The CW's Upcoming "Brand Refresh": 5 Past Mistakes the Network Should Learn From

The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that The CW is working on a slight brand refresh for the upcoming fall season. Apparently the network is looking to “reassess” and “recalibrate” its strategy in network president Mark Pedowitz’s first real fall at the helm of The CW's ship (Pedowitz took over in April 2011, but development for the 2011–2012 season was already well underway, meaning he didn’t have much control over what sort of pilots the CW had to choose from for the 2011–2012 season). Although The CW does not plan on shifting its focus away from a young, mostly female audience, this announcement, along with the scheduling of the new, sure-to-skew-male show Arrow on Wednesdays, suggests that Pedowitz and his team realize The CW needs some kind of change.

Let’s be honest: Since its creation in 2006 after the failure of The WB and UPN, The CW has been somewhat of a disaster. Despite online buzz at times and rabid fanbases for shows like Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural, the last six years haven't been too kind. As Pedowitz prepares for this minor re-launch, I thought it might be instructive (and honestly, a bit amusing) to look back on some of the network's biggest missteps, so that it might learn from them in the future.


Note #1: First, it would be really easy to end this article right now simply by writing “Dawn Ostroff, LOL.” (Ostroff served as the network's president since its beginning, and left in May 2011.) Frankly, I don't think I'd be wrong in placing almost all the blame at Ostroff’s feet. But for the purposes of this story, I am going to ignore singling her out.*

* It’s totally all her fault, though.


Note #2: The CW is never going to be a ratings powerhouse. Are there things the network could have done to improve ratings between 2006 and 2012? Absolutely. However, The CW is never going to air shows that consistently appear at the top of any major Nielsen data table. The glorious WB never truly broke through that ratings barrier either. I promise this isn't going to be a rant about low ratings.


Now let's get to it, shall we?


Mistake #1: Narrowly targeting young women

I appreciate The CW’s stringent attempts to stick with a very specific demographic in its target audience. Sure, there was Smallville, and there's still Supernatural, but otherwise the programming has been largely female-centric. Almost all networks skew toward one gender or another, and even on broadcast, we can easily identify a certain kind of target “typical” viewer (ABC and older women, CBS and even older folks, FOX and young(ish) men, NBC and no one). On paper, The CW’s approach initially made a great deal of sense and still does to this day.

Unfortunately, The CW picked the worst time to appeal to super-young media consumers. Just as the network was coming to life, online streaming, DVR usage and legal (well, and illegal) downloading really kicked into another gear. Those changes in consumption habits have impacted all of television, but young people are especially likely to watch television content somewhere other than on an actual television at the time it airs live. The CW has constantly raved about its online streaming figures—without actually tell us what they are, of course—and its Plus-7 DVR ratings. These are strong indicators that the audience for many of the network's shows is actually larger than somewhere around 3 million viewers.

Nevertheless, no matter how high online streaming numbers are, the Nielsen ratings still matter and there, The CW continues to flounder. The network’s ratings decreased dramatically across the board in 2011-2012: Down 15 percent in total viewers, 22 percent among viewers in the 18-49 demo, and 20 percent in the 18-34 target demographic. The CW’s original idea made sense. Its executives’ apparent unwillingness to come up with a new idea once the media environment changed is confounding.

The decline of The CW’s ratings isn’t solely linked to the youth of the network’s audience. But I would suggest that its attachment to female viewers in particular has resulted in even bigger problems. From my perspective, it seems like The CW has not only failed to experiment outside its tight target demographic, but the network has also struggled to create the kind of programming it thinks those viewers actually want to watch. Once Gossip Girl (slightly) caught fire in 2007, The CW thought it'd found its template for (relative) success: soapy dramas about uber-rich white people.

Yet again, this is logical in theory. Every network tries to replicate the formula of its biggest shows. Unfortunately, The CW weirdly decided to follow Gossip Girl, a contemporary, zeitgeist-creating show, with reboots of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, clear attempts to reconnect to a former cultural moment that no one, especially the young target audience, cared a thing about. Although the network was going after the “correct” and current zeitgeist with The Vampire Diaries (and to a lesser extent the now-canceled The Secret Circle), it was still chasing that feeling instead of trying to create it. The reason The WB garnered so much attention in the late 1990s and early 2000s was that it tapped into the psyches of that generation’s young people. The CW hasn’t really accomplished that.


Mistake #2: Incestuous relationships with talent

When I was younger, I always loved how The WB discovered talents and moved them from show to show before finding them a permanent starring gig. Scott Foley jumped from Dawson’s Creek to Felicity, Jason Behr shifted from Buffy to 7th Heaven to Dawson’s Creek to Roswell.

