Given the 21% loss in total viewers from the comparable year-ago period (730,000 to 580,000, based on Nielsen Media Research through October 31, 2021), The CW is hoping its revamped primetime network schedule will stop the bleeding.
In return series news, the reboot of Dynasty (which exists solely on international sales) will open season five on Monday, December 20 with back-to-back episodes. Translation: Expect minimal audience tune-in.
Superman & Lois will begin season two on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 8 p.m. into the launch of new superhero-themed drama Naomi. Based on the characters from the DC universe, Naomi follows the journey of a cool, confident, comic book–loving teenager (Kaci Walfall) as she pursues her hidden destiny. When a supernatural event shakes her small hometown of Port Oswego, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, with a little help from her fiercely loyal best friend Annabelle (Mary-Charles Jones).
The prognosis on Naomi: Considering how far The CW has fallen this season, maybe it is time to cut back on all the superhero dramas.
Also returning The CW is anthology Two Sentence Horror Stories effective with the start season three on Sunday, January 16 at 9 p.m. (with two half-hour episodes each week). Minus the lack of lead-in support from competition series Legends of the Hidden Temple (yes…lead-in still matters in this highly fractionalized content landscape), keep the expectations low.
Critically acclaimed drama All American will return on The CW with original episodes on Monday, February 21 at 8 p.m. followed by the series premiere of spin-off sports drama All American: Homecoming. The series is set against the backdrop of the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) experience at Bringston University, where Black excellence is a way of life. The logline: All American: Homecoming follows Simone (Geffri Maya), a young tennis hopeful from Beverly Hills who is trying to fight her way back to great after some time away from the court, and Damon (Peyton Alex Smith), an elite baseball player from Chicago who is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. After Simone’s aunt Amara Patterson (Kelly Jenrette), a journalism teacher and activist, exposes a scandal that threatens to derail the school’s beloved baseball program, new coach Marcus Turner (Cory Hardrict) is determined to bring a championship back to Bringston the honest way — with Damon’s help.
The prognosis on All American: Homecoming: While the traditional audience reach may be limited, introducing another potential critical favorite is the right move for this network drenched in superheroes. Never underestimate the value of the critics.
Additionally, dramas Riverdale and The Flash will return on The CW following their current five episode fall runs in March. Riverdale will inherit the Sunday 8 p.m. hour on March 6, while The Flash will move to Wednesday at 8 p.m. on beginning on March 9 (followed by the second season premiere of the reboot of Kung Fu).
The Charmed reboot, meanwhile, will open on Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m. into the return of original episodes of Dynasty.
The bottom-line: Success (or the lack of) for any broadcast outlet is no longer solely dependent on the Nielsen ratings. There is far more to the equation (including social media interest, which for The CW has always been a selling point). While the introduction of new dramas Naomi and All American: Homecoming are a potential step towards rebuilding, it is far from enough. And rearranging some of fading fading programming “deck chairs” is unlikely to recharge the network.
What The CW needs is a big new hit series, which could come in the form of its The Waltons reboot movie, The Waltons: Homecoming, on Sunday, November, 28 at 8 p.m. Sometimes all it takes is the love of a warm TV family to succeed.