Even as The CW doubles down on the DC properties that keep fans tuning in, it’s reportedly making a significant leadership change at one of the network’s top creative posts, tapping a longtime Arrowverse writer and co-producer to take over Wendy Mericle’s role as showrunner — beginning with Arrow’s upcoming seventh season.
According to Deadline, former Arrow co-producer and writer Beth Scwhartz has been promoted to the show’s executive producer and showrunner roles, bringing along 16 years’ worth of experience that carries over from her earliest days when she first started out as an assistant on Everwood, which aired on the now-defunct WB Network.
Arrow co-creator and co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim reportedly will step back to make way for Schwartz, moving into “an executive consultant role” on both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, per the report. Mericle had been on Arrow since after the pilot, and had been a co-showrunner since Season 4.
Schwartz officially joined the Arrowverse in 2012, and has since gone on to write or co-write more than two dozen Arrow episodes, as well as the “Fail-Safe” and “Left Behind” episodes on spinoff series Legends of Tomorrow.
Per Deadline, DC series executive producer Greg Berlanti called Schwartz a “captivating storyteller” who’s “been a source of some of the show’s most exciting and memorable moments from the beginning.”
Mericle is reportedly leaving the show altogether after a tenure that dates all the way back to Arrow’s first season. Describing Arrow’s early-days creative process, as well as its lasting legacy, to SYFY WIRE in late 2016, Mericle said there was “no template” as writers collaborated on where each season’s story arc would go.
“We were constantly reinventing the wheel,” she said. “That makes, I think, for very compelling storytelling and people staying interested. You don’t know what you’re going to get.”
As the creative leadership changes hands for the long-running series’ seventh season, we’re interested in what new changes lie in store. The CW only recently announced Arrow’s renewal for 2018, but hasn’t revealed a firm date on when the show might make its debut — though if tradition holds, we can expect it sometime in the fall.