It’s time for Barry Allen to run his final race, with the CW confirming that the next season of The Flash, its ninth, will be the last.
The long-running series, which stars Grant Gustin as – in the words he uses at the start of every episode – the fastest man alive, will come to a close with an abbreviated 13-episode run, launching mid-season, according to the network. It’s a move that’s been anticipated for some time, with the series’ eighth season originally intended to be its last before the network convinced Gustin and co-stars including Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker to return for a ninth year.
Despite its advanced age, the show continues to be one of the most-watched on the CW, with averaging 1.03 million viewers, in addition to being one of the network’s most-streamed shows online. During its lengthy run, Barry Allen has dealt with a number of heroes and villains familiar to fans of DC’s Flash comic book mythology, including the Reverse Flash, Gorilla Grodd, the Elongated Man, and Kid Flash; the character has also been at the center of a number of crossover events, including 2019’s live action 'Crisis on Infinite Earths.'
In a statement, showrunner Eric Wallace said, “Nine seasons! Nine years of saving Central City while taking audiences on an emotional journey full of heart, humor, and spectacle. 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 end of The Flash means that Superman and Lois, heading into its third season, will become the standard-bearer for the so-called Arrowverse – the term used for the CW’s many live-action projects based on DC properties; fellow Arrowverse shows Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman were both canceled by the network in April.
The Flash season nine is expected to go into production next month, ahead of an early 2023 debut.