The CW, never one to pass up an opportunity to emulate an approach that worked better 15 years ago, has run this fostering of “homegrown” talent into the ground, to the point where I’m annoyed at times when I see casting notices because I know that the parts will just go to Katie Cassidy and Justin Hartley anyway. I appreciate The CW’s attempts at trying to turn certain performers into stars like The WB did way back when, but at a certain point, enough is enough.

Worst of all, this network inter-breeding has extended past on-screen performers and to writers and producers. Josh Schwartz’s Fake Empire is the most obnoxious example. Come fall, Schwartz’s production company will be in charge of four of The CW's 12 scripted shows (Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, The Carrie Diaries and Cult). Of course, it doesn’t stop there.

Kevin Williamson has run or co-run three shows in six years (The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, and Hidden Palms). Former Smallville showrunners Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders were moved over to The Secret Circle in 2011-2012 and will now help run Beauty and the Beast. Their fellow Smallville alumni Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer were hired to right the sinking Melrose Place ship in 2009. Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder graduated from the Supernatural writers' room to become Ringer showrunners. Countless other writers, producers, and directors have bounced around from show to show as well.

There is nothing wrong with keeping some things in-house but The WB succeeded (again, relatively so) because executives had a knack for finding young talent—both in front of and behind the camera—that wasn’t necessarily buried at the bottom of a writing staff or a list of extras from an already in-progress show. By sticking with this incestuous approach, The CW has surely lost the opportunity to develop pilots, pick up shows, and probably even hear pitches from fresh talent. Instead, the network has kept the same people (those who know the basic CW approach) around, only further reinforcing the unfortunate amount of similarities between the shows the network puts all its weight behind.


Mistakes #3, 4 and 5: Ditching comedy, outsourcing Sunday nights, and wasting time on low-rent reality programming

These three items together signaled one thing to audiences and the rest of the television industry: “We give up. We are not a real network, and we know it.”

Removing comedy from the development process remains one of the dumbest decisions any network has made in the last five years. No, The WB and UPN didn’t light up the sky with their respective comedy slates either, but each had a couple solid performers (Reba and The Jamie Foxx Show, and What I Like About You on The WB; Girlfriends and Everybody Hates Chris, and All of Us on UPN), and more importantly, they both kept trying. Giving up one of the two major formats is hilariously misguided and it isn’t as if young girls hate laughing. Why couldn’t have The CW helped develop Awkward.? And we’ve seen how much more of The Game (which aired on The CW from 2006 to 2009, before jumping to BET in 2011) viewers wanted.

Leasing out Sunday nights to Media Rights Capital in 2008 was a shameless attempt to save some money while pretending to be dedicated to programming most days of the week. (Sundays on The CW now belong to random old movies and the occasional rerun.) I’m not even sure former NBC chiefs Ben Silverman and Jeff Zucker would have thought that was a good idea.

And just for fun, let's recall some of the memorable reality shows The CW has brought to our television and computer screens: Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants, Farmer Wants a Wife, 13: Fear is Real, Hitched or Ditched, High Society, Fly Girls, Shedding for the Wedding, Remodeled, and, of course, H8R.

Have there been worse reality shows somewhere on television over the past six years? Yes, in the depths of our cable dials. But few networks, particularly “major” networks, have such an embarrassing stable of past reality programming.

You might not remember some of these gems because they came and went very quickly after no one watched them. And yet, The CW continues to breathe life into shows like H8R as if these programs are satiating the target audience’s salivating interest in the worst television has to offer. It’s bad enough to produce and air these shows initially. It’s worse to keep doing it even though the audience clearly isn’t watching.

But again, it's this same flawed thinking has defined the CW for six years. Chasing the zeitgeist, keeping the same people around, getting rid of comedy, leasing Sundays, and airing crap like H8R signals giving up but also reflects a weird stubbornness and inflexibility. Thus far, The CW has very narrowly defined: 1.) What it wants to be and 2.) Who its audience is. It's also made a slew of missteps while trying to bring 1 and 2 together by attempting to replicate what it thought was The WB formula (pretty young white kids! Some of them have supernatural abilities!), with the only change being an increased emphasis on the 1 percent and a whole lot of Bing references. But there's more to it than that and while The CW has sunk, other networks like MTV and ABC Family have actually succeeded in bringing some decent, disparate, and young-skewing programs to the air.

