The premiere of the annual Arrowverse crossover reaped large ratings gains for The CW Sunday night. The CW reintroduced Sunday night programming earlier this season after not having any programming on the night for several years. With Supergirl in the 8 p.m. slot and the Charmed reboot at the 9 p.m., Sunday ratings have so far been decent for the network. Executives at The CW decided to run the first part of this season’s crossover, entitled “Elseworlds,” on Sunday, with network staple The Flash setting up the storyline. Watched by 1.8 million viewers and earning a 0.6 rating in the all important 18-49 demographic, the episode was a major boost for the network, which usually averages a 0.36 for the timeslot. Charmed was also helped by the episode, earning a 0.3 rating and watched by 963,000 people.
In addition to the ratings push, the episode was universally acclaimed by fans and critics alike. The episode started with classic DC Comics villain The Monitor empowering the eccentric Dr. John Deegan with the power to change reality. Deegan’s first act is to have Barry Allen and Oliver Queen switch bodies. As their respective teams refuse to acknowledge that anything is amiss, Barry and Oliver visit Earth-38 and enlist the help of Supergirl and Superman. The episode concludes with the team learning that Deegan and The Monitor are responsible for the Barry and Oliver’s plight.
While fans were excited to see The Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Superman finally working together, most praised the introduction of The Monitor. Originally introduced in the comics in 1982, The Monitor is portrayed by LaMonica Garrett in “Elseworlds.” Speaking on his casting, Garrett told ComicBook.com that producers of the show were very secretive, at first not telling him what character he was auditioning for in the special. A comic book fan himself, Garrett was thrilled to learn that he was playing The Monitor. While not revealing too much information, Garrett teased that the heroes would have a hard time defeating The Monitor throughout the three-night event. Garrett also said that he would love to do an adaptation of the storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths, a 1985 DC Comics event that heavily featured The Monitor and resulted in the death of Barry Allen’s Flash.
The “Elseworlds” crossover event continues with this week’s episodes of Arrow and Supergirl.