The Good: Making good on his mandate to broaden the Network’s audience, newly-minted CW President Mark Pedowitz kicked off his first full season at the helm by successfully adding the heartwarming HART OF DIXIE and the dark and twisty RINGER to its roster of veteran hour longs.
The Bad: Nobody’s watching! Which is to say that with the exception of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and one perfectly timed MUPPET special, the first half of the CW’s season saw the majority of the its schedule stalled between the 1 to 2 million viewer mark. And while actual audience levels of the youth oriented Network are undoubtedly more when you incorporate DVR numbers, legal and dare-we-say-it, illegal online alternatives — the simple fact of the matter is that based on the traditional method in which audiences are measured and advertising is sold — the CW Network remains a virtual non-factor from a pure ratings point of view. Which brings us to…
The Future: Despite Mark Pedowitz’s increasingly-crowded development slate that includes exciting new projects from J.J. Abrams, Mark Schwann, Sara Rue, Eric Kripke among others, the future of the CW Network looks downright depressing if for no other treason than we don’t expect those responsible for holding the purse strings (Read: Parent Companies CBS and WBTV) to loosen their grip anytime soon. Which is why we thought we’d take this opportunity to offer up the perennial fifth place network a little unsolicited advice: Since your Parent Companies have taken it upon themselves to quietly transform your little operation into a loss leader for boosting foreign sales and selling DVDs, the time for change is now: Stop clinging to an antiquated ratings system that does little more than hurt your otherwise entertaining brand and publicly endorse a new method of measuring success based on factors such as online streams and foreign sales. Either that or turn the cast of GOSSIP GIRL into a gang of bloodthirsty vampires.