Arrow’s Crucial Role in Saving The CW: Insights from Marc Guggenheim

Co-creator Reflects on the Pressure and Success of Launching a Superhero Franchise

Marc Guggenheim, co-creator and executive producer of the DC Comics series “Arrow,” recently shared the immense pressure he faced to ensure the show’s success, effectively keeping The CW network afloat. Speaking on The Showrunner Whisperer podcast, Guggenheim revealed the high stakes involved.

Recalling a pivotal conversation with then-Warner Bros. TV chairman Peter Roth, Guggenheim described a lunch meeting where Roth candidly explained that if “Arrow” failed, it could mean the end of The CW.

“Arrow,” which aired from 2012 to 2020, was based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow and created by Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg. The series not only succeeded but also launched the Arrowverse, spawning successful spinoffs like “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Supergirl.”

Reflecting on the show’s success, Guggenheim emphasized the unique creative freedom they enjoyed during that era. “It was a very special, unique time in the business,” he noted.

Currently, Stephen Amell, who starred in “Arrow,” is leading NBC’s “Suits L.A.,” a new pilot from the “Suits” universe created by Aaron Korsh.

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