2016 Ratings in Review--The CW

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, December 27, 2016
As the third installment in this series, let's take a look at some of the most notable things done by The CW this season. Let me know what you think of my picks and be sure to leave your own in the comments section below!

1) Frequency and No Tomorrow Don't Get Backorders

Each season, many new shows premiere on the broadcast networks, most of which get 10 to 13 episode initial orders with the option for a backorder. While a sizable number of shows each season don't get backorders, The CW is usually pretty generous with that. In fact, they've renewed nearly all of their shows in the past two seasons; only limited series The Messengers and Containment, as well as veteran Hart of Dixie, were canceled over the course of this time period. The fact that Frequency and No Tomorrow didn't even receive backorders is a rarity for The CW today, but it happened to both of their new fall shows. They're very likely hoping for better midseason, with Riverdale premiering and Legends of Tomorrow moving to the coveted post-Flash time slot.

2) The Vampire Diaries Comes to an End

The Vampire Diaries as a whole was one of the most, if not the most, successful series created by The CW. However, in recent seasons it's been just a shadow of what it once was, and last midseason it was moved to Fridays to make room for shows with more long-term potential. Despite premiering at 75% of the non-sports league average (a rarity for The CW), recent episodes have hit less than 30%, and it ranks towards the bottom of all broadcast network shows in Live + Same Day ratings. It was time to move on, but nonetheless an important milestone in The CW's history.

3) Critics Love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a flop. Always has been, probably always will be, and as long as your show doesn't go under its rating, and the lowest-rated show on broadcast. It's average is at 15% of the non-sports league-average. So, an average show rates almost 7 times better than it. But critics, especially those who vote for those Golden Globes, love it and the people involved, something that can't be said for almost any other show on broadcast television. With Rachel Bloom, the titular actress, up for yet another major nomination for a Golden Globe, The CW is likely to keep it around regardless of ratings.

4) Supergirl Moves from CBS

A few recent canceled broadcast shows, such as Community, Nashville, America's Next Top Model, and Unforgettable, have been revived by smaller outlets such as cable or streaming. However, it is almost unheard of for a show to move from one network to another. See, Supergirl was owned by Warner Brothers and aired on CBS, the two entities who co-own The CW. I was debating putting this one on the list considering I also put it on the CBS list, but I went with it because the move was just so significant. It usually hovers in the 0.7-0.9 range in terms of A18-49 L+SD ratings, enough to make it the network's #2 show in that coveted demographic.

5) DC Shows Are Supreme

This is less a notable moment and more an overall trend, but let's acknowledge how different The CW is now than at its inception. In the beginning, The CW was focused on young female-skewing shows like The Vampire Diaries and 90210. However, now The CW is focused more on the DC Comics shows that Warner Brothers produce, with CBS offering more niche programming. The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow are The CW's top 4 shows this season. Enough said.

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