The Arrowverse is an American media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on various television series airing on The CW and web series airing on CW Seed. The series were developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, Ali Adler, Phil Klemmer, and Geoff Johns, and based on characters appearing in publications by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the DC Universe and DC Multiverse in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters that span across five live-action television series and three animated series.
The franchise began with Arrow, based on the character Green Arrow, which debuted in October 2012. It was followed by The Flash in 2014, and the animated web-series Vixen in 2015. The franchise was further expanded in 2016, when in January of that year a new series titled Legends of Tomorrow debuted, starring characters that originally appeared on both Arrow and The Flash. Later that year, the CBS series Supergirl, having already crossed-over with The Flash, was moved to The CW for its second season, where it has remained since. A fifth TV series, Batwoman, will premiere in the fall of 2019. A second animated web-series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, was released in 2017, which followed Ray Terrill / The Ray, who would make a live-action appearance during that year’s crossover event “Crisis on Earth-X”. In addition to the live-action and web-based series, the franchise has spawned three promotional tie-in live-action web series, Blood Rush, Chronicles of Cisco, and The Flash: Stretched Scenes; released in 2013, 2016, and 2017 respectively. Since 2014, there has been a yearly crossover event involving many of the live-action series of the Arrowverse. Additionally, Matt Ryan has reprised his role as John Constantine from the NBC series Constantine, in guest appearances in episodes of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, before becoming a series regular for the latter.
The franchise has been successful, creating a large fandom around the world and has received positive reviews, critics praised the themes, action sequences, direction and character development.