THE 100: Creator Jason Rothenberg Talks The Netflix Effect, Percolating Civil Wars and Clarke and Lexa

the 100

After a lengthy hiatus, THE 100 is back on a new night, with DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW as its new lead-in, and a little something, something on top of that. The show’s return comes complete with a serious amount of buzz. It feels like people are talking about the CW series more than ever before.

According to the show’s creator, there’s one reason to explain the much welcome watercooler talk. “Netflix,” claimed Jason Rothenberg, who talked to The TV Addict at the recent Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour. ”

“I do feel that [CW President] Mark Pedowitz in his infinite wisdom decided to make us a midseason show so that he could let people find the show,” he said.

The move back to midseason meant there would be plenty of time for curious viewers to catch up. Of course, there was a hitch in the plan.

“We didn’t know when the Netflix Season 2 premiere would be. And I was getting worried,” he revealed. “And then the announcement came early that it was going to be December 31. We were like, no way. It can’t be December 31 because it gives people 21 days to catch up.”

Thankfully, the CW was able to work the release date issues out. The second season landed on the streaming service in October. “So we had three whole months for people to binge,” said a relieved Rothenberg.

Hopefully, this binge-and-buzz situation will translate into new viewers now that the show’s epic story continues in Season 3.

Three months have passed since Clarke made the difficult — and brutal — decision to save her people at Mount Weather. She’s not in a good place even though her reputation has helped her reach an elevated status. Look for her eventual reunion with Lexa to be less than pleasant.

Related: Richard Harmon talks Murphy’s Journey in Season 3 & Henry Ian Cusick and Paige Turco Talk Camp Arkadia

“It’s going to be hard for the two of them to find their footing as friends and as a potential relationship,” teased Rothenberg. “Clarke was abandoned by Lexa. Clarke understands Lexa’s choice on an intellectual level. She did it to save her people, which is something Clarke can relate to if she’s able to take herself out of it and look at it objectively. That’s hard to do. Most people can’t do that.”

Politics will, once again, be a huge part of the equation. “I feel like our story is evolving and it’s spreading out as the world becomes more known to our heroes,” the executive producer explained.

So get ready to learn more about the Grounders, the different clans, and the Ice Nation. “The thing that makes up most of the storytelling in the first half of the season is that bigger political conflict, the civil war that’s percolating over in Polis with Lexa’s table of ambassadors and the civil war that’s percolating in Arkadia — formerly Camp Jaha — with our heroes.”

The civil war that’s brewing in Arkadia involves the introduction of a new group of people who were also once residents of the Ark. Their presence will affect everything. “This new faction comes into their world who’d had a different experience on the ground, an even harsher experience. They landed in the Ice Nation and have been fighting tooth and nail from the second they got there.”

One man, in particular, will prove to be an immediate influence. “[Pike's] a figure who when he shows up in the world of our show represents a different point of view from our heroes,” Rothenberg said. “He shakes things up. And other things happen. By the way, his world view is not entirely incorrect.”

While Clarke and Lexa deal with Grounder politics and the Ice Nation; and Abby and Cain deal with Pike, Jaha’s off on his own cult-like mission. It involves talking to a hologram named A.L.I.E. and finding the City of Light.

“Jaha has been obsessively trying to save his people and he feels he’s struck upon a way to do that,” said Rothenberg. “While we were away for three months he was working on it in the lab with A.L.I.E.”

Look for this arc to fully develop later in the season, once Jaha reunites with everyone at Arkadia. “They’re happy to see him at first,” he teased. “And then he’s brought with him an interesting story that winds up really becoming the story eventually.”

Season 3 of THE 100 premieres tonight at 9/8c on The CW.

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