What I feel, think and wish will happen to the shows of The CW

Hart of Dixie

The CW may have the lineup that I enjoy the most, I should probably be embarrassed about that given the fact that I am not a teenager and haven’t been for a while, but the truth is that The CW has interesting fresh dramas and I actually watch all of them. As you may know already the LET’S SAVE A SHOW campaign of this year is about a CW show, so I am heavily invested in the outcome of this network and it is likely I’ll go into a diatribe at some point during this post (you’ve been warned). There are several shows I wish I could save this year including Touch, Deception and hell even Smash! But the reason I concentrated all of my efforts on a CW show is because this network has a history of making really stupid programming decisions that defy logic!.. or so it seems…

Chopping block
Cult (Cancelled)
The Carrie Diaries (Renewed)
Beauty and the Beast  (Renewed)
Hart of Dixie (Renewed)
Reasonably Safe
Nikita (Renewed)
Already renewed
The Vampire Diaries

What my logic says

Let’s start with the easy part: Nikita will get a new season, every time a show gets a 3rd season a 4th is almost guaranteed for syndication purposes. Cult will be cancelled. Now the hard part, what will happen to The Carrie Diaries, Beauty and the Beast and Hart of Dixie? I think they will renew one or two. I previously was very inclined to think they will renew two, but lately I’ve been thinking they may only renew one (last year they only kept one freshman drama and this year they have already renewed Arrow). Let’s go back to my previous assumption that two of the three will be renewed. The first one will most likely be Hart of Dixie, simply because of the fact that it is a second year drama. Now… which show will be saved between The Carrie Diaries and Beauty and the Beast? Every single logical reason I can think of screams Beauty and the Beast! And I will tell you all those ‘logical’ reasons in just a second.

For the following couple of paragraphs let’s put aside any personal preference I might have for one show or another. As I said I watch and enjoy every show in The CW lineup (some more than others, but still no hate for any here). This is not me campaigning to save a show; this is me objectively making use of my MS in television management that I worked for two years to get!

Yes, it is all about the money and the maximization of profit for the networks, so first of all we need to let go of any illusion that ‘quality’ will factor into the programming decisions at all. However my main argument is that making programming decisions solely based on ratings is not the way to maximize revenue. In this day and age, TV shows generate profit in a number of ways. The first revenue stream is obviously ad revenue (consequence of ratings), but now it is also supplemented by online revenue (iTunes, Amazon downloads and licensing to Hulu, Netflix, etc). We also have international distribution followed by domestic syndication, home-video (DVD, Blu-ray) and other merchandise and related products.

I am about to get very technical here, but please bare with me for a minute! Maximizing ad revenue only maximizes the immediate results and not necessarily the overall profit associated with a TV show. In any type of company it is considered bad business practice to focus on the short-term profit and ignore long-term results. Managers have the responsibility to maximize the value of their company, which means maximizing the present value of ALL future revenue sources, not only advertisement.

So, between The Carrie Diaries and Beauty and the Beast, which show do I think has the potential to generate the highest overall profit? Beauty and the Beast. To begin with it has higher ratings than TCD. There is this line of thought going around that Beauty and the Beast is in more danger of cancellation (even with higher ratings) because it is not retaining the numbers of The Vampire Diaries which is what happened with The Secret Circle last year. I think that is complete bull-shit, higher ratings are higher ratings (and higher ad revenue). Plus I don’t think that was the only reason they cancelled The Secret Circle, I personally believe it was more about the ratings dive than the inability to retain them. And they can always move Beauty and the Beast to another less competitive spot, while I doubt The Carrrie Diaries would get any better even if they moved it. And The CW needs to start accepting the fact that no show is going to do as well as TVD!

Now, let’s go with the rest of the revenue sources. I don’t have any data about online spending but I am willing to bet that BATB has more online activity than TCD, I see it trend on twitter at least three or more times a week and it is the type of show fans want to download even after seeing the episode live. Same goes for DVDs and Blu-rays. BATB is definitely on its way to become a cult-hit (it might be there already), which means fans will devour any associated merchandise. As cute as TCD might be, I don’t see it becoming a cult-hit and I don’t see a lot of people buying DVDs or re-watching the episodes. Finally, international distribution: BATB as far as I know is already airing all over the world and has already established a devoted international fan base. It was even reported that a UK network already inked a deal to distribute as far as 3 seasons and that the show was subject to ‘heavy bidding’ (Munn, 2013). The cast itself has a lot of international appeal, having actors from the US, Canada, New Zealand and more. This may not sound important, but international appeal was a factor for letting shows like Prison Break “build an audience” even when it only had “moderate ratings success” (Eastman & Ferguson, 2010, p.136). I don’t know about Europe but as far as I am concerned The Carrie Diaries is not currently airing in Latin America and no-body (except for TV fanatics) is even aware of its existence. All of the reasons mentioned above make me think that BATB should even have an advantage over HOD.

