Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Really Doing the Midseason Shuffle: The CW

The CW's midseason schedule provided the fewest changes from the fall lineup, with only one show getting the axe, one show premiering, and one show changing timeslots. The biggest news is from Deadline, who broke that Dawn Ostroff will most likely not be returning as the head of the network for next season.

Monday

8:00 - 90210
9:00 - Gossip Girl

No changes here. I expected 90210 to be gone by the end of the season, but it's been doing surprisingly well in its new slot. Gossip Girl has fallen considerably over the years, yet it is still one of the network's highest performing shows in their target demographic: women 18-34.

Tuesday

8:00 - One Tree Hill
9:00 - Hellcats

This is where the changes happen with Life Unexpected going off the air on January 18, following a double-episode burn off. The show hasn't been officially canceled, but it did not receive a backorder (when all the other series did) and its final episodes are airing before the network's other shows are officially back from hiatus. Plus, Warner Brothers recently announced the release of "The Complete Series" on DVD in April of 2011... so it's pretty much dead. And to take its spot, Hellcats makes the move out of the way of American Idol.

Wednesday

8:00 - America's Next Top Model
9:00 - Shedding for the Wedding

This is actually a very smart night for the CW. With American Idol's peformance shows now moving to Wednesdays, it makes sense to have a night of reality fare up against it. ANTM is the network's best-performing show in all demographics (its finale even beat NBC in November, giving the CW a third-place finish for the hour), so if anything is going to hold up against American Idol, this is it. The CW doesn't have the best luck with other reality shows, however; in fact their track record is downright hideous. So if new series Shedding for the Wedding fails in its timeslot, the network can blame the competition rather than its trite premise of brides losing weight before the big day.

Thursday

8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - Nikita

Again, no changes here. I still am fascinated by the fact that Nikita got a backorder, however; it usually garners about a 1.0 in the adults 18-49 demo, which is better than Life Unexpected's usual 0.7 or 0.8.. but it is also not the CW's target demo. In the women 18-34, the latter has consistently outperformed Nikita, even though neither show's numbers are particularly great (about 1.3. vs. 1.1). But perhaps with Dawn Ostroff out the door, that target demographic is beginning to change...? If so, the backorder for Nikita makes perfect sense: it outperforms at least two other CW shows in A18-49 numbers.

Friday

8:00 - Smallville
9:00 - Supernatural

Smallville enters its final few episodes following the winter hiatus; I'm very curious to see what the CW does with Supernatural now. It was supposed to end last season, according to the creator and his original five-year plan for the show, but was renewed even at mediocre numbers; but following Smallville, it has increased its audience and its demo over last season, when it followed the highly successful The Vampire Diaries. I wouldn't think the CW would want to move it back to that timeslot, but would they want to launch a new show on Friday nights at 8:00? Where else is it compatible?

So even though their midseason schedule is not at all risky or exciting, there are some interesting things ahead for the CW. Will Dawn Ostroff leave? What will that mean for the network's demographic? Which of the new shows will be returning next year, and which of the veterans will get the chop? Something's got to give this year... stay tuned.

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