The CW renews…everything

The cast of the CW’s “iZombie”.

Historic move brings back every scripted show on the network for 2016-17 season

In an unprecedented move, The CW has renewed ALL of its scripted series for the 2016-17 season – showing quite a bit of stability for the network, leaving practically no shows on the bubble.

This marks the first time in memory a broadcast network has renewed all of its programs for another season. Going back to 1949, no network has achieved this feat.

Here’s the list of eleven shows CW renewed, in alphabetical order:

Arrow (season 5)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (season 2)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (season 2)
iZombie (season 3)
Jane the Virgin (season 3)
Originals (season 4)
Reign (season 4)
Supernatural (season 12)
The 100 (season 4)
The Flash (season 3)
Vampire Diaries (season 8)

The only CW cancellation in recent months was America’s Next Top Model, the last remaining UPN holdover. It has been since picked up by VH1.

The pickups of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane The Virgin is good news not only for fans of the shows, but for quality TV in general, given the very high marks from critics. Both shows have scored high on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.

Yes, yours truly used quality TV and The CW in the same sentence – a far cry from what I used to write about the network.

Reaction to the historic move on Twitter has been positive – particularly from fans of each show.

Yet to be determined is new drama Containment, which debuts April 19.

The Tribune Media equation

The news comes as Tribune Media – owner of thirteen CW affiliates, including WGN-TV in Chicago, has yet to strike an new affiliation deal with the network. The pickup isn’t likely to please Tribune Media CEO Peter Ligouri, who two years ago said the network shouldn’t be producing programs to those who are not watching television – notably the 18-34 audience, CW’s main target.

Tribune officials had no comment on Friday’s announcement.

Tribune hasn’t been happy with CW’s ratings performance, even though the network’s upward trajectory says otherwise – some CW programs this season have outdrawn those on ABC and Fox.

Ligouri, who recently signed a two-year extension to stay with Tribune, wanted more input in the network’s development slate – which still could happen.

Tribune Media recently announced it may sell some of its assets, including several local stations in order to boost its stock price. The upcoming spectrum auction is also a factor.

Wall Street analysts believe a deal between the two will eventually be made – there is too much to lose on either side. But time is running out – CW’s upfront presentation is only two months away.