And last but not least, the fan base. The Carrie Diaries is relatively new; I doubt they have been able to build an organized fan base yet. I might be wrong, but I haven’t come across many TCD fans yet. BATB fans on the other hand are invading all social media platforms and TV sites. Plus the cast and crew are so dedicated and fun to follow that one can’t help but to root for them! I mean who else is going to do a Harlem Shake just because we asked? How effective can the fan efforts be? It is hard to say, but they can only help.

As you can see from a financial point of view I think TCD should be the show to go. But then again, my ‘logic’ told me last year that they should renew The Secret Circle instead of Hart of Dixie! I still think it was a mistake to cancel TSC and I was very surprised when they did! [And I didn’t have any special attachment to TSC.] But… my entire analysis (and every other ratings analysis out there) is based on only one side of the equation: REVENUE


So, there is a huge component missing which we are not privy to: COST. And that might very well have been the real reason they cancelled The Secret Circle. It did look like an expensive show, it had a lot of special effects in every episode and maybe the cost was so high there was no way to justify it. That, I can understand, from a financial point of view. How does the cost of Beauty and the Beast compares to the cost of producing The Carrie Diaries? Or Hart of Dixie for that matter… I have no idea! But it is definitely a factor in the decision.

What my gut says

My gut has been ALL OVER THE PLACE with this network this year! Perhaps at this point I am too emotionally invested, or I simply cannot tell because there is so much incertitude! (There is no clear advantage in ratings between HOD and BATB and TCD is only slightly below). My gut previously told me they were going to cancel Hart of Dixie, but then it flipped and now I am fairly certain they are going to renew it. I am almost sure The Carrie Diaries will be gone and about Beauty and the Beast I keep going back and forth. I originally had a very strong feeling they were going to renew it, but then that feeling started to go away. My final prediction (based on instinct not logic) is that they will renew BATB and HOD and cancel TCD, but I might have a very different idea tomorrow.

What I hope would happen in an ideal world where I program all 4 networks and The CW

I wish they would keep all the remaining shows actually… even Cult, but that is NOT going to happen. If I had to pick one show to cancel (besides Cult) it will definitely be The Carrie Diaries, if I had to pick a second one it would be Hart of Dixie.

In an ideal world, programmers would at least partially consider the quality of shows. Some shows need time to find their audience, sometimes it is a matter of moving them not cancelling them. Shows like Seinfeld were almost cancelled after a season and that show has generated more profit over the years than any other in the history of television. NOT comparing Seinfeld to The CW shows here, but the principle applies. Millions of dollars would have been lost if they had cancelled Seinfeld.

And yes, above all I would like to keep BATB around, because I genuinely believe that the writing and overall quality of the show are probably the best of the lineup. Arrow gets so many good critiques and I really think BATB is an even better show, and I am a huge fan of Greg Berlanti so I was actually expecting to like Arrow better. Yes BATB was not great since the beginning, but it eventually became a great show and I am doing whatever I can to convince people about that! And there is also the fact thatà I am still mad about Moonlight CBS(*)! And that is how the LET’S SAVE A SHOW campaign was born. Is it about me trying to save a show I personally like? Yes, of course, but it is about more than that for me. It is a way to feel that we, the fans (even international fans) still have some form of control over what we want to see on the screen. I am hoping that, even in a world with the most imperfect ratings system, we can effectively use the internet and social media platforms to have our voices heard and that this is the beginning of a new era of television consumption! [Look at what is happening with Veronica Mars!]

And yes! I did get all ‘inspirational speech’ in there for a moment! I hope you weren’t bored [or annoyed] to death with this edition of THE FATE OF TV. If you are a fan of any CW show and are supporting the LET’S SAVE A SHOW campaign please leave a comment so I can feel that this whole thing is somewhat worth it!

You are not ‘saving a show’ yet? READ HERE get involved even if it is not your pick of a show! It is us against the networks!

You may also want to read more about the ratings system and why it sucks HERE

For the fate of other networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX

(*) CBS is one of the parent companies of The CW and also the production company of BATB. They also aired the other Koslow drama Moonlight and cancelled it after only 1 season.

