Floundering Network CW Needs a Hit This Fall

reign, CW, Adelaide Kane

The CW, the final network to unveil its fall lineup, needs its Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals to step up its game. The show, which depicts vampire siblings, started off with around 2 million weekly viewers before dipping down to around 1.5, which isn’t a good rating for a show the network hoped would be a major hit. The Originals has moved to the big Monday night slot, where it will lead into Jane the Virgin, a new show. The Originals stars Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, and Daniel Gillies as the three siblings.

Jane the Virgin is a loose adaptation of the Venezuelan telenova Juana la Virgen created by Perla Farías. Gina Rodriguez plays the title character, a religious woman whose vow to save her virginity until marriage to a detective is usurped by a doctor who accidentally artificially inseminates her during a checkup. The original show was a huge hit in Venezuela in 2002, when it drew an average of 39.1 percent share, topping the competition by a wide margin.

Tuesdays are the big nights for the CW. The Arrow spinoff The Flash is paired with the veteran Supernatural, entering its tenth season. Starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural has been the most consistent hit on the CW in a decade, but its numbers dropped to around 1.6 towards the end of the 9th season. Is the show nearing the end? Still, it averaged 2.5 for most of the season, which was an improvement over the previous season’s 2 million a week. A spinoff titled Supernatural: Bloodlines was announced in January.

The rest of the week is the same as last season. The CW has the least amount of new shows of the networks. Wednesday has Arrow and The 100, entering its third and second seasons, respectively. Arrow, starring Steven Amell, hovered slightly below the 2.5 mark for most of its second season, while The 100 was the most watched show in its time slot among the 18-49 demographic since 2010. The show depicts a group of explorers testing out the toxic earth surface in an indeterminate year in the distant future, 97 years after a nuclear war has ruined the planet.

Thursdays have The Vampire Diaries and Reign. Entering its sixth season, The Vampire Diaries started off with a strong 4.6 million viewers in 2009, but has been steadily declining since, starting this past season with 2.59. The show was the most successful of the post-True Blood vampire shows, with its cast of pretty young faces and sexual tension narratives. Reign received unenthusiastic reviews and had bad ratings, only bringing in slightly more than 1 million a week. The success of its second season will determine whether Reign lives or dies. According to the A.V. Club:

While the otherworldly elements have the most potential to make Reign appointment “who cares, let’s drink!” watching, there is also potential for a strong coming of age show buried underneath. We’re constantly reminded that while Mary is beautiful and headstrong, she is also, in the words of someone who similarly struggled with too much power too soon, not a girl, not yet a woman. In theory, shifting a historical drama into a female-driven bildungsroman is exactly the right track for the CW to take.

Friday has back-to-back episodes of Whose Line is it Anyway? followed by America’s Next Top Model, both of which faithfully bring in a respectable amount of viewers on the worst night of the week for TV shows.

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