Contributor Collaborative 1: The CW's Strategy and What's Next for FOX

Welcome to our first-ever Contributor Collaborative. In this edition, we have two topics: The CW's current strategy and the future of FOX's summers. Make sure to leave your own thoughts in the comments below!

The CW's Strategy

For a show, it is really good to be airing on the CW. The CW basically renewed everything this season including the shows that were doing terribly in linear ratings. Going forward, with the Netflix deal, this is likely to be a short term fix. If Warner Bros. moves forward with its new streaming service, then the CW will have to figure out a way to rebrand itself. Based on current linear ratings, there has gotta be a ratings limit.

I don't watch anything on The CW, but let me say one thing about it: After having my favorite show unceremoniously get axed two seasons in a row (FOX's The Last Man on Earth in 2018, and ABC's Speechless this year -- at least NBC's The Good Place, my last fave, gets a chance to wind down and conclude on its own terms next year), I can only imagine how great it must feel to be a fan of any of The CW's shows and not have to worry about it suddenly being canceled, regardless of ratings (generally speaking, of course).

The Ratings Junkie:
To me, it's notable that The CW is trying originals in the summer on Sundays at 8pm, given it's a night that they just reestablished in 2018. Granted, they are not doing too well there; Burden of Truth is getting rounded-up 0.1s in the A18-49 demo, and once dragged down a rerun of Supernatural to the infamous 0.0 A18-49 rating. It's probable that the network airs originals in the summer due to the inevitability of reruns doing terrible. Still, at a certain point it seems like they should start canceling some more shows. The phasing out of the Netflix deal might do that in the near future.

The Future of FOX's Summers

FOX's summers going forward will have game shows and reality shows plus a few new shows here and there. I don't expect the upcoming BH90210 revival to do well, as we've seen in recent reboots and revivals, but reboots and revivals will continue to be the thing that network studios want to make in order to make some money.

I don't know, but I'm curious to see What Just Happened? with Fred Savage (which is supposed to air a half-hour before another show I've been watching on Sunday nights, the Renaissance Faire dramedy American Princess on Lifetime). I can't imagine it'll do all that well ratings-wise after animation reruns, and I'm not sure how much promotion/marketing will help or hurt it, but I like the idea of summer seasons being used to try out different things and take chances on quirkier projects.

The Ratings Junkie:
"New Fox" wants to rely more on unscripted programming, so I don't think they'll be too picky when it comes to renewing current shows. So You Think You Can Dance has been on FOX longer than American Idol did, yet the former has not looked strong in years. First Responders Live is far from doing great, but is from Dick Wolf and seemingly on-brand for their future. Even if their summer originals aren't super strong, I can easily see them continue to shift away from reruns of in-season shows.

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