Munn, P. “2012-2013 Broadcast Season”, 2013
Eastman & Ferguson “Media Programming”, 2010

April 11th UPDATES

Cult has been officially cancelled, surprising... no-one. We saw it coming, and I was not attached to the show. I wouldn't mind if they were not replacing it with Oh Sit. Somehow that just seems wrong.
I stick by my predictions, but I am actually feeling more hopeful about BATB's renewal chances, as I explained HERE. Also, I am not alone here, the general prediction seems to have changed from bubble to "likely renewal". I just find it bizarre that it took everybody so long to reach that conclusion... well... let the record show I had been saying it should be renewed from the start!

April 20th UPDATES

Before you get excited, no, there aren't any updates to the above table. CW is still not commenting on the fate of the remaining shows. There are some reports that indicate all the bubble shows may get renewed. I really don't get how renewing TCD is a good idea, although they say it 'soars' with online viewing... for some reason I find it hard to believe it has more online play than BATB or HOD... but who knows. I am still feeling BATB will get renewed, the ratings have been steady which is not as good as an increase, but not as bad as descending ratings. Anyway, it is the time for fan campaigns, online buzz and re-playing episodes online to save your favorite shows!

April 27th UPDATES

This is probably the happiest 'update' I am writing for the cancellation/renewal posts. Yesterday CW announced the renewal of Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast. (Yes, we saved a show!). You know I had been predicting this result for a while, but I was surprised with the early announcement (and oh so happy!). I am also surprised Nikita wasn't the first show to get a renewal, my guess is that they are simply working out the deal for what will most likely be its last season. That only leaves The Carrie Diaries, and my logic says it should get cancelled, due to poor ratings and the fact that two freshman shows (Arrow, BATB) have already been renewed, however.... my gut says it may get a new abbreviated season or something. I think CW may not be ready to let go of the Sex & the city baby project, but this is mere speculation.

These days, it looks like networks are making renewal/cancellation announcements at any second of the day... So I better hurry and make my final predictions.

Oh... The CW... what a headache of a network this year... the source of so much anxiety and incertitude. However the fate of most shows has been decided. This is what I think about the remaining two shows:

NIKITA --> Renewed for a fourth and final season (probably only 13-17 eps) Renewed May 9th
THE CARRIE DIARIES --> Most likely cancelled, with a minor chance of renewal as a midseason replacement show. Either way, no more than 13 eps is my guess... I know, this was a cowardly prediction...but my logic and gut say different things when it comes to Carrie. Logic says cancellation, while gut leans strongly towards renewal for some reason. Renewed May 9th
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The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

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  1. Well written and explained! BATB needs to stick around! :)

  2. Wow. Beautifully explained. Story wise, comparing Arrow and BATB, It's BATB. I watch both series but I kept BATB in my hard drive and watch current 15 episodes almost everyday. Thank you, BATB!

    1. I agree Christine, I like Arrow too, but I am good with watching it and then I forget about it. Not the case with BATB. However it is incredible how positive is the general reception of Arrow which does not happen for BATB at all! That is why I feel compelled to keep telling everyone it is a good show!

  3. BatB for second season or CW will have a riot on their hand.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Great info about the CW. I'm still very nervous about BATB but I hope your prediction is correct. I don't watch HOD or CD although I was a big fan of Sex and the City. I have watched a couple of episodes of the Secret Circle on the syfy channel and it's just ok. Honestly I had never heard of it before until I was up late watching the syfy channel. I have never been into a show and fandom like BATB since Dawson’s Creek. After Dawson Creek I said I would never get that attached to a show again but BATB sucked me in from the beginning. I was a huge fan of the 80’s series so I’m sure that is part of the reason I love this show so much. Guess we'll see May 16th (same day as the season finale) how cruel would it be if we don’t get a second season. In the mean time I will keep voting, checking in at get glue and watching and recording. My mom loves BATB and now my sister is watching now too.

  6. The Cw should read this. Well written and well explained. I too hope for a second season of BATB

  7. Loved reading your thoughts on the issue - you didn't get technical at all and explained things so that everyone can understand them. Thank you for that! And I especially loved your inspirational speech. The success of a TV show (aka how much money it can make for the network) depends on the audience. Why shouldn't it have more control over the fate of a tv show. Especially one that has people all over the world heavily invested in it, like Beauty and the Beast.
    I am not naive enough to believe that the excellence of the writing on a show and the brilliant performances of the cast alone will be enough to keep a show around. However, those two factors are immediately related to an audience's response to a show and therefore, at least indirectly, they should factor into networks' decisions concerning their lineup. Long-term speaking that is the only wise course. Not to mention that it would break countless hearts around the globe to have to let go of Vincent and Catherine :)

    1. Thanks for the feedback Kali! I hope I can actually 'inspire' some ppl, not only to like the show but also to be a part of the fan community and defeat Nielsen haha

  8. WOW! I could not agree more! I was nodding my head so much you'd think I was listening to a good beat. Beauty and the Beast is definitely worth saving. I wish the CW would promote it more. It gets no help at ALL. 'Us' fans have to do all the work. I just sent a letter to Mark Pedowitz (The President of the CW), I wish I had sent this instead. You bring up very good points. There is a petition I started to get Beauty and the Beast a second season-because I too believe that we can make a difference.

