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The Flash is The CW's highest-rated series for 6th straight year, Batwoman at No. 2

By Benjamin Bullard
The Flash CW press photo

Is it too early for Grant Gustin and Ruby Rose to take a victory lap? As the Arrowverse and the rest of The CW's fall lineup round the midseason corner into the home stretch, it might come as little surprise to see The Flash holding the baton (again) in the race for the network's No. 1 ratings spot. But coming in at the followup No. 2 position is Batwoman — a still-young series that’s singlehandedly managed to lure fans into its shadow all in the span of just nine episodes.

Nielsen ratings (via TV Line) for everything on The CW’s prime-time lineup show that, while there’s an overall dropoff in viewership for most shows compared against last year, the network’s DC-heavy genre roster continues to be a winning formula. The top seven of the network’s 11 prime-time shows on the list are all series that play in either the Arrowverse or Archie Comics sandbox (okay, Supernatural and Legacies are in there, too). In its sixth season, The Flash stands out for remaining The CW’s most-watched series, with a .94 rating — which means that .94 percent of American TVs were tuned in.

While that’s a 22 percent drop from The Flash’s numbers a year ago, it still represents a viewing audience of 2.5 million, putting The Flash far ahead of the rest of The CW pack. It's interesting that where other hits (i.e. Arrow) slid down the list over the years, Flash has remained surprisingly dominant for more than half a decade. Batwoman edges out Riverdale’s .58 rating with a slight .59 lead to grab the No. 2 spot, and from there the grouping gets pretty tight. The next four shows in the pecking order — Supergirl, Supernatural, Legacies, and Arrow  — all hang together in the mid-.50s, with Arrow pulling a .52 rating as the ‘verse’s flagship series moves through its final-season swan song.

That still puts Arrow well ahead of Black Lightning, Nancy Drew, and Charmed, which fall farther down the ratings list. Season 2 of Charmed has so far managed to conjure a modest .36 rating, though a timeslot change this year may be partly to blame. Plus, as the report notes, Charmed is still grabbing tons more eyeballs than Dynasty and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend managed last year in the same slot. 

With Supernatural and Arrow shooting out of the rotation at season’s end (and the Green Arrow and the Black Canaries spinoff potentially waiting in the wings), hooking as many viewers as possible (or failing to) can help write the fate of The CW’s fall lineup as 2020 — and the inevitable trove of new TV pitches — gets closer. Now that we’ve got a momentary breather from Crisis on Infinite Earths, tally up your own rankings and let us know which show stands at the top of your own personal honor roll for The CW’s biggest shows.