Good news for Stargirl moves the DC Universe streaming service one minute closer to midnight.
The CW announced Monday morning that it has renewed Stargirl for a second season. The network’s press release noted it will become “the exclusive in-season home to the breakout superhero hit next season, airing on The CW Television Network and streaming the next day on The CW’s free, ad-supported streaming platforms.” The wording — and the lack of DC Universe within it — confirms the series is now a CW show entirely and suggests the niche platform may not exist by the time Stargirl‘s second season airs.
The series, based on the short-lived Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic book by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, stars Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore, a teenage girl who discovers her new step-father was the sidekick of the superhero known as Starman. When the deceased hero’s main weapon, the Cosmic Staff, reacts to Courtney, she suspects her absent father was Starman and sets out to recruit new members of the long-defunct Justice Society of America. Meanwhile, the old enemies of the JSA plot something insidious within Courtney’s new hometown.
Johns serves as an executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Queen Sugar‘s Melissa Carter. Starman writer James Dale Robinson also serves as a producer. Besides Bassinger, the series also stars Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, Trae Romano, Jake Austin Walker, Hunter Sansone, Meg DeLacy, Neil Jackson and Christopher James Baker.
The news of Stargirl‘s complete move to The CW is not a surprise. Perhaps more than any other DC Universe original, it feels like it belongs on the network thanks to its teen focus and can-do spirit. Here at Comicon, we treat it as a CW series; posting our Brief Thoughts on each episode after it airs on the network. But the news seemingly moves DC Universe closer to a less than hopeful fate.
Designed by a group of Warner executives before the AT&T merger, DC Universe was meant to be a one-stop shop for all things DC Entertainment. But this idea always ran counter to AT&T’s plan for a Warner branded streaming service to rival Netflix and Disney+. As soon as the merger was complete, the new owners cancelled Swamp Thing after one episode streamed on the platform and announced the second season of DC Universe’s Doom Patrol would simulcast on DC Universe and HBO Max.
Then, The CW announced it would run Stargirl the day after it streamed on DC Universe and the future seemed pretty clear.
At the moment, no long-term decisions have been made in regards to DC Universe. But with its daily news and chat program, DC Daily, signing off last Friday, Doom Patrol and Stargirl finding homes elsewhere in the WarnerMedia empire, and HBO Max needing video content for its own DC Entertainment hub, it is not hard to imagine some sort of closure or restructuring announcement will come during the DC FanDome event in August.
But there is still some hope for the service. A third season of Titans was commissioned and will likely start production when it is safe to resume filming in Toronto. Subscribers were also recently given the option to bundle their subscriptions with HBO Max — making both services the same price as one regular HBO Max subscription. And considering all the infrastructure already in place, it is likely DC Universe will live on as home to a vast collection of the DC Comics library. Not the worst fate imaginable for the platform.