CW, Gina Rodriguez nab Golden Globe wins

Chicago's own Gina Rodriguez wins a Golden Globe for "Jane The Virgin".
Chicago’s own Gina Rodriguez wins a Golden Globe for “Jane The Virgin”.

Netflix, Amazon wins also signal shift

After watching your 2014 Chicago Bears becoming the most embarrassing export out of Chicago since Jim Belushi, Jenny McCarthy, and Kanye West (and more local celebs I’m sure), it is refreshing to see someone from the Windy City make our city proud for a change – not to mention giving a struggling network a much-needed cred boost.

St. Ignatius graduate Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe award for Best Actress In A Comedy Series for freshman drama Jane The Virgin, which also gave CW its first major award victory in its nine-year history. The critically-acclaimed drama currently has a 80 score on Metacritic and an amazing 100 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rodriguez’s rise to stardom is similar to another Chicagoan – Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar in 2007 and also has won a Grammy.

The other Chicagoan who struck it big Sunday night was Jill Soloway, who created Amazon Instant Video’s Transparent. The comedy series won the streaming service its first award for Best TV Series, Musical, or Comedy series. Jeffrey Tambor (who plays a transgender person) also won for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

What’s notable is none of the Big Four networks didn’t win anything at the Golden Globes, leaving CW as broadcast TV’s only winner – a great achievement for the network, but an embarrassment for the rest of the broadcast television industry.

The wins indicate a huge shift away from the Big Four, to the CW and streaming services when it comes to quality. And it appears Netflix and Amazon aren’t slowing down when it comes to new content. On Tuesday, Amazon announced it was launching a TV series in partnership with Woody Allen, best known for films such as Annie Hall. Meanwhile, Netflix is launching a second season of Marco Polo and several Marvel dramas, among other offerings.

As for CW, the Golden Globe win for Rodriguez comes as the network announced it was not only renewing Jane for a second season, but all of its eight scripted dramas currently on the fall schedule for next season. CW president Mark Pedowitz made the announcement Sunday during the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour Sunday morning. According to the Hollywood Reporter, CW’s ratings are up 14 percent in total viewers and up slightly in the 18-49 demo.

In addition, the success of Flash and Arrow – which both had much-talked about crossover last month – has brought more male viewers to the network.

But there are some hiccups. Even though its entire fall lineup is renewed, those shows would still have to compete with pilots for spots on next season’s fall schedule. And then there’s Tribune Media’s CEO Peter Ligouri, who has expressed his displeasure with the network’s ratings as Tribune is moving into original programming for its WGN America cable channel. Tribune is the largest owner of CW affiliates, owning stations in four of the top five markets – including WGN-TV in Chicago.

Still, CW has come along way from the “bumbling, stumbling network” yours truly wrote about in July 2008.

And for those who want to catch our hometown girl Gina Rodguriez in action, all new episodes of Jane The Virgin air every Monday night at 8 p.m. (CT) starting January 19 on WGN-TV.