So what should Mark Pedowitz do? Well, other than “Not all of this,” I think he knows that The CW needs to try to appeal to other demographics while still holding on to that coveted younger female group. Hart of Dixie did relatively well in a tough time slot after the DOA Gossip Girl this year, and it skews a bit older. So does Nikita, a show few thought would be renewed this past spring, but that will likely anchor Friday nights for at least two more seasons. The CW audience’s median age went from 35 to 37.1 this season, a clear sign that shifts are in place.

Plus, the network's slate of new shows should, theoretically, attract different groups. Arrow and Cult could bring in the men and Beauty and the Beast, Emily Owens, M.D. and The Carrie Diaries could skew a smidgen older. With Gossip Girl ending and 90210 likely on the way out as well, The CW’s stable of programs is being refreshed, and in a slightly different fashion.

That's a start. But moving forward, The CW must be more cognizant of its past failures. It needs to bring in some outside faces and creatives. It needs to have comedy. And it maybe even needs to return to Sunday nights. The good news is that I think Mark Pedowitz knows all of these things, and I would like to believe he is already working hard to make them a reality.


What do you think are some of The CW’s biggest mistakes? What cancellations still make you angry? And if you were in charge of rebranding the network, what new slogan would you give it (“Pretty White People?” “The CW, Brought to You by Bing”)?


Cory Barker is a co-founder of This Was Television and the founder of TVSurveillance.com. Follow him on Twitter: @corybarker.

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I am a man. 30+ and I keep coming across programing I WANT to watch, only to find out halfway through the show it is from the CW, filled with horrible writing, filled with chick drama, and make me want to puke. If their target audience is girls, they should stick to soap operas, my little pony and Romeo and Juliet.

Stop ruining superhero stories for some stupid girls. I don't know any girls that running around playing superman, batman or the green arrow. I beg of the CW and the rest of the tv stations, who also all target women, regardless of what they say, including fox, to make clear and obvious girly content.

To my chagrin Spike TV of course, is the worst station on the whole dial.
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I haven't watched the CW since they canceled The Game. Their programming in all areas leaves a lot to be desired.
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LONG LIVE "Girlfriends" and "The Secret Circle"
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I will never forgive the cw for cancelling "Girlfriends" and "The Secret Circle" both such amazing shows, I dont understand this network dont they care about their viewers. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, Bring Back "The Secret Circle" for a season 2 and bring back "Girlfriends" for a reunion/series ending/tvmovie..... PLEASE CW
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This is an awesomely swell article. It is informative and makes a heck of a lot of sense! Very cool!!
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Forget rich white girls. It's few successes - Smallville, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries - have all been paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi shows. Instead of encouraging it to branch out and give us more cookie cutter sitcoms, perhaps it should focus on its strengths and keep scratching the itch other networks aren't fulfilling... become the sci-fi network SyFy doesn't want to be anymore.
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Smallville and Supernatural were developed by the WB and leftovers of the Network. They both seemed to survive and thrive despite Ostroff's tenure, where she made moves that many contend were aimed at killing both shows. TVD really is the one success ratings wise.



The most important thing to remember is that the CW does not have the same number of channels that the other 4 networks have, so CW will never be able to reach the viewing audience and ratings that those networks can reach.
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I dont watch any of there rich white people shows like gossip girl or 90210. I mainly watch Supernatural and jut got into The Vampire Diaries. I also just started watching Nikita and the reason I think that the show isn't getting the high enough rating it could get is because its all about action and many female viewers want some love drama going on, and also cause of its crappy Friday time slot. Seriously the Cw could have moved it Gossip Girls mondy slot and move GG to Fridays since its already ending. I will also tune into Arrow and Cult and will give Beauty and the Beast a chance because I am a big fan of Kristin Kreuk.

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1st I agree with everything you said.



2. They need to up the advertising for their few shows that go outside their demo mode. The CW never ran ads for The Game when they aired it. BET heavily advertised the show and look at the results. There was an audience for the Game but the CW never bothered to look for it.



