What Does the CW's Future Look Like?

Halfway through the series of posts where I look at the networks futures, we reach the CW. The big questions to answer in this article on the ten-hour network are: How will the CW do in the 2016-17 season? Which shows are likely to return for the 2017-18 season? How might the network do when its older shows come to an end?

Supergirl has moved from CBS to the CW, where it will fit in more, with super hero shows beginning the night on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well, I think that the show will do quite well, potentially being the CW's #2 show for the season. Meanwhile at 9:00, Jane the Virgin will likely see a boost thanks to a much improved lead-in. However, the show is still a weak one that will likely follow Nikita, Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie, and most likely Reign in finishing after four seasons.

The two oldest superhero shows on the CW are strong ones, The Flash and Arrow likely to get strong ratings again for another season. Also, both shows must now launch new ones. No Tomorrow comes from the creators of Jane the Virgin, and like Jane it's a dramedy produced by CBS, so it will most likely join the low-rated CBS dramedy club. However, this one can last if it gets the acclaim that Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and more importantly their stars Gina Rodriguez and Rachel Bloom got. It's hard to know what to expect out of Frequency, but do remember that the CW rarely cancels shows.

The one superhero show that isn't as strong is the young Legends of Tomorrow. Luckily, this show is now getting the show that Arrow and The Flash originally got as their lead-outs as its lead-out, Supernatural. The long-running drama just can't seem to die, and it may provide help for Legends of Tomorrow as it enters its second season. Legends of Tomorrow's ratings are currently unsure, but it is highly unlikely that they will be low enough for a cancelation, if that is even possible.

The Vampire Diaries is coming to an end, and to a ratings follower four years ago, that would be a reason to be concerned for the network. Sure, Supernatural is hanging in there, and new show Arrow could be a hit, but what else does the network have? Luckily, in the time between then and now, the network got a lot, specifically high-rated The Flash, former CBS show Supergirl, and decent performers Legends of Tomorrow, Jane the Virgin, iZombie, and The 100. All of that is good enough for a ten hour network, and let's not forget that The Originals isn't a flop, even if it's not the highest rated of shows. At 9:00 on Fridays is low-rated Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and who knows what to expect for season two, stability, flopping, or even a rise, and who knows what it is the CW needs to keep it around. Stable ratings? Continued critical acclaim? Or does reaching season 2 on the CW guarantee you 4 seasons? Who knows what the rules are on the CW, which makes it difficult to predict the fates of shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, like it was difficult to predict for iZombie last year.

While other networks may be worrying how they are going to replace their old hits, that's not really a problem the CW has to deal with. The Vampire Diaries is ending, and that matters surprisingly little, and who knows if Supernatural's end is even in sight. Even if it is, the network won't be at a huge loss without it, as it isn't a huge performer, and they still have their superhero shows delivering the ratings and anchoring nights.

The CW's future is bright, because their hits are young and they have nights well anchored. The network may get lower ratings than the big four, but it's future looks better than theirs do.

What do you think the CW's future looks like? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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