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The Next CW Season Will Be A Strange One

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The CW’s various Berlantiverse superhero shows are currently wrapping up their storylines…or, at least, ending one or two episodes short of their intended run and trying to edit together a satisfying stopping point. They faced a Crisis on Infinite Earths, but how will they deal with a real crisis on this one?

Today the network announced they now have the rights to run the first and only season of DC Universe’s Swamp Thing series, as well as both seasons of Tell Me A Story, a “fairy tales, but dark and gritty” program from CBS All Access. The CW is jointly owned by WB and CBS. Since Swamp Thing was produced by the WB side of The CW, and Tell Me A Story was produced by the CBS side, it probably wasn’t hard to get these shows on the network.

We can only guess what these are for. It’s possible they’re meant to fill time for the summer, but The CW already has Stargirl and the final season of The 100 for that (as well as Canadian imports like The Outpost). It’s more likely CW acquired these shows in case the new seasons of their original programs aren’t ready to air.

And they’re already thinking about what that may mean. It’s a question all of Hollywood is pondering right now….at what point do you resume production, and how many precautions are necessary? How can you film a superhero series, let alone any series, if no one can make body contact to throw a punch or kiss each other? (Superfriends managed to do it…maybe they can borrow some old scripts.)

Warner Bros Television presidents Susan Rovner and Brett Paul hosted a video conference call last Wednesday to discuss these issues, which Variety reported the details of. “We believe we’re going to need a plan for limited physical contact between actors,” said Rovner, and “intimate scenes may need to be reimagined or even reconceived.” In other words, Barry and Iris’ relationship should be about the same.

The execs discussed other measures including more limited outdoor shoots, axing of scenes that require large crowds, and numerous safety measures on set. Since a vaccine isn’t likely until 2021, and WB can’t afford to wait around for one, it could be a very weird season on The CW this winter…assuming we don’t just get Swamp Thing reruns instead.