3. They shouldn't have cancelled promising male skewing shows like Reaper and Aliens in America. Both were funny. Reaper was getting better overall ratings than 90210 and yet it was constantly getting screwed over. Aliens was aired during the writers strike and should have been given at least a 2nd season to prove itself after the strike was over under normal conditions.
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The Secrete Circle and Ringer, still a bit pissed about those two, They both had very bad early episodes, but the shows improved very fast after those though. And became very entertaining.
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UGH I'm still stinging about TSC!
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I agree.Ringer had some bad episodes but it won't worse than GG!And TSC was more entertaining than TVD sometimes!Both shows deserved a second chance!
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yea they never should have cancelled Ringer
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I would say diversity, but it wouldnt matter b/c they have bad ideas for shows/writers, so I dont really care.
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I am still pissed that they cancelled Ringer.
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Not only did they drop the ball by canceling the fan cult hit the secret circle the biggest mistake they make is taking freshman and sophmore dramas with a hardcore fan base off due to poor ratings. They do not EVER give the new shows a chance to pick up they axe the first chance they get. I am sticking fast to my no more new cw shows because it only ends after a season with heartache.
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I was wondering if maybe, with so many people (including myself) still missing Veronica Mars, if it wouldnt be a smart move on CW's part to do a " Grown-Up" Veronica Mars...continuing the story 5 years later or something. It would give space for more mature story-lines and bring back a lot of its lost audience! The show was brilliant with superb actors! and not many of them are doing anything regular still!
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They can still manage to pick up right where the show left off. Many of the actors still look amazingly young but to pick it up 5 or so years later is still a great idea! If only The CW listens to what we want and takes action.
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We've been waiting for a VM sequel of some sort since the day it was cancelled. I recall the cast at various times saying they were game for it.
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I salute this article. So much so I want to take it out for drinks, get inebriated, unleash my nostalgic side and reminisce on the WB days. That speaks volumes, given I'm not much of a drinker.



I think this article touched on the major mistakes. CW does cater to younger white women (although to be fair...half the time even they don't bother anymore). I think in narrowing your audience so much you miss out on great opportunities and a chance to branch out. I loathed how they'd get one fairly decent show, or whatever, and then latch onto it like a leech and produce replicas of it with different characters who all look the same...instead of taking the time to decipher what made that particular show click.



Honestly when I tune into the CW because I get nostalgic. I think of the WB days when I was drawn to so many of their shows...all types of shows. I remember watching the little promo things they did with all the actors from all the different shows laughing together while The Who's "My Generation" played happily in the background. It made me smile...it made me feel like they were really reaching many. Like they gave a damn, and there was something special about seeing Roswell's Jason Behr laughing alongside 7th Heaven's Jessical Biel, and I don't know...one of the Wayan's brothers. It was something universal about it. I Loved that. I miss that. To this day I have nostalgic bouts where I'm more interested in streaming old episodes of Roswell, Popular, Felicity, Dawson's Creek...or Veronica Mars...whatever over watching a repeat of TVD (a show that I love).



That's the biggest offense the CW has made. It fails to reach a broader audience like WB and UPN did. It sticks to a certain formula and gives people what they think people want rather than what people really want. I miss catching comedies...I miss programs that have an ethnic cast...apparently other people do too, because you can find just about every single comedy that has appeared on those networks on some other network in syndication. I miss shows that I could watch by myself and with other people of all ages, interested in more than two genres (outside of supernatural and pretty teen dramas). WB was fantastic...UPN did what it could, CW just sort of dropped the ball. If it weren't for...well I think it's only TVD now as they've canceled TSC and I don't get into ANTM anymore I wouldn't give the network a second look.



As for ratings, their mistake has always been trying to compare their ratings to bigger networks like CBS and ABC. It's never gonna happen, especially if you keep chipping away at shows that could reach broader audiences, and not taking into consideration DVR's and the like. They may have hope this upcoming season...maybe, but they tend to be cancellation happy so I can see half the new shows they're giving us cancelled by next summer. That's another problem. They don't give their shows ample time to grow before they get frustrated with their ratings and ditch them. If they want to make changes and attract a broader audience they have to give people a chance to get familiar with their shifts.
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They definitely need to put programming on Sundays. Sunday is a huge night and even though they probably wouldn't stand a chance against ABC or CBS, they could at least have their foot in the door.



Summer shows. Summer is a huge opportunity being missed. Huge. Because contrary to it being summer, summer shows are hits. Cable networks like USA and TNT know this. MTV knows this. Hell ABC Family knows this. Also, midseason shows could help too. Because CW's seasons don't start until October and they end in May. From May to October they could have great programming, and then from Noverbish to February they could have great midseason programming to make up for those godawful long breaks they have. They waste a lot of time that could be used for other things. That's for sure.



