Superman & Lois is the latest Arrowverse series but it won’t release as many episodes as fans of The CW’s DC shows have come to expect. The show sees Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch as reprise their roles as the Man of Steel and the Daily Planet’s intrepid reporter from Supergirl. But, while that show and its fellow Arrowverse installments Arrow, The Flash and Batwoman all boasted longer seasons, ranging from 20 – 23 episodes, in their early years, Superman & Lois‘ debut season will have more in common with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning in terms of episode-count – and there is a specific reason for this.
Like many TV shows, Superman & Lois was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The series was supposed to shoot its pilot episode in spring 2020, but the shutdown of production in Vancouver across all of The CW’s television programs prevented that. The subsequent delays then resulted in production resuming much later than it typically would after the annual summer hiatus, with the network having no original programming (with the exception of the final six episodes of Supernatural) airing in the fall season. As a result, Superman & Lois‘ premiere was pushed to February 2021 when The CW, back when they greenlit the show, undoubtedly envisioned it being in October at the beginning of the 2020 – 2021 TV season. That means that it – along with the rest of the Arrowverse shows – will have a shorter run than it would have had any other year.
Superman & Lois kicks off with its two-hour premiere on February 23 and its first season will consist of 15 episodes, so fans can expect the finale to air sometime in late June or early July. Bearing in mind that the extended two-hour premiere is not actually the first two episodes of the season (but merely the pilot episode and the Superman & Lois: Legacy of Hope special), if the show were to run uninterrupted that would result in its finale airing on June 1. However, as filming also isn’t expected to conclude until mid-June, that likely won’t be the case – meaning that there will be at least one hiatus along the way.
The show’s debut season was originally set to have 13 episodes, which is the norm for new shows on The CW – with the network then usually ordering the full back-half of the season to bring its count to 22 episodes should it prove to be a success. Though that unfortunately can’t happen with Superman & Lois‘ first season given how late into the TV season it arrives, The CW did order an additional two episodes of Superman & Lois when renewing the vast majority of their other shows – bringing its total to 15 episodes – so it’s clear that the network has high hopes for the show.
The show’s arrival has been one of the most anticipated TV events of the year, so viewers will no doubt be tuning in to see a new chapter in Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s rich onscreen history. Though it will have fewer episodes than most Arrowverse debuts, shorter episode-counts usually benefit TV shows that adopt a serialized storytelling format, allowing them to tell their stories without having to stop for any “filler” episodes along the way. As Superman & Lois will be more serialized than other Arrowverse shows, this will likely work in its favor.