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The Flash is ending after a shortened season 9 — the Arrowverse is likely done

Grant Gustin in The Flash poster art
(Image credit: The CW)

The Flash's run is coming to an end. The CW announced that the show will conclude with season 9, which has been shortened to 13 episodes. They will air in 2023 as part of The CW's midseason lineup. The Flash will seemingly be the last of the mainline Arrowverse shows, so this is bringing the DC superhero franchise to an end. 

The Flash first debuted in 2014, the second Arrowverse show after Arrow. It stars Grant Gustin as crime scene investigator Barry Allen, who gains super speed powers after an accident at S.T.A.R. Labs. Wearing a mask and red suit, Barry battles criminals and other metahumans with the help of a trusted team. 

Coincidentally, the series finale will likely air not long before the scheduled release of The Flash movie starring Ezra Miller on June 23, 2023 — though the movie's fate is still somewhat in doubt due to Miller's off-screen controversies. The TV show and film have no connection to each other.

The Flash is one of The CW's biggest hits, continuing to notch strong performances even in later years. Season 8 was one of the network's most watched shows in 2021-2022, averaging over 1 million viewers and ranking among the most streamed shows on its digital platforms.

The Flash season 8 poster featuring cast

(Image credit: The CW)

The end comes as no surprise, as rumors were flying that season 8 would be the show's last. Then, The CW issued a renewal after signing deals with Gustin and co-stars Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker. 

“Nine seasons! Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor and spectacle,” executive producer Eric Wallace said in a statement.

Wallace continued, “And now Barry Allen has reached the starting gate for his last race. So many amazing people have given their talents, time and love to bring this wonderful show to life each week. So, as we get ready to honor the show’s incredible legacy with our exciting final chapter, I want to say thank you to our phenomenal cast, writers, producers and crew over the years who helped make The Flash such an unforgettable experience for audiences around the world."

The Flash is the most successful and longest-running of the Arrowverse series, even outlasting the OG Arrow (which ended after eight seasons). It was followed by Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning, which have all concluded. 

Unless The CW orders a new spinoff, this looks to be the culmination of the Arrowverse. The network's only remaining DC series are Superman & Lois (which is set in an alternate universe) and the upcoming Gotham Knights, about Bruce Wayne's adopted son and the children of Batman's enemies.

This spring, the network canceled many series and announced plans to wind down others, including Riverdale, ahead of its purchase by local stations group Nexstar. 

Next: Harry Potter movies are leaving HBO Max, and they're already on another service. The Sling TV free trial is back for a very limited time. Virgin River season 5 is in the works. 

Kelly Woo
Kelly Woo

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.