I definitely agree with getting unknowns. If you get virtually unknown people behind the scenes and in front of the camera you open the doors for new breakout stars and hits. A fresh face, fresh ideas, creativity...never should be underestimated. It's nice to have vets and well known individuals do things but after awhile it gets stale. If you want to have such a young audience, than attract young talent, take risks and open the doors for new people and new opportunities. It could do wonders.Tuning in and seeing the same faces on the same type of shows playing the same type of characters with the same type of writing...nothing fun about that. There is a plethora of talent out there that isn't being expounded upon. Screw familiarity.
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Does CBS (the owners of TV.com) and @corybarker realize that CBS owner HALF of The CW? CW stands for CBS/Warner Bros.
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the CW is racist getting rid of the black shows like the Game and EBH chris, its not just comedy they need back but more shows with other races like blacks asian and hispanic instead of nothing but white people starring. That could help with the demographic of the show and bringing back The Secret Circle i mean Beauty and the Beast!?!??!!?!..........REALLY?
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Maybe the network execs were drunk when they picked up Beauty and The Beast. It's still no excuse to cancel an awesome show.
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The CW has made some mistakes, no question (Did we really need two final seasons for Seventh Heaven? And the atrocious final two seasons of Smallville?). I couldn't agree more about giving up on comedy. I personally don't watch sitcoms, but I know they are very popular and great ways to get viewership. The CW has some great shows, but its reputation sucks and people aren't willing to check them out. The CW needs more eyes and right now they just aren't getting them. Some major cancelation mistakes are: Veronica Mars, Aliens in America, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, and Reaper.
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The CW has a history if STUPIDITY. They cancel shows that get decent, but not excellent ratings and put in brand new shows hoping to get another superstar ... but nearly all of them flop. It's a stupid business plan.



I mean come on, they cancelled Angel, Veronica Mars, Terminator, and more recently decent shows like Ringer and Secret Circle ... they deserve all the terrible things they are receiving. It's better to keep a decent-rated show on the air and just give it MORE writing talent, etc, to make it even better than to ditch everything and put in new shows ... because these days most people DON"T EVEN WATCH NEW SHOWS because we know they'll just get cancelled.
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Terminator was a WB Studios production, but ultimately was a Fox cancellation. Though I've heard a couple people suggest that The CW is the new Fox when it comes to the cancellation itch.
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The CW should have picked up Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for a season 3.
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That would have paired well with Supernatural.
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I'm still upset about Veronica Mars cancellation, I stop caring about the CW until I found Nikita this year which I think is amazing. I'm really looking forward to shows like Arrow and even the doctors show, 'cause when I saw the trailer it kind of had the old WB vibe.
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I loved Veronica Mars, but that final season was hard to watch. Still, I would have given it another season to try and turn it around.
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But the CW was still responsible for screwing up the final season. The CW forced Veronica Mars to end the season 3 mystery early, take a hiatus, and return for the last five episodes of the season with non-serialized plotlines. Thereby ruining the season's ratings and leading to it's cancellation.
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I skipped parts, but I mostly get the point. The CW is going down if they keep doing that. It's unbearable that they have to cancel every single show people start liking and pretend that they don't have enough ratings or vievers or whatever the fuck they need to keep a show alive. Veronica Mars was doing fine, then it miraculously switched to the CW and it ended in 2007, though five years later people STILL talk about it and rewatch the episodes just to say how good it was. Not counting the movie they want to make happen. Anyway, I'm gonna miss The Secret Circle and Ringer cause they were shows that I actually liked. I wasn't really interested in any new shows and especially those kinds but they were fresh and kept the viewers on edge. I get the feeling that when Supernatural is over, they'll have to put out something so damn nice that people will start watching the channel again or they will just greatly fucking fail. Thank God I don't have that channel listed on my tv cause I'd be paying for nothing.
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CW you suck! BRING BACK THE SECRET CIRCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Yeah I loved The Secret Circle (actually watching it right now ha ha) I'll just be watching Vampire Diaries and maybe Cult.
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Same, and I'll add Supernatural and Nikita to that awesome combo.
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I will miss Ringer!!
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1. Existing in the first place. I don't know how there can possibly be 4 other reasons. Yuk yuk yuk. Seriously tho, I haven't tuned in to the WB/CW since I was curious about the sitcom Unhappily Ever After. I have had zero use for that network since I became a legal adult many years ago since I'm not the intended target at all.
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They started backsliding for me when they started a great show, Just Legal and only aired the first 3 episodes before deciding to cancel it. Then they pulled the show from airing after that. The played the rest of it about a year later. Then the dropped Veronica Mars. They lost me after that, I removed that channel from my tv so i couldn't have to watch their crappy channel. But I did go back only for Reaper, but they blow it there when they canceled that too. You know it is a great show if CW cancels it.
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I think ratings of the CW series is are highly underestimated... Their series is passionately loved by TV fans not only in US but also around the world. Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries got many awards with a record viewers vote!

