Arrow, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries Renewed -- What it Means for the CW

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The broadcast networks are beginning to make the tough calls regarding their rosters of shows. In what is becoming a tradition, The CW (a subsidiary of CBS (NYSE: CBS  ) ) last week was the first to make commitments to returning series, which should give audiences and analysts an idea of what the network is looking to do with its fall schedule.

The Vampire Diaries (Credit: The CW)

Early decisions

The CW's decision to renew Arrow, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries are not big surprises. In fact all three were also among last year's early renewals and there's a reason for that -- they perform extremely well.

The network's slate by nature isn't comprised of ratings-grabbing shows; it is more concerned with the women and teen demo than the overall 18-49 frame that most others covet. The trio listed above are the ones that have truly crossed to the mainstream and don't see all of their audience come from niche demos.

The other two series getting the early pickups are freshman series The Originals and Reign. Of the pair, Originals represents the bigger win as this is the spin-off of Vampire Diaries and was a project The CW was really hopeful would take off. While ratings haven't been to the level of Diaries, they've been respectable and the pickup makes sense.

Reign still gives critics a little bit of a pause from a creative standpoint. However, from a business side, it makes sense given that it's co-owned by CBS, and because it's made in-house it will automatically get additional consideration, despite lower ratings.

Tough calls

So that leaves four series still on the hook: Hart of Dixie, Beauty & the Beast, The Tomorrow People, and The Carrie Diaries. Of the four Dixie has the best chance as it's currently in its third season and needs a fourth for a realistic chance at syndication. It doesn't make financial sense for The CW to have nurtured this show for three years and then kill it right as it nears that magic mark that ensures a new level of revenue for the studio. The network's decision to move Dixie to Friday nights starting next month is also a sign it's trying to find any way to boost its numbers.

The other three are toss-ups -- Beast should have been slayed after season one and Carrie just never caught on the way executives had hoped. Remember though The CW didn't go axe-happy last year, which means it's probably going to get bloodier this year to clear room for new shows. Still Tomorrow People has upside for the network so it could sneak by and earn a second season.

The wild cards

The wild card here is The CW still has yet to premiere Star Crossed and The 100, which were the other two series it picked up last May. While teen romance drama Crossed could run into some rough ratings when bit bows next week, The 100 could be a sleeper hit as it channels The Hunger Games. The series debuts in March and takes place 97 years after humanity flees from a now uninhabitable Earth and then years later decides to send 100 juvenile delinquents back to see if the planet has course-corrected itself. It has action and of course a unrealistically hot cast, which are two network staples.

The success of those two series will help decide which other series get the green light and which ones will be cut to make way for the net's new freshman class, which looks to be full of promising concepts. With spinoffs of Arrow (The Flash) and Supernatural (Supernatural: Tribes) seemingly locks to make the schedule, it's going to get very tight for some shows very fast.

The next step for you

No matter how good the next crop of shows, you know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 3:54 PM, Dbrown112 wrote:

    Glad to see Supernatural Back its a goodie Thank You.


  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 12:38 PM, prpitbullgirl wrote:

    Please please please bring Hart of Dixie back. it's one of the few nice, funny shows out there! GREAT job on keeping Originals it's good show. Reign sucks. I think Carrie Diaries has potential and I'd like to see it come back for another season. Just decide if it's going to be teen drama or an actual sex and the city prequel type show. It has an identity crisis right now.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2014, at 3:21 AM, fayeandbobby wrote:

    Please don't kill The Tomorrow People! It is one of the only reasons I watch the CW network!! Awesome Show and Cast! Please Renew This Show!

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