Schadenfreude Alert! Former WB Star Reacts to CW’s Faltering Ratings

Schadenfreude is a german word defined as pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. And while we wouldn’t go as far to say that we derive pleasure from the paltry 1.15 million viewers the network that canceled LIFE UNEXPECTED managed to attract to last night’s premiere of SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING, we couldn’t help but smile. We also couldn’t help but wonder what actor Stephen Collins (NO ORDINARY FAMILY) thought of his former home (7th HEAVEN spent a decade on the WB before ending its run with a final season on the CW) and the downward spiral the network seems to have taken since completely neglecting their family friendly WB roots.

“You know, we were very lucky that that for 10 of the 11 years 7th HEAVEN was on the WB Network and only the last season was on the CW. Let me put it this way, it was pretty clear to us very early during that last season that we were not high on their list of priorities,” explained Collins during a phone interview today to tout the slew of incredible upcoming NO ORDINARY FAMILY episode (more on that later!) “The message always unspoken was we want more shows like GOSSIP GIRL, thank you very much 7th HEAVEN you’re a sweet show but please get out of the way.”

More noteworthy still was that even its final season, after being shifted from the Monday at 8PM timeslot where the show had spent the better part of 10 years, HEAVEN still managed to attract 3.3 million viewer. Numbers that by today’s standards would have the show right up their with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES as one of the CW’s most popular.

“They [shows like GOSSIP GIRL, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES] seem be feeling a niche and certainly seem to be buzz worthy, but if you look at the numbers I don’t know how it works,” explained Collins. “I think it’s very sweet for [7th HEAVEN creator] Brenda Hampton to be able to go over [to ABC Family] and do SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER and double the ratings of GOSSIP GIRL because I’m pretty sure that network passed on that show.”

For more with NO ORDINARY FAMILY’s Stephen Collins, including some truly stellar spoilers as to what’s upcoming for the nefarious Dr. King, as well as his association with the equally mysterious Mrs. X, be sure to tune into on Tuesday.

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • shanna

    Wow. Burn and oh so right.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Schadenfreude Alert! Former WB Star Reacts to CW’s Faltering Ratings | the TV addict --

  • Nick

    CW, you have a nationwide network. One of only 5 in existence. Utilize your asset. Bring in fresh blood, fresh minds, fresh ideas. Have a ceremonial “re-launch,” a new direction after Dawn’s exit. Try to recapture the magic and buzz and vibe that The WB offered in its heyday.

    Don’t use “old” CBS thinking with this young network. Be bold, a risk-taker, innovative, splashy. Conservative isn’t connecting with your target audience. Let Dawn’s successor lead a dramatic shift toward capturing a wide-ranging young adult audience.

  • WB and UPN each used to have an identity and an audience and while I didn’t like everything they had both had lots of good shows over the years. CW made short work of the shows that migrated to them and since then have had few successes, none of which have the flavor of WB which people my age loved when we were younger and would still watch if it existed today. While I never was into 7th Heaven I did like other shows of that time period and that WB style just isn’t out there now.

  • Wow, he really slammed The CW. But he isn’t saying anything different then what everyone else is saying, and that’s as a whole The CW isn’t working out. Their programming is actually very off putting, and more variety needs to be offered.

  • Lovebsg

    this is so stupid first off all, its like comparing apples to oranges
    7th heaven was a horrible show and had really bad ratings on its last season, back then and it did not have to deal with dvr’s and illigal downloading which fyi cw is the most affected network since they go for such a young audience. dont get me wrong i hate almost all cw shows excep for VD, Nikita and supernatural, the rest is pretty much crap

  • Lovebsg

    plus whit the new pilots they picked up it seams they r going back to their wb routes they just need to get rid of their monday to wednesday line up

  • Nick

    Very insightful. 7th Heaven was so poorly written and acted, it’s amazing people watched. No doubt, same crowd that tunes in Biggest Loser. Sure, I’d much rather have Secret Life… instead of 7th, whose renewal cost us the continuation of Everwood. CW made its first big blunder with that programming move.

    I agree about getting rid of all current M-W shows, except 90210. CW needs a new strategy for 2011-12.

  • Off the top of my head, 7th Heaven was supposed to end after its 10th season, because of the contractually mandated annual increases in license fees and *cough* star salaries *cough*.

    But when the decision was made to merge with UPN and create The CW, they decided to take the financial hit to resurrect the series for a final zombie lap since it was a known entity as they launched a new network.

    They forced Catherine Hicks to take a pay cut by sitting out for several episodes and hired those awful replacement teens (T-Bone, etc.) since the real kids (other than Ruthie) had either moved on already or been let go.

    So the real story is, The WB let Stephen Collins and the show go; The CW brought it back and gave it a mercy year because it was in their financial interest. It probably had almost nothing to do with content, because this show was terrible. What I can’t explain is why I watched every episode.

  • WOW! Very impressive (and a little scared) that you saw every single episode.

  • Well these days the CW is more about looks than talent almost like the entire hollywood industry. You can have fake boobs, a pretty face and no talent and still be cast in some movie.

  • Mstewart30

    Sorry but I don’t know anyone who would rather watch 7th Heaven or Secret Life over either Gossip Girl or especially Vampire Diaries so… sorry but the CW is fine with me right now even if it isn’t doing as good as the WB did.

  • Parker Gabriel

    No ordinary enemy of the “Enterprise,” he is speaking from 666th Hell.

  • Anthony

    The argument that “ratings aren’t what they used to be” is irrelevant here. Stephen flat out says that even NOW, Secret Life can still double Gossip Girl in the ratings when they air against each other. Completely disregarding what the actual ratings are, a national network like the CW pulls half of what ABC Family does? That’s pathetic. Well put, Rev Camden!

  • The CW and ABC Family should take a hint from the Premium channels, and only order 13 episodes a season. It will improve the quality of their product, enable more congruency by allowing the same writers and directors to director a higher proportion of their episodes, and leave the audience wanting more.

  • The Sonar Chicken

    Is he out of his mind? TVD and Supernatural rock!

    I’ve never watched 7th Heaven but it sounds like it really sucks. Though it’s true that TVD started out horrendously: bland writing, barely watchable acting. However, it’s become very interesting to watch and the acting is so much better now. When it stopped trying to be just another vampire story, it improved by leaps and bounds. Also, though TVD may be aimed mainly at young females, I do know quite a few males who watch that too. Yep, besides teenage males, there’re also grown adult males actually who like the story, plot twists and characters. Some like it together with True Blood, others preferred TVD over TB.

    Supernatural: slow start at first. Season1 was fun but it wasn’t until Season 2 when the plot really kicked into motion. And say what you like but had this show been on another bigger network, it’d either have been neutered or cancelled years ago. In fact, it’s a somewhat curious strategy for this show as many of its fans are adult males(20s to 50s) but they depend on 18 yr old females to sustain the ratings. But hey, whatever works. I know some dislike Season 6 but I really love the dark and grim tone it’s got going.