Personally for me it was a big mistake in Ringer to put Sarah Michelle Gellar, she is not a soap drama actress, she is sci fi star with a many sci fi fans...

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"I think ratings of the CW series is are highly underestimated"



Highly doubt it. CW is very target driven. It's also not everybody's cup of tea.
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SMG is a soapy actress. She won a Daytime Emmy for her work on All My Children. She was also on Swan's Crossing (I think that's what it's called) before that. Also, Buffy has emotional (soapy) elements. She was perfect for the role(s) on Ringer and the only reason why I watch it lol.
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This article is at least ten times longer than it needs to be. It is a rant.
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But it's an elaborate and well thought out rant.
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Obviously I disagree. I would not have said what I said if I though this said anything I am interested in.
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i am a 21 year old male.none of the shows the cw have appeal to my age group or my gender.and when it does it doesnt last that long.i mean the secret circle was really cool becasue their wasnt anything on about witches since eastwick which was in 2010.the only show i can honselty say that appeal to men is nikita,smallville,and supernatural.far as arrow it seems to appeal but my have a woman factor becaseu arrow seems to be just another model playing a good role.the vampire diaries its hard to say.but my point is the cw could probbley do more if they had comedies(even tho i hate them alot of ppl like them),something on sundays night and maybe try to kick this women target to thing to the side.and go for a new audience because woman are not watching that much.
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I hate the fact that The CW canceled Reaper, I really liked that show.
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Im a 31 yr old woman well within cw & abcfamily target demo and theyre my favorite channels.They have shows I actually want to watch(only other channels I like are abc &lifetime).I like that CW targets young women like myself because I dont feel like theyres programming for young women other CW &abcfamily(,especially non reality shows which is all bravo,style air).Ive watched almost every show on CW:Privleged,Melrose Plcace,Beautiful Life,Secret Circle, Gossip Girl,90210,Hellcats,Vampire Diaries, Plain Jane, Breaking Pointe, Hart of Dixie,Nikita,ANTM,Life is Wild, Life Unexpected,One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven. I think they were right to rid themselves of the comidies, the only good ones(Reba,Girlfriends) were at their experation date as Girlfriends was at 8 seasons,Reba 6.,thier other/new comdies werent good(Aliens in America,Everyone hates Chris). Most of thier reality shows have sucked(catalina, Remodeled, h8trsFarmer wants a wife, Hitched or Ditched, Beauty&Geek)& the only good ones last only a season(plain jane, Sylistia,probably Breaking Pointe too). with the exception of ANTM which is good.
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pleasestartakickstarterprojectsowecanpooltogetherandbuyyouaspacebar
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Always so wicked! LOL
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Phoebe Tonkin was the best thing about the CW. Supernatural should be on a different network or cable.
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And here I thought the other networks were bad, though the only one I have any respect for is CBS. Someone should do a review like this for SyFy, not what would be entertaining.
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Yeah, right on. Syfy has just been canceling some of there highest rated shows.
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By the way, Katie cassidy & justin hartly are The CW's katie holmes and james van der beek.
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What I can't understand with the CW is why they don't try to capitalise on the summer season. They could have kept The Secret Circle running as a summer show while we wait for the Vampire Diaries to restart and it wouldn't be in competition with True Blood because they gave up on Sunday nights.



Speaking of Sunday nights, I don't really see that as a big problem for the CW as they don't really have enough programmes to compete on that night along with the rest of the week.



