The CW Orders More iZombie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but Doesn't Give Them Full Seasons

The CW has ordered additional episodes of both iZombie and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The sophomore drama iZombie, from Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), received an order for six additional episodes, which takes Season 2 to 19 episodes, three short of a full season. Meanwhile, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The CW's only freshman series this fall, will receive five more, taking its first season to 18 total episodes. But before you celebrate the news of the additional episodes, you should also consider what it means that neither series received the traditional "back nine" order.

Traditionally, when a series receives additional episodes but doesn't receive a full season order, it could mean the network is just trying to fill its schedule and that the series didn't get a full vote of confidence from the network. Will that be the case here? It's fairly easy to see why despite Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's low ratings (0.4 and 1.04 million Live+7 viewers) the network decided to extend the show's run, and it's not necessarily because the show has been positively received by critics, but because the network has nothing else to pair with its Golden Globe-winning series Jane the Virgin. So the answer here was simple: extend the Rachel Bloom-led comedy's freshman season for as long as possible.

The explanation for iZombie is a little more complicated. The critically beloved series, which stars Rose McIver as a zombie who works in a morgue and uses the visions she receives from the brains she eats to help solve murder cases, has actually performed fairly well for The CW thanks in part to its lead-in The Flash. The series is averaging a 0.9 rating in the 18-to-49 demographic and 2.06 million viewers in Live+7 ratings. So why wasn't it picked up for a full season? It likely has little to do with whether or not The CW is pleased with iZombie's performance (and I have to think that they are), and everything to do with the fact the network had too many genre shows waiting in the wings and it was making scheduling the network's midseason dramas a nightmare. What could be happening here is The CW is targeting Tuesdays to launch Julie Plec's outbreak drama Containment, the lone remaining unscheduled new show, once iZombie finishes its season. 

The fact that The CW only has room for 10 hours of original programming a week has never really been a problem until this season, and on the one hand, it's a good problem to have. But on the other, it sucks for iZombie in that in a way, it's not getting the full season it deserves because the schedule is too crowded. The network can't afford to give it a full season because it needs to launch its other dramas, but it can't cancel it, either, because it's performing well and it's well liked (and because the network probably doesn't want to piss off the show's fans, many of whom are still angry from when the network, then in its first season of operation, canceled iZombie's spiritual predecessor, Veronica Mars, also created by Thomas).

But iZombie's short order could have more immediate problems than whether or not it will be back next season. Earlier this fall, Rob Thomas told the Hollywood Reporter that the arc he was crafting for Season 2 was built to span a full 22 episodes and now the writers will likely have to rework the story to fit the shortened episode order. Three episodes doesn't feel like a lot until you don't have it. So while it's okay to celebrate the fact we'll be getting to spend six more hours with David Anders' Blaine, remember that we're still getting short changed.

On Monday, following the announcement that the network ordered additional episodes, the network also announced premiere dates for Season 3 of The 100 as well as the Arrow and Flash spin-off DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and in order to get them on the schedule, The CW had to bench Reign and move The Vampire Diaries and The Originals to Fridays. 


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Dec 03, 2015
stop having news at 7pm. Does any one watch cw news? There I just opened 5 hours of time a week.

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Dec 03, 2015
cancel CEG and pair Jane with iZombie
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Nov 24, 2015
I have 1 question :
Would it be possible that one day CW put something on air
on Sunday (or why not on Saturday)
Or is it totally impossible, because it's TV's rules ?

iZombie could be a success on Sunday.
Why is it not possible ?

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Nov 24, 2015
I adore crazy ex girlfriend. It's a frothy delight, and the music is good.
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Nov 24, 2015
Gosh, the scheduling does sound like a nightmare! LOL!

I would rather iZombie remained short and sweet than long and boooooring which happens with many shows. I don't mind having only 13 eps if they are worth it!

