Getting way out ahead of the spring curve, The CW renewed half of its primetime lineup on Thursday (February 13), led by four shows you already knew they were going to renew, plus one small surprise.
The not-surprises first: The CW has ordered a sixth season for “The Vampire Diaries,” a 10th season for “Supernatural,” a third season for “Arrow” and a second season for “The Originals.”
What? you figured any of those dramas were going to be on the bubble? No.
On the other hand, The CW also picked up a second season of “Reign,” which represented a major change-of-pace for the network and has been steady on Thursday, even if it regularly loses much of its “Vampire Diaries” lead-in.
“This season we’ve had great success with our new hit series ‘The Originals’ paired with ‘Supernatural,’ giving us our best Tuesday nights in years,” blurbs CW President Mark Pedowitz. “‘The Vampire Diaries’ is #2 in its time period in the young adult demos, and with ‘Arrow’ continuing to gain among young men, and ‘Reign’ growing its time period, we now have strong nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I’m very pleased to announce early pickups for all five series, and let our fans know they”ll have more great drama to look forward to next season.”
Let’s work backwards, eh?
“Reign” was always a decent bet for renewal. The CW has bubblier bubble shows in “The Carrie Diaries” and “Beauty and the Beast,” plus “The Tomorrow People,” which is likely to see a big drop when it shifts to Monday nights. Also in some limbo is “Hart of Dixie,” which is staring down a shift to Fridays as part of The CW’s comedy-esque new lineup.
Including DVR figures, “Reign” has boosted The CW’s time period averages by 4 percent overall and 8 percent among women 18-49, which isn’t so shabby given that unlike recent time slot occupants, “Reign” wasn’t pre-engineered to be compatible with its “Vampire Diaries” lead-in.
Speaking of “The Vampire Diaries,” it remains The CW’s top show in most key female demos and thanks to the 8 p.m. Thursday ratings embarrassments on ABC and NBC, The CW ranks third for the season in that hour in the 18-49 demo and tied for second in the 18-34 demo. In addition, “The Vampire Diaries” helped spawn “The Originals,” which has combined with “Supernatural” to double The CW’s Tuesday averages in the 18-34 demo, while boosting the 18-49 demo by 150 percent. That’s a lot.
And, finally, there’s “Arrow,” which is averaging 3.9 million viewers (that includes some DVR numbers, of course), making it The CW’s most watched show. “Arrow” apparently wins its time period among men 18-34, though it wasn’t all that successful at launching “The Tomorrow People.”
With half of its schedule already set to return for 2014-2015, The CW is also looking to leverage those five successes into future hits. “The Flash” is shooting a separate pilot, but the DC Comics adaptation has already been seeded in two fall episodes of “Arrow” and you might think those two would make a logical pairing. In addition, The CW has already announced a pilot for a nested spinoff from “Supernatural,” titled “Supernatural: Tribes,” which will air as a “Supernatural” episode in the spring.
In addition, The CW has “The 100” and “Star-Crossed” premiering in the next two months.