You're absolutely correct about them giving up on comedy, that was a massive error, but does look as though Pedowitz is going to try to rectify that.
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Committing to summer would be a really great idea. Especially considering the supposed target market. Presumably, young folks are out of school and have more free time in the summer. It's probably no coincidence that MTV airs both Awkward. and Teen Wolf in the summer.
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Yes. Summer programming can be huge! I mean at that point there are plenty of people just dying to find something to watch over the summer, they could really test out their new shows that aren't catered towards their traditional limited audience during the summer and see how things could go there. They also could use midseason programming. I mean their big shows don't usually start until october and then have a million breaks inbetween...so much time is spent on repeats and crap that no one is watching. Why not take full advantage of all that time by airing new programs?
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Cancelled Angel, Veronica Mars, and Reaper way too soon. They let One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl go on way too long.
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Angel was The WB, but I completely agree about holding onto Gossip Girl for this long. At least it will finally be ending this season.
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You can't blame The CW for cancelling Angel, that was all down to The WB (and possibly Joss Whedon himself by asking for an early renewal).
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Well i would say they should of kept Smallville going as this was one of there best series not sure how Arrow will go without the best green arrow Justin Hartley but we will see....
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Veronica Mars... 'nuff said.
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There not going to change the Female fromat, they can't do what CBS is doing. cause CBS do own 50% of the cw? your just going to see less of womens shows back to back, and more of them being made if 2 or more of them don't make it?
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If they produced more shows that are more grittier and heavily action-packed like Nikita, Supernatural and (presumably) Arrow, rather than teeny-bopper shows like 90210 and GG then The CW might be on the right track to recovery.
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Gilmore Girls was the WORST CANCELLATION EVER!!! This cancellation denied us the right to a fitting finale and left us with the hope of a movie several times to have it ripped away several more times. It was only a couple weeks before the finale that it was revealed that it would be the series finale and the last episodes rushed us through the final updates and never left us with a proper ending to Luke and Lorelai. So sad!!
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Giving up on comedy was one of their biggest mistakes. If I'm correct, The Game wasn't even doing bad in the ratings when it was cancelled. It was cancelled because it was a half-hour comedy and they didn't want to make half-hour comedies anymore. What they should do is develop a half-hour comedy block for Sundays from 8-10 and lease out their Saturdays or air re-runs.
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Every guy I know is a huge fan of comedy and the choice to stop airing comedies on the CW was like a rejection of half the population.
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I agree with pretty much all the points made in this article. But, I also think the recent cancellation of The Secret Circle also highlights another problem that the CW have. That they seem both unwilling and unable to grow shows. If you look back to when Buffy first premiered , the show came in 7th on the network in its first season. It wasn't till its second season that it grew in numbers and became the 2nd highest rated show on the network. That would never have happend on the CW, Buffy would have been gone after one season. I think with the massive improvement quality wise The Secret Circle was making in the in the final episodes of the show, a new night and some new advertisement could have worked wonders. That show seemed ready to explode quality wise at the end of the season and I suspect had the show been renewed the numbers would have gone up. The fact it's getting replaced by Beauty and the Beast too, is just ridiculous. I feel sorry for Kristin Kreuk looking at the promo for that.



But, even with shows they keep like Nikita, they haven't done anything to promote the show further and improve its ratings. They've just left it on Friday nights to be a ratings lepper. If a show doesn't do as they expected they seem to panic and immediately cancel it, only to replace it with the same things over and over again. They also hang on to their established shows for too long. GG should have gone a while ago, its a TV STD at this point. OTH went on too long too. SPN should think about wrapping up soon also, to give new shows a chance. It seems like they're trying to make improvements with shows like Arrow and Cult. But, why not start with improving and rebranding what was already there with the likes of The Secret Circle and Nikita? That would have been cheaper than green lighting five new shows and the CW isn't exactly rolling in money, is it?
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Completely agree! What happen to giving shows enough time to actually grow a fanbase and capitalizing off of it? No patience whatsoever. They want instant hits and they don't take the time to work with the shows they have. Reflective of where we stand in society now. Instant gratification. They give up too fast on their shows. I find it rather deplorable because to me, it means they never put enough into it to begin with.



and yes...their promotion sucks.
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I agree with much of what you said, except the confusing statement about wrapping up Supernatural so new shows have a chance. Plenty of shows are being canceled so new shows can be brought in (this year: Ringer, The Secret Circle, H8R, etc). If a show has the ratings and there is still story to tell it seems stupid to cancel it for no other reason than to bring in something unproven. That is why Supernatural is still on the network, it brings in the viewership. A network that struggles as much as the CW can't give up something with a fan following like Supernatural. Good shows can go on for many years, although I hated the final two seasons and really disliked the third to last season of Smallville, it was another ratings win for the CW and made sense to hold onto it for ten years. What makes no sense is holding on to shows that have crappy ratings (I'm erecting giants signs around you Gossip Girl) that aren't beneficial to the network and drag the network down. What makes no sense about the cancelation of The Secret Circle is that its ratings were much better than some of the shows canceled. From a business standpoint (by the finale of The Secret Circle I'd determined I would not be watching season two so I have no personal stake in my statements) this seems like a really stupid decision. I don't know what was going on behind the scenes, but from my point of view I was really, really surprised by the shows cancelation.
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I, personaly, think SPN has gone on too long now. But, that's beside the point. The point I was trying to get across is that if the CW put more effort into devloping freshman shows so that become bigger hits in their second or third seasons, they wouldn't have to hold on to other shows for 10 years. SPN does well, but, it by no means has massive ratings . The CW seems caught in a loop of cancelling lots of freshman shows, then having to fund lots of replacements, while hanging on a couple of shows for 10+ years. There should be a steadier flow of show cancellation/renewal.
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Veronica Mars, Reaper, TSC, being generally sexist, rather cheap...I COULD go on.