Now, I do hope we get a season 3 of iZombie mind!
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Dec 06, 2015
Had it kept its 13 episode,it would've been canned by May. CW's midseason shows that do not get a back order gets axed.
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Nov 24, 2015
Agreed - so far this second (longer) season is keeping up the nice pace of good one-off cases and development of the longer arcs but I'd hate it if the show lost its fresh touch just to fill in gaps in the schedule...
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Nov 24, 2015
I really love Crazy Ex-Girfriend, it's so fresh and different from everything else out there. It would be a shame if it was cancelled.
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Nov 24, 2015
Order a full season of iZombie! Why just have a few episodes? Just because of a crowded schedule? Hopefully Penn and Teller Fool Us has a full season next year. iZombie is a cool show and hope it doesn't get forgotten to oblivion because of this.
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Nov 24, 2015
I don't get why people want 13 episodes per season as that will mean shows will go off air for longer and people will forget what happens in them which will loose them viewers and then get cancelled so I'm glad they both got more episodes. I want more episodes of every one of my shows because I love watching them every week.
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Nov 24, 2015
I'm a big fan of the story for a tv show being laid out completely beforehand, as was the case for Babylon 5, Netflix TV-Shows and Japanese Drama Series. Adding episodes or full seasons after the fact and having to write the story on the run, not knowing what will come next, how many episodes you will have etc. often screws up the storytelling big time.
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Dec 06, 2015
Based on CW's history,there hasn't been a midseason show that survived without getting a back order. Had your wish been fulfilled, iZombie would've been axed come May.
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Staff
Nov 24, 2015
iZombie's showrunner was always planning for Season 2 to be a full-season, so he's not really scrambling.
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Nov 24, 2015
Yeah, it feels like it's just a question of juggling with space on the schedule. Too bad the best show on the network suffers because of a Julie Plec show that will no doubt not be 1/10th as good.
I just hope they can manage to finish the shortened-ish season without it feeling too rushed; heck, I won't mind if they don't change anything they've planned and just end this season's arc in the first 3 episodes of next season.
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Nov 24, 2015
Oh, come on! iZombie is awesome, give it all the love you can, CW!
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Nov 24, 2015
I feel like "Started from the bottom, now we're here" should be the CW's tagline. Seriously, this was a nothing network--the left out little sister to CBS that everybody scoffed at and is now churning out some bad ass genre shows that networks like FOX can't even begin to handle correctly (here's looking at you, EVERY sci-fi/fantasy show they ever aired). It's like the CW said well, no one believes in us so we can do whatever the hell we want--let's throw ALL superhero-like fantasy shows across the board and if we fail, nobody's going to care!! And now that they're successful, they don't know what to do with a problem like not having enough room to give a good show like iZombie it's due (I'm not complaining; just stating a fact). It's a good problem to have.

Also...can we get Kirsten Bell to cameo in an episode of iZombie? That would be BA. Jason Dohring wants a bit on the show--he said it in a recent interview that he'd love to be a part of it. I'll also take any of the other VMars cast...seriously anybody...I'm still bitter, okay?
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Nov 24, 2015
the left out little sister to CBS that everybody scoffed at and is now churning out some bad ass genre shows that networks like FOX can't even begin to handle correctly (here's looking at you, EVERY sci-fi/fantasy show they ever aired).
Especially Firefly, Dollhouse, Fringe, and even John Doe was okay.
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Nov 24, 2015
By "handle" I meant they air the episodes out of order and generally cancel them after one season. This had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of them, just how they are under utilized at FOX and that they can't seem to get them to stick. I mean, look at Minority Report. It's just finally getting good (at episode 7) and it's cancelled. I'm still shocked Fringe lasted as long as it did.
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Nov 24, 2015
I know. They have completely screwed things up.

That being said, what if Kristen Bell was the corpse that was a PI?
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Nov 24, 2015
I don't even care what her role would be--as long as it's some cheeky nod at V Mars I'd be wholly satisfied.
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Nov 24, 2015
Also...can we get Kirsten Bell to cameo in an episode of iZombie?

That would be rad!!!
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Nov 24, 2015
I think many viewers realise that, generally, it doesn't seem possible to produce 22+ episodes of a high standard. Somewhere around 13 seems a good number.
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Nov 24, 2015
On principle I agree with you but that's not the case here; the showrunner said they planned the season with 22 episodes in mind. They'll need to adjust.
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Nov 24, 2015
iZombie has been on point this whole season so far. It makes a part of me wish the network could take a few hours away from Arrow and The Flash, and give them to iZombie, since both of those shows have their share of "filler eps".

I know tv doesn't work like that, but I feel like that's what would happen in a just world. haha
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Nov 24, 2015
Great shows. Crazy Ex-GF it's hilairious, and iZombie competely surprised me.
Although i'd rather have another 13-ep season instead of an extended first/second season
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Nov 24, 2015
what a bunch of fucking parrots. fewer episodes please, squawk!

damn, I thought Rob said he only needed 18 episodes? all take all the iZombie I can get.

quite happy about crazy ex-girlfriend as well. some very talented people and the songs fill the void left by The Lonely Island. SNL's music videos absolutely blow by comparison. and are cringe-inducing in general.

seriously check out "I Give Good Parent" which probably loses something out-of-context but the talent is undeniably there.
warning, explicit: "I Give Good Parent" form Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
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Nov 24, 2015
13 Episodes would have being fine. Best quality TV shows run for that length. Only the boring tv shows go for 22.
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Nov 24, 2015
"iZombie received an order for six additional episodes, which takes Season 2 to 19 episodes, three short of a full season"

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When will networks learn that MORE IS NOT BETTER!!! 10-12 episodes is the perfect length for any series to tell tight and compelling story. When you start getting into 17...18...19+ episodes, then you're left will filler episodes and meaningless story arcs just to fill time, which takes away from the bigger picture.

