Following rumors of a possible network crossover with The Flash over at The CW, CBS has ordered seven more episodes of Supergirl. Whether or not the two stories are connected to one another remains to be seen. Either way, Deadline reports that the new episodes will compliment the initial current order of 13, giving Greg Berlanti’s DC Comics adaptation a full season of 20 episodes.
Interestingly, CBS did not order the traditional allotment of nine additional episodes, which would have given Supergirl a solid 22 episodes in its first outing. Deadline suggests fans shouldn’t be alarmed by the missing two episodes.
The network has given a seven-episode pickup to the superhero drama, bringing its freshman run to 20 episodes, two shy of a full-season 22. Still, CBS calls this a full-season order, a term the broadcast networks have been using widely this season for series that get additional episodes beyond the initial 13.
So why only seven episodes? CBS didn’t give a precise answer, though the suspicion is that the show’s faltering ratings might have something to do with it. After all, Supergirl was the fall season’s top-rated debut with 12.9 million viewers and a 3.2 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo. These numbers boosted CBS from a year ago +46 percent in total viewers and +40 percent in the 18-49 demo.
However, the latest figures from TV By The Numbers suggest some serious slippage. Supergirl isn’t doing that bad, but last Monday’s episode garnered its lowest numbers with 7.19 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo.
A seven-episode order means that CBS is confident enough to let Berlanti and his team finish telling the story of Kara Zor-el (Melissa Benoist) through May sweeps. But what then? Will the rumored Flash crossover happen, or does the network not think Supergirl is capable of handling a possible team-up finale? Viewers won’t know until it happens (or not).