Jess’s Take: The CW is Full of Woe, Can it Come Back?

Jessica here, back with another Jess's Take. 

Back in my podcast TV update, I went into detail of the CW canceling everything in sight. Here's a recap. 

The CW had canceled many shows from their lineup, including those with Netflix deals. Here are the following shows leaving the CW airwaves: 4400, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Charmed, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, In the Dark, Legacies, Naomi, The Republic of Sarah, and Roswell: New Mexico, with Riverdale and Supergirl getting renewed for final seasons. One thing I am speculating with the whole slate getting canceled was nothing to do with ratings (although ratings on these shows were pretty much low the entire season, and 0.0 in the key 18-49 demographic on a regular occurrence doesn’t help matters), it has everything to do with the sale of the CW by network partners Paramount (when it was ViacomCBS) and Warner Bros. Discovery (before Discovery acquired WarnerMedia).

Let's start with January when Mark Pedowitz sent an internal memo to corporate headquarters about the sale. On January 5, word got out that Nexstar Media Group was negotiating with the two broadcast partners for a majority stake in the network. According to Variety, this was first reported in the Wall Street Journal. “Nexstar, based in Irving, Texas, is the nation’s largest owner of TV stations and the core affiliate group for the CW in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles.” – Variety. If you have not heard of the NewsNation channel, a recent news network, this is owned by Nexstar. The channel itself used to be known as WGN America.

In late June, Nexstar purchased the CW and now controls 75% of the CW, while Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount control the other 25%. This led to many cancelations on the network.

Fast forward to now, we have ratings from the now-Nexstar majority owned CW. And it's not exactly looking in the best shape. 

The highest rated CW show, All American is pulling in renewable numbers at a 0.13 with less than 500,000 viewers, but it has a successful Netflix deal on its side and a spinoff. Walker follows the spinoff closely behind with a 0.09, but skews older with 748,000 viewers. And that's in A18-49. The rest of the CW is closely behind in 0.0 territory. 

Realistically, I don't know if I can see the CW survive much longer in its current state, but with broadcast ratings down across the board, there has to be another way, and I'm not sure about the plans Nexstar has yet. 

And this concludes another installment of Jess's Take. Stay tuned for more installments. 

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