The 1st season was great, in no small part, because it was short. No time for screwing around and nothing but the best components of the story made it to air.

To this day I remain stunned that no show on a major network has taken a order for 22 episodes in a year and literally broken it down into two separate seasons.
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Nov 24, 2015
are you so dense as to miss the fact that they wrote the second season with more in mind? it's not the network there, it's the writers who planned on more. and just because your other shit-heel shows fall apart with more episodes doesn't mean all writers are equally as bad at writing for more episodes.
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Nov 24, 2015
Even though I don't watch iZombie, I couldn't agree with you more! Here's looking at you GOT HAM?/TWD/SPN/Sleepy Hallow!
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Nov 24, 2015
I think the most they should have given iZombie this season (and perhaps moving forward) would have been a 15-16 episode season (like How To Get Away With Murder and The 100 last season respectively). It's not the type of show that needs 22 episodes. Containment is most likely going to be DOA. However, idk where you been but a lot of 22 episode a season shows do apply the split arcs. OUAT has done that since season 3, SHIELD has done that since last season (2) and Nashville is doing that now to name a few.
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Nov 24, 2015
"It's not the type of show that needs 22 episodes"

Maybe it doesn't need 22 eps, but it sure is the kind of show that can have 22 episodes without any of them feeling like a waste of time. I mean, a big part of it is procedural.
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Nov 24, 2015
Split arcs drive me a little batty. I can follow them just fine, but they just seem like they're trying to bridge two different concepts/mythos together and things get lost in the middle. OUAT has soooooo many dropped plot points I'm still surprised it's on the air anymore. Shield is at least fairly cohesive and not as jarring in their arcs as OUAT is. I'd prefer the mythology of a show to bleed across the whole season--whether it's 13 eps or 22.
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Nov 24, 2015
While I'm happy about both of these shows, I'm feeling a bit shafted for my other three shows... Reign! CW you better hope TVD and TO don't catch Friday night disease, or I'll let you know what you can do with your superhero shows!
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Nov 24, 2015
People who have been saying "no, it should be 13" haven't been paying attention; Rob has been telling a story he needs a full season to unspool completely. He said if he only got 13 the seson would just abruptly end mid-arc. Filler shouldn't be an issue this time.
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Nov 24, 2015
I agree.
I've never seen so many people complain when offered more of something they like. I mean, just stop watching after episode 13 if you really don't want more.
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Nov 24, 2015
I ain't buyin' it. Game of Thrones, The Wire, Oz, True Detective (S1), House of Cards, Orange is the New Black...these are/were DENSE series. If they can manage to tell a coherent story without abruptly ending mid arc, so can Rob Thomas.

That he NEEDS 19 episode to "unspool" his story...nope, sorry. There's going to be filler because there ALWAYS is.
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Staff
Nov 24, 2015
1) None of the shows that you listed are comparable to iZombie in terms of structure or tone. Shows like Game of Thrones and The Wire are/were heavily serialized dramas that don't/didn't have a procedural element to them at all.

2) Not all filler is bad. And even with filler, a show can still tell a very good story and tell it well. Cast in point: Veronica Mars Season 1 is one of the finest single seasons of any TV show in recent memory and it unspooled over 22 episodes. I don't think you'll find many people complaining about that one. And oh hey, look it's from the same guy!

Have a little faith, man.
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Nov 24, 2015
I don't disagree that the examples above are VERY different shows. And while there are serial aspects to iZombie, they go hand in hand with the procedural "brain of the week".

But it's because of the procedural aspect that I'd like a shorter season because inevitable the "of the week" aspects to any show will lead to a certain number of duds per season. Fewer episodes means higher scrutiny and less chance for filler.

I think we can agree that great 22 episode seasons are the exception, not the rule. Perhaps iZombie will be another of those exceptions...or maybe it'll be the next Walking Dead.

I'm steadfast of the opinion that shorter seasons make for better television. 10-12 one hour episode, 14-16 of the 42 minute variety. When we start getting into the 19...20...21...22 range, the law of diminishing returns will eventually kick in.

