What Does the CW's Future Look Like?

Hi! I'm Hunter, author of the summer renew/cancel predictions and this is my third of five posts about the future of the major broadcast networks. This week, I'm talking about the CW. How will the CW do in the 2015-16 season? What shows will come back in 2016-17? How might the network do when its older shows end? Those are some of the questions that I will try to answer!

The CW's fall schedule is really interesting, and that's because there is only one new show on it. One! Tuesday and Wednesday's schedule this fall looks exactly the same as the schedule for those days last spring. The Originals moved from Monday to Thursday, Reign moved from Thursday to Friday, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend debuts on Mondays. The fact that the CW renewed nine regular season scripted shows, plus America's Next Top Model and Whose Line is it Anyway? when they only have ten hours of programing a week makes it look like the network is doing well, but it doesn't necessarily mean that. Reign had awful ratings at the end of season two, and you'd be very optimistic to think that the ratings won't reach atrocious later on in season three. The Originals isn't very strong, and The Vampire Diaries is dying. Jane the Virgin gets decent ratings, but lives on due to critical acclaim. iZombie gets decent ratings and has the network's best possible lead-in, though it is consistent, even with reruns as a lead-in. The 100 has alright ratings, but is consistent. That leaves The Flash, Arrow, and Supernatural, the network's real hits.

That sounded very negative, but really, the network is in good shape. I expect Wednesdays and especially Tuesdays to do really well in the fall. These two nights have the network's three hits, plus iZombie, which could easily grow this fall, with its repeats doing very well this summer. Expect new fans in October. Jane the Virgin has potential to grow as well, with the great amount of critical acclaim, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a good pair with Jane. However, Mondays will always be a weak night for the CW, at least while The Voice is still big. There's a possibility that The Vampire Diaries and The Originals airing on the same night will help each other, and The Originals will surely to better than Reign did last year. America's Next Top Model does decently on Fridays, and then there's Reign.

In terms of midseason shows, the CW has Arrow and The Flash spin-off DC's Legends of Tomorrow will likely do well considering the success of Arrow and The Flash. The 100 is a returning show, and it should do better than Reign. Containment is doomed, and not because it looks terrible like mid-season shows in the past such as Star-Crossed, but because of how many shows are doing well on the network, leaving very few mid-season spots, and Legends of Tomorrow will surely have priority. Also it looks like this year's Cult, a show that does not belong on the CW. Containment looks like a NBC or maybe FOX show. Also, I mentioned a lack of mid-season spots. Jane the Virgin, The Flash, Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals will all stick around for the spring. America's Next Top Model is fall-only. That's one spot, there's two more shows. I would be very surprised if Reign wasn't put on hiatus for at least three months in early 2016. Then, we need one more spot in mid-season. It is going to be Crazy Ex-Girlfriend versus iZombie for getting a full season, and I fully expect iZombie to win. I don't know what the mid-season schedule will look like. I doubt that the CW would want to put Legends of Tomorrow on Monday or Containment on Friday. I think a Thursday show will move to Friday, and The 100 will join it there. Containment will end up on Monday, and Legends of Tomorrow will be on Thursday. But, anything can happen with the CW's mid-season schedule this year.

What will be back the following season? The shows that I named for sure to stick around for the spring will be back, as will Legends of Tomorrow, and Reign will, but for summer 2017. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Containment are dead. iZombie will most likely return, but not for sure. The 100 is really the biggest toss-up. In my opinion, it will get a fourth season, and it will be on Fridays 2017. But I don't know if season four will be thirteen episodes, it could be ten or six. It's really hard to say for The 100.

The CW really has a bright future, for a broadcast network that is. Two of its three current hits are young, and one of its two old shows is dying anyway. Eventually, the CW will need some hits that are not Arrow spin-offs, but for now, they are doing fine.

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