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August 16, 2022 9:46 am  #1

New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

If you have an antenna, you've probably watched Buffalo's Channel 23 at one time or another. If not, you may have a cable package that brings you WPIX from New York. Both are affiliates of the CW, a network that doesn't exactly compete with the likes of the Big Four. But perhaps you've seen some of their shows on Canadian cable outlets like Showcase or The W Network.

Either way, it seems you won't be seeing most of them for very much longer. The CW, born out of a merger with the old Paramount and WB Networks, has been sold this month to Nexstar, one of the cheapest broadcast companies in North America and the current owner of both Channel 23 and Channel 4 across the border. The plans that the new owner has outlined for its recently acquired bauble sound terribly ominous if you watch any of its shows. 

From the statements emanating from the company, it appears the already low-rated CW is going to go even lower, and it's already cancelled a slew of its most successful mostly young-skewing DC-universe programs, like "Legacies," "Batwoman," "Roswell, New Mexico," "Legends Of Tomorrow" and more.

What will take their place? According to the new owner, expect a lot of cheap reality shows and other low-cost fare that won't require much monetary outlay from Nexstar. 

Most of its other existing hits that survived the purge already have an end date, including "The Flash," and "Riverdale," which will both end after this coming season. 

In fact, Nexstar stunned the industry by cancelling almost all of the network's shows in a single day, in anticipation of its takeover. Which means there's not going to be much reason to tune in, especially if all you're going to get is more cooking competition and cheap home makeover type programs, and God knows, we already have more than enough of those to choose from. 

I'm not sure why they're trying to drive away the younger demo they've worked so hard to attract, but the CEO created a storm of derision on social media Monday, when he told reporters that the average age of a CW viewer is 58! 

If anything good comes from this, it may be that with a massive cost cutting, they're going to need to get programming from somewhere. That's led to speculation that a plethora of Canadian series could be headed for exposure in the U.S., as the network seeks cheap and existing alternatives to fill its nightly two hours a day of primetime. So that, at least, would put some dough in the pockets of producers here, who otherwise can rarely find a toehold on any major American network (Transplant being the odd exception.)

I absolutely despise almost every so-called "reality" show, but what will make my farewell to the CW easier is knowing that half the time, WNLO didn't come in well at all in my location. It looks like, come next year, that won't really matter anymore. But it's a shame to lose that extra programming choice, nonetheless. 

Nexstar's Plan for The CW Includes Targeting Older Viewers, Adding Low-Cost Unscripted Programming


August 16, 2022 9:13 pm  #2

Re: New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

 Rumour has it that Nexstar isn't actually paying anything for CW, but just assuming the debt. Looking at CW's disaster ratings, they have some affiliates like Buffalo that would have almost no live viewers for some of their prime time programming.

CW along with ION have always carried a fair bit of Canadian programming, so any new additions would be nothing out of the ordinary.  Getting a toehold on any American OTA network doesn't matter like it did 20 or 30 years ago.

The streaming networks are what matters, and lots of cancon is showing up there, with more to come.  There is by far more cancon on US television and internationally than ever.  Most of these shows are also set in Canada. 

Look at Letterkenny and Schitt's Creek, neither were on any US OTA network, but Schitt's cleaned up at the Emmy's and was top ten for months on Netflix.  Letterkenny has been a hit for Hulu. And of course, Heartland, the show that some on here thought represented everything that was wrong about Canada's  "fake"  television industry has been a top ten viewed program for Netflix for over a year, and a big hit in the US.

Last edited by paterson1 (August 16, 2022 9:21 pm)


August 17, 2022 11:49 am  #3

Re: New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

All those cancelled CW series listed above? I don't recognize any of them.


September 5, 2022 7:21 pm  #4

Re: New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

Could be that Nexstar doesn't have much left to destroy with CW anyway .  Last Friday prime time ratings were very sad for the network.  These shows weren't even a repeat but fresh new offerings.  Killer Camp with estimated 200 thousand viewers. The disaster that is the new Dynasty clocked in with under 200 thousand viewers for the preliminary numbers.  Both of these shows did not register with the important 18-49 rating share.  In fairness, the numbers might go up or down slightly when the finals are published.  The big four over the air networks struggled to show up above 2 million viewers with their Friday evening programming. Ratings from The TV Ratings Guide.. 


September 5, 2022 7:41 pm  #5

Re: New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

Here's the problem - the CW's program schedule was geared at young people but it turns out the average age of their viewer is -um - 58. When you're a poorly rated network and not even succeeding in reaching your target demographic there's obviously a problem.

Nexstar Says Average CW Viewer Is 58, And Internet Can’t Stop Laughing


Last edited by Hansa (September 5, 2022 7:41 pm)


September 6, 2022 7:39 am  #6

Re: New Owner Appears Set To Destroy The U.S.' CW Network

Good point Hansa.  Also as RA's original post mentioned, the new owners are going to be focusing on the older demos.  Even though CW had traditionally programmed to younger people, the 18-49 crowd isn't watching OTA television.  The only thing that is drawing them in with decent numbers is sports, mostly NBA,  NFL and baseball.  CW  has little if any sports programming.