The Good: Finally giving its audience something to talk, tweet and text about, the CW successfully bit into the Vampire craze with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, resulting in their first bonafide breakout hit since the creation of the network. Meanwhile, after a slow start to the season, loyal fans of the Red-Blue Blur finally seemed to have discovered where SMALLVILLE landed on the schedule (Hint: Friday). While Rebecca Sinclair, a super-hero of an entirely different nature proved that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword by turning the train-wreck that was 90210′s freshman season into a flirty, fun and increasingly addictive night time sudser.
The Bad: Aside from the unmitigated disaster that is MELROSE PLACE’s first season, the fact of the matter is that the CW simply backed the wrong
horse demographic. While studies indicate that the network’s audience (particular teenagers) are watching TV in record numbers, they [unfortunately for the network's bean counters] aren’t doing so live (Shows such as SMALLVILLE, TOP MODEL, GOSSIP GIRL and 90210 frequently add 1 million plus viewers when DVR playback is factored in). Which means that until advertisers start to see the value in online and DVR viewership — or Nielsen gets their act together and starts measuring viewers properly — the CW will continue to be a virtual non-factor in the ratings game.
The Prognosis: Isn’t great. Although we are very much looking forward to the CW going back to their WB roots with the upcoming January premiere of LIFE UNEXPECTED, the little-network-that-could has some serious question marks surrounding their future. Not the least of which is what exactly is up with their MIA development slate and what exactly is Dawn Ostroff planning to replace aging hits such as SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL and ONE TREE HILL with — if and when they call it quits.