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Superman & Lois: What A Shortened Season 4 Could Mean For The Future Of The Show

Earlier this week, The CW renewed "Superman & Lois" for Season 4, allowing fans to finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois' (Elizabeth Tulloch) family story continues. However, it's not all sunshine in Smallville, as Season 4 will only be ten episodes, cutting it down even more from its original 15-episode run.

Despite separating itself from the Arrowverse, "Superman & Lois" doesn't seem long for this world. In the original report, Deadline mentions that the show's renewal comes after months of negotiations with The CW, which wants to move on from the superhero shows that once dominated the network. For that reason, Season 4 seems like a gift from the network, allowing the production to give "Superman & Lois" the proper ending it deserves.

With James Gunn and Peter Safran now at the head of DC Studios, the creative duo wants to streamline the DC Universe into something akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, telling a connected story across movies and television. So, despite having a devoted fanbase, no one expects "Superman & Lois" to continue past Season 4. However, no one thought it would continue after Season 3, so there's still hope for the series.

Max could come to the rescue

According to Deadline's report, "Superman & Lois" had to take massive budget cuts to return for a fourth season on The CW, meaning the show is losing a staggering number of series regulars. With the Man of Steel and his super family being the focus, the show needs a considerable amount of special effects. Given The CW's desire to move past superhero dramas, it doesn't make sense for the network to continue shoveling money towards "Superman & Lois."

However, "Superman & Lois" becoming a Max Original could solve all its problems. The streamer could offer the series a much higher budget than The CW, allowing it not only to continue but elevate the quality of the special effects and bring back the cut cast members. It also wouldn't be the first time Max swooped in to save a DC show, as "Titans," "Doom Patrol," "Young Justice," and "Harley Quinn" were originals for DC's short-lived streaming service, DC Universe, before becoming Max Originals.

James Gunn has reiterated that other DC projects, outside of his new DCU, would continue to thrive alongside his new cinematic universe, labeling them "Elseworlds" projects, so franchises like "The Batman" and "Joker" can continue without needing to connect to Gunn's DCU plans. Continuity-wise, there's no reason "Superman & Lois" couldn't join this group, continuing as another separate universe if it were to become a Max Original series. However, if Gunn would rather not have another Superman sharing the spotlight with whoever he eventually casts in the role, "Superman & Lois" Season 4 could be the last time we see this version of the Man of Steel.