The CW Gets its Mid-Season Report Card

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.

Grade: C+

• FOX gets its Mid-Season Report Card
• ABC gets its Mid-Season Report Card
• NBC gets its Mid-Season Report Card
• CBS gets its Mid-Season Report Card

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  • Mayhoff

    Agree- 90210 is a lot better this season. I was a little worried after S1.

  • Ace

    I am actually shocked at how much I have enjoyed Vampire Diaries, but the only other thing I watch on the CW is Gossip Girl and it has been kind of annoying lately. I am looking forward to Life Unexpected though. And I really should start watching Smallville again. I dropped out at the end of season 6. Esp now that it won’t be against Dollhouse or Ugly Betty.

  • Shazz

    Gossip Girl is the only show I really like on the CW, so stupid making it have a long break.

  • Heather

    Supernatural and Vampire Diaries are the best shows on the CW right now. I miss the glory days when they had a ton of great shows, hopefully Life Unexpected does well and hopefully Supernatural lives on for a 6th season!

  • Nick

    CW should *really* be concerned about Top Model. The numbers have fallen wayyy off, and it’s the same-old, same-old, cycle after cycle. Why is there such apparent opposition to a cycle of male models? Reinvigorate the show, while you still have a few people who even care, CW.

    The Friday 9p encores are still a sore spot. We’re asking for 10 original hours a week, not 7 hours and 3 hours of encores. The shows now airing are pretty good, but more timeslot-sharing (i.e. 3 shows occupying 2 slots, a la Life Unexpected on Mondays) needs to be the norm. It’s a must to develop a minimum of 2 new hits per season.

  • TVFan

    After dropping Sunday and barely managing to program Wednesday and Friday, I have stopped taking the CW seriously as a network. It’s one night away from becoming the next USA/TNT/SyFy etc.

  • NikkiHolly

    i can’t wait for Life UneXpected this january!

  • Suz

    Why can’t the CW recognize a hit show like Supernatural as much as it does all the others? Is CW and Dawn Ostroff going to eat crow when Supernatural gets great ratings in its syndicated reruns on TNT. Maybe then they’ll realize its their one show that could help keep their network from failing. GG, Melrose Place, 90210?? Take the characters from one and put them in another. Same boring show, same boring plotlines.

  • The only two shows I ever watch are SMALLVILLE, and SUPERNATURAL.Take these shows off and there will be no reason to watch the CW. You need these shows to keep us, old timers, over 60 folks watchings

  • sam

    No comment