    It's a rare thing to have a show get such an avid fan following the way Beauty and the Beast has. And the funny thing is, that's only based on so many episodes. The pilot was not great. But the episodes after that have gotten better and better. And for a show that is the underdog to "Arrow" it sure whopped their butt at the PCA's. We beat out the nearest competitor by 10, 000, 000 votes! Stephen thought they would win for sure, the studio only sent Kris and Jay out there last minute cause they saw all the fans going crazy on Twitter. They never thought they would win.

    B&B is cheaper to produce as well. The show has a lot going for it. Question is, how dumb is the CW?

  9. Well explained and i demand CW to read this intellectual explanation. Honestly i never been involved to any fandom but Beauty and the Beast *OH geeze! makes it possible! BATB MUST have its Second Season. Why? Simple: Local + international loyal fans = Money!

  10. BATB has to be signed for more seasons...1 could never be enough,every episode leaves the fans wanting more.CW needs to just sign a deal already.It is a win win situation for everyone.It is no doubt the BEST show CW has going on.

  11. A devoted international fan base as you've said. I'm one of them, from Argentina. I'm in Fb, in Twitter, in Tumblr, in Pinterest, and in every campaigne to save the show.I'm not a teenager, I'm a grown up but I really love the show sine the very beggining. Please, CW, hear our voices! #BATB NATION

  12. Hello, I want to congratulate your story and say that you were very happy to put each topic, I'm from Brazil and would like to tell you assemble a team of people who are struggling with all our love and dedication to Beauty and the Beast has asegunda season and put together a video telling our struggle. I would like to you to see! Love to all and thank you!

    1. Sure I will check it out! Thanks for the feedback!

  13. Great article! I am really scared for Beauty and the Beast. It's a a great series with a dedicated cast and crew. This is my first fandom experience and it is so much fun! I really hope that everything the Beasties are doing will save the show. I also watch Arrow, TVD and TCD, but I never have the need to re-watch episodes as I do BATB. As you mentioned the show took a while to find its voice. I'm glad I stuck it through because each episode gets better and better. I really hope people discover this gem of a show before it's too late. It really deserves a second season, and more!

    1. I am really worried about the show's chances too, but I am still very hopeful and positive. There are still several factors to believe it may get a new season. As for the fandom, I have been in several since the days of Alias, continuing with Lost, Fringe and most recently SOA & Downton Abbey and I have to say the BATB fandom has been one of my best experiences hands down, it is an amazing group of ppl and dedicated cast and crew.... we can only hope it can go on!

  14. Wow! It's a great article! And a worth prediction! Wish you wouldn't change your mind tomorrow, for you are a #Beastie!

    1. I won't change my mind on what I think "should" happen for sure, however, depending on how the rest of the episodes perform I may sadly change my prediction on what I think will happen.... but I am counting on TCD under-performing... nothing against that show BTW!!! but if I have to choose...

  15. You have certainly made some great points here and I plan to reread it all again. I do believe that the activity of devoted fans can make a difference. After all, without the fans, even advertising won't do much. The fans are the consumers and their support goes a long way.

    1. I do believe a new era of TV is starting, with new distribution windows and the rise of social media... I think fans will soon have much more power than in the past...

  16. Wow I never knew so much about saving a TV Show could take up that much work and time. But I am new at being a Huge Fan of #BATB by trending, Rating it, and other stuff to help save the show that I love a cherish the most. So please #BATB is a great and heart warming show between a Human Girl and a half human half Beast that is a man on the outside and Beastie on the inside.

  17. This iteration of Beauty and the Beast is marvelous. Yes, it's different than the series that aired in the 1980s, but it's every bit as good.

    It really deserves to be renewed. It's got so much happening - it has many different layers to it. There's action, friendship, loyalty, pathos, and love. Something for everyone. It's got great heart for such a little show!

    Have you participated in the "Send a Book" campaign? It can be found here: . I'll contribute to whatever way I can in order to save BATB.

    I so hope that you're right and that BATB gets its second year! Regardless, I want to own season one!

    1. I sent 2 books and are already cluttering Mark Pedowitz's desk --> here is a complete guide for all fan campaigns, petitions, initiatives and sites. I update it every week! keep roaring--> (it is in the LET'S SAVE THE SHOW tab of this site)

  18. Please, give Beauty and the Beast second season!!!


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