When ARROW premiered on The CW, it was the biggest show since the premiere of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and it sort of stayed that way. Also, when ARROW premiered on The CW, it began the rise of the small broadcast network – so to speak. While going away from the teen soap bubble and focusing more on a mature audience, the network fired off its DC TV universe, and would premier THE FLASH two years later, with another two years being needed for four of the five network days being led in by DC TV shows. In a nutshell, ARROW marked the third era of The CW – with the first one being the first couple of years of the network finding its footing, and with the second one starting with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and showing there is still success to be had (but you still had to develop and order EMILY OWENS, MD…)
The numbers for ARROW were strong an solid throughout, even if the latter half of the season wasn’t as strong as the former half. But it was clear from the beginning that ARROW ignited a new fire for the network, and that spin-off shows were not only a strong possibility, but pretty much a given. Anyway, it’s a good thing that it was Mark Pedowitz who decided to give the DC universe a shot on television, and not Les Moonves. Because on CBS, the ratings would have gone through the ground and roof of the bottom floors, and ARROW might have never seen a second season. On The CW, where the fall can never be that big, when the house is pretty small to begin with, a show (and eventually a series universe) has more time to grow. Four years later, it grew by three additional TV shows.