I still don't think I'll ever fathom anyone not realizing that Ray Wise playing the Devil is as good as it gets on a channel like this. Freakin' CW. Everything they do is a mistake, I'm almost certain.
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I think they cover all the "ist". I mean for starters with the sexism they cater towards this young demographic of females but what does their programming say about young females? Who told them all girls want to see is the likes of Gossip Girl and the seven shows similar to it? I always found that rather offensive myself. I'd take a smart and savvy Veronica Mars over a show about rich pretty white kids and their frivolous drama. And I shan't even get on the race aspect of things...multiracial characters and shows slowly but surely being fazed out.
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The one big mistake the CW ever did: Cancelling the best teen show on television - Veronica Mars. Pure quality, with a refreshingly authentic and cool female lead. It was a show that didn't underestimate girls to be stupid creatures without capacity for anything but squabbling about make-up and backstabbing each other.
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Supernatural has always felt odd on The CW. But I support them continuing the series after all these years. Though I wish they would stop playing show-runner carousel and stick with Kripke and Co.
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You forgot the biggest mistake of all: cancelling Veronica Mars. The fact is, this network has NEVER knew which shows had potential and which hadn't. After all these years, I'm still holding a grudge against them for the mess they made with Veronica Mars... and Reaper, which a great, funny, crazy show. If only they had realized what huge potential Veronica Mars had before it was too late! Anyway, it's too bad they didn't learn from these mistakes, because I did: I ditched them long ago and apparently, from what I read in this article, I was right.
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You guys are just basing this on personal preference though. Yes Veronica Mars and The Secret Circle were good shows but NO ONE watched them! Their ratings were horrible. Veronica Mars' ratings were so bad The CW decided canceling it was better than milking the syndication deal out of it, it would have gotten in season 4. The Secret Circle crashed an burned after the network's biggest lead-in. Renewing either was just bad business. Networks don't renew which shows are the best creatively, they renew the shows people watch so if your show gets cancelled, don't blame the network, blame the people who didn't realize what a great show it was.
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You should really learn what you are talking about... Yes the rating for Veronica Mars dropped in season 3.... AFTER The CW forced Veronica Mars to end the season 3 mystery early, take a hiatus, and return for the last five episodes of the season with non-serialized plotlines. (To make way for The Pussycat Dolls.) Thereby ruining the season's ratings and leading to it's cancellation.
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the secret circle had good ratings.i dont know what you read.from what i heard the secret cirlce was to expensive for them to have the ratings they had.
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Maybe if The Secret Circle was placed BEFORE The Vampire Diaries, it wouldn't have "crashed and burned".
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In the case of The Secret Circle DVR numbers showed there was viewership beyond its live ratings, so people were watching. One week during the demo slump, the show scored a 0.4 in DVR +7 ratings, giving it a 0.9 in total demo performance for that ep. TSC also had the 3rd highest average live + same day ratings on the network for the season (0.8) and managed to pull a 1.1 season average with DVR +7 ratings, out-scoring all but 1 of the CW shows and tying with 2 of them for second. DVR doesn't help tremendously in terms of setting ad rates, but it does make an argument that a night switch may have been a better decision than a cancellation. And seeing as they moved every other show in the fall line-up to a different day or time (excluding TVD), it's not like it couldn't have happened for TSC.



As another person mentioned below, The CW had its hands way too much in the development of the show. As someone who almost gave up watching because of how slow the first half of the season was, I understand why people moved from watching live to putting it on DVR. The point is if The CW had been smarter with how they handled TSC, the live ratings may not have suffered as much. And really, this article isn't focusing in on how CW shows perform in the ratings. It's about how the network's management choices, or how they handle their programming, affect their shows' performance and ultimately the well-being of the entire network. The network isn't handling itself or its product well, which is why most of its shows aren't doing well in the ratings.
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Has NEVED known*
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the biggest mistake was canceling The Secret Circle and Ringer. they were really great shows.

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Also cancelling Reaper, because it was their only good show really...
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my nephew is obsessed with Gossip Girl- hoping he doesn't read this article! :-P haha. i must say i have watched the show and think chuck and blair are awful... borderline abusive. going to vote them as worst couple on twop tubey's. am i the only one getting into the Twop awards this year?!
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Secret Circle and Melrose Place.....they keep 90210 which is the most boring crap on the cw...and the best shows on the cw was Supernatural,Secret circle,One Tree Hill and The Ringer
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