For the last few years, it’s felt like almost all of The CW’s Fall shows would end up with a “back nine” full season order for 22 episodes. Not so with this year’s lineup, which admittedly left a handful of shows on the bench to premiere at midseason.
Continuing our run of “midseason report card” posts (view ABC here), now is time for KSiteTV’s Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne and contributor Shilo Adams to take a look at The CW’s 2016-2017 season so far: the hits, the misses, and the shows that will see no tomorrow. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) It’s a lineup full of superheroes with some virgins, ham radios, apocalypse anticipators, vampires, and crazy ex-girlfriends mixed in with two Winchester brothers holding the fort and keeping things in line.
Let’s get started. If you’re curious how we thought the season would go as we went in, here’s our analysis from last year, as well links to the other report cards thus far.
BEST SCHEDULING MOVE
Craig: Although four superhero shows at a time is a lot for an audience to invest in, The CW picking up Supergirl was a fantastic choice that really gave a good launch to their Monday nights. While the critically acclaimed Jane The Virgin doesn’t keep the lead-in so much, I think it’s made for a great night of powerful, strong female characters. I’ll also point out that Supergirl has told some great stories and introduced some fantastic new characters this year; in retrospect, the show always should have been on The CW. The Supergirl pickup also allowed the network to do a four-show DC crossover which at least helped the 8PM hours on their respective nights.
I was also surprised and I am sure The CW was pleased with how well their new Thursday line-up of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supernatural worked out considering the heavy competition.
I’ll also admit when I’m wrong: I thought saving Riverdale for midseason was ridiculous, since it seemed like it would be such a big hit for the network, but I’m starting to feel that with its midseason launch it might have even more potential to be a big launch.
Shilo: Is it weird that I kind of think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Fridays panned out the best of The CW’s scheduling decisions? Granted, the show’s down from its (already small) season one ratings, but it’s managed to not collapse with the time slot downgrade and, most importantly, kept the buzz it generated during season one. When the show was moved to Fridays, I assumed that it would become more of an afterthought in the crowded television landscape, as shows that air on Fridays don’t really dominate the pop culture watercooler conversation. But Crazy Ex kept its Golden Globe nomination and did quite well on TV critic year-end lists without doing too much damage to the network’s schedule in the process, so this feels like a great win for The CW.
And possibly an indication that going full dramedy/soap on Fridays might be an option in the future, especially given that Reign, Hart of Dixie, and The Carrie Diaries all overperformed expectations on Fridays, as well.
WORST SCHEDULING MOVE
Craig: Arrow has never really been able to launch a 9PM show so I’ll cut Frequency some slack, but what was really disappointing was how much of a non-starter No Tomorrow was after The Flash. No matter how DC’s Legends of Tomorrow does in the slot, it’s bound to be an improvement over what The CW had in the Fall.
I also fear that being banished to Friday nights could have hurt Crazy Ex-Girlfriend which is a shame.
Shilo: To be blunt for a second, putting No Tomorrow after The Flash was dumb and self-destructive. I understand the political rationale behind it, as the former allowed a CBS-produced show to get the biggest lead-in on the network, in addition to the scheduling rationale, with the network trying to keep its latest dramedy from becoming too niche/insular, but the two shows ended up being about as polar opposite as you can get. Despite how DVR/VOD-heavy television viewing has gotten, lead-in compatibility still matters; in addition, a bigger lead-in doesn’t always mean a better lead-in, so I think that The Flash could have flourished even more with a compatible lead-out and No Tomorrow would have had a better shot by airing either alongside another low-key dramedy or in place of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend once that show signed off its second season.
Instead, No Tomorrow was stuck with an incompatible lead-out and up against a monster in This Is Us, which turned into a vacuum for the type of viewers that could’ve given No Tomorrow the pulse it needed.