Thomas has also shown that he can do great things in 13 episodes.
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Nov 24, 2015
@thekaitling

Perhaps I misspoke or used the wrong choice of words. I don't think iZombie's future becomes bleak running at 19 or more episodes per season, I just don't think it will be as good as a whole.

If it runs for 5 season, kept at 13 episodes per season, I think it would/could be remarkable from start to finish.

5 seasons, with 4 of them being 19 episodes most assuredly opens the door for a couple of those seasons to be letdowns or fall short because there's more filler (for whatever reason)

I'm at a loss to think of many, if any, shows who got better with a higher per season episode order...but I will leave the door unlocked for iZombie to prove itself the exception to the rule.
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Staff
Nov 24, 2015
You're correct that they are the exception, but I'm also not going to just assume iZombie's future is bleak because it has 6 additional episodes. And I say this as a very cynical person.
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Nov 24, 2015
Was literally going to say the same thing. Oh V Mars, you are SO missed....
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Nov 24, 2015
You realize that all of those shows typically run for 50-60 minutes? And they even go over that if they need to. "iZombie" only has 39-41 min an episode. I look at "My So-Called Life", which had 50 mins back in 1994, and so much character/story development happens in those 19 episodes. That can't be a coincidence.
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Nov 24, 2015
It's not that he "needs" 22 episodes, he was supposed to have those episodes and he planned the season in that way.
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Nov 24, 2015
Yay? I have to say I have become a believer in the quality aspects of a 13-episode season (or rather burned by the crap filler of a 22-ep season). But on the other hand, I haven't been disappointed in a single episode of iZombie and want more, more, more! Love everything about it!

Mildly surprised by the extra Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ep order, since the ratings are so low. It must be pretty cheap to make.
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Nov 24, 2015
I don't like to look a gift horse in the mouth so i'm happy with the six episodes. but on the other hand:

Screw you The CW. It's only three episode more.
Just like Thomas said in the already mentioned interview
"it will just feel like the water cut off midstream"
Don't worry. I get over it. It wouldn't be the first time a show ended abruptly without any closure. As long as they don't cancel the show i'm relatively happy.

And i'm really looking forward to the return of The 100. The CW still hasn't announced a return date yet We have a return date! Jason Rothenberg, one of the executive producers on the show tweeted an hour ago:

Come January 21st, blood will have blood. #the 100

That's good news. Mark your calendars and remember i brought you the news first ;)

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Nov 24, 2015
scratch that last part
I didn't read the other article yet: CW midseason schedule
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Nov 24, 2015
BUT if the show runner says he can pull off 22 eps please let him! I have faith I believe that he can pull it off and I'm sure they'll anounce James Masters casting as Blaine's older brother anytime soon!!!
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Nov 24, 2015
James Marsters yes! that is one solid idea... hope he's free... and willing?
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Nov 24, 2015
I like Izombie but i felt it was successful because it was shortened to 13 episodes...Which allowed a very tight arc. Looking forward to see if it can carry its momentum in 19 episodes, so far it has been excellent.
Good idea to move VD and TO and have The 100 and LoT on the same day
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Nov 23, 2015
The CW needs to try and figure out how to assert some claim over Sunday nights too. I couldn't even tell you what plays on my version of the channel on Sunday nights but it has to be some free space. It has some competition, I suppose, but no more than Monday night and it could have the advantage of being the one other channel that doesn't get preemption by sporting events during the day.
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Nov 24, 2015
The last time the WB/CW had a "hit" on Sundays was Charmed which aired at 8:00 for 4 years there until 2004. The 9:00 hour was always a complete disaster for them though...they had to have gone thru at least a dozen series (some lasting only about 4-6 episodes) over those 4 years trying to find something....anything that could get any kind of reasonable numbers at that hour without success. So when Charmed ended they completely gave up on the night and just started airing repeats/movies for awhile until they eventually sold it off entirely to air local programming... I just don't see that changing anytime soon.
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Nov 24, 2015
Actually no...I just remembered after Charmed they put 7th Heaven on Sundays for the next year which was okay but not as good as what it was pulling on its previous night, so then the next year tried with a new drama at 8:00 and then Top Model repeats. Finally they went back to making it a comedy/sitcom night which is how it initially started on WB...and got their lowest ratings ever. That's when they pulled the plug for pure repeats/movies.
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Nov 23, 2015
why does a show need to have 23 episodes? just give us 13 GOOD ones without garbage filler and we'll be happy. also allows for more shows to be shown throughout the year benefiting everyone.
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Nov 23, 2015
another show ruined by Network TV - 13 episodes is a perfect amount for a show like iZombie
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