as CW shows are produced on much smaller budgets.
Even though it is an option, it does seem highly unlikely. The Wrap reports that those close to Supergirl production are outright denying the possibility. A television show jumping networks is a rare occurrence, especially when it will result in major budget cuts. It may come down to the wire, but the more likely option is that Warner Bros. will blink and lower their licensing fee — or, CBS could simply call their bluff and cancel the show. CBS chief Les Moonves is not one to play games.
We should hear something definitive on Supergirl‘s renewal soon, and we’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s announced. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates!