The CW found a (CW-sized) hit this season in “Arrow.” The first-year series is the most-watched show on the network at 3.7 million viewers, and runs second to “The Vampire Diaries” in adults 18-49 and The CW’s core demographic of adults 18-34.
It’s a start, at least. Although the network’s overall audience has inched up this season (1.3 million viewers in primetime vs. 1.24 million this time last year), it’s drawing slightly fewer of the young-adult viewers that are its lifeblood.
The CW is reportedly being a little more aggressive with series pickups for 2013-14, which could help keep it from the long stretches it currently goes without much original programming. That would help too.
As we’ve done with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, Zap2it offers up a possible schedule for The CW in the fall (new shows in italics, all times ET/PT) along with a look at what the network needs going into next season. Here goes:
8 p.m. “Hart of Dixie”
9 p.m. “Beauty and the Beast”
8 p.m. “The 100”
9 p.m. “Supernatural”
8 p.m. “Arrow”
9 p.m. “The Tomorrow People”
8 p.m. “The Vampire Diaries”
9 p.m. “The Originals”
8 p.m. “Nikita”
9 p.m. “The Selection” or “Reign”
Midseason possibilities: “Oxygen,” “America’s Next Top Model” and (although it’s a long shot) “The Carrie Diaries”
What The CW needs:
Something big: “Arrow” has moved the needle a little bit for the network (and received largely kind words from critics to boot), but The CW has not been able to find a really big-tent hit that brings in both men and women, and even some people over the age of 35. Could something like “The Tomorrow People,” with its “X-Men”-esque premise, be that show?
More originals (and not just “Originals”): There’s really no excuse for a network that only programs 10 hours of primetime not to have a deeper bench and the ability to share timeslots when shows would otherwise be on hiatus. The CW tried it a little this year on Monday night, but it needs to do more. CW viewers are already consuming the network’s shows in a lot of non-traditional ways. The network’s on-air schedule shouldn’t be as hidebound as it is.
A lighter touch: The CW has said it would look into developing half-hour comedies again for a few years now, but once again it didn’t order any comedy pilots. Looking at the network’s current shows and the bulk of its pilots, there’s a lot of fairly heavy stuff there — “Hart of Dixie” is really the only show on the schedule above that could really be considered comedic. To some extent, the net is just going with what works, but in the pre-CW days, The WB and UPN mixed in some lighter dramas and even out-and-out comedies in with the darker material. It wouldn’t hurt to aim for that kind of balance again.
What do you hope The CW’s schedule for next season looks like?