Come this May, there will be no cancellations at the CW. The network just renewed the last four scripted series, which had been awaiting word on their fate: freshmen All American, In The Dark and Roswell, New Mexico for second seasons, and veteran The 100 for a seventh season. That brings the total scripted series renewed by the CW for the 2019-2020 season to staggering 14, including all five freshman series.
This is a record for the network, up from the 12 scripted shows the CW brought back this season as it expanded from five to six nights of programming. The size of the CW returning slate is on par with a Big 4 network; NBC for example brought back 13 scripted series this season. This also marks the first time the CW has renewed all of its freshman shows.
The CW is yet to make decisions on its pilots, with strong early buzz on a lot of them. If the network picks up 3-4 to series, that would mean that about half of the CW’s scripted lineup next season (8-9 series), will be first or second-year series. That illustrates the changing of the guard at the network as it bids farewell to veterans Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend and iZombie this season and Supernatural and Arrow next season.
“As we begin to plan for the 2019-2020 season, we’re thrilled to have this roster of 14 exceptionally creative and distinctive series, including all five first year shows, as the foundation on which to continue to build the multiplatform future of The CW,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “One of our key long-term goals has been to continually add more original programming all year round, especially in midseason and summer, and with these returning shows and the new series we’ll order as we get closer to the May upfront, next season on The CW is shaping up to be our most robust year-round schedule yet.”
As Pedowitz indicated, the renewal decisions were based on series’ multiplatform performance as the network was one of the first to largely disregard overnight ratings.
All American was the only fall CW series not to get a renewal in January. Despite strong reviews and loyal following, the drama, from Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV, had delivered modest ratings, leading to the network’s decision to only give the series a three-episode back order. The CW brass already were high on the show creatively, and the bump in exposure the series saw since launching on Netflix a month ago helped seal the renewal.
There has been data indicating that All American is doing well on the streaming platform. Additionally, the series has been heating up social media as new fans discover the show on Netflix. The response has been similar to that for another CW series from Berlanti Prods., Riverdale, whose linear ratings took off in Season 2 after its first season had streamed on Netflix for a couple of months.
The renewal for In the Dark comes just three episodes into its freshman run. The quirky drama has done just OK in linear ratings, with its pickup based in large part on the network’s strong belief in the series’ creative strength.
As genre series, Roswell, Mexico and The 100 both have done well on digital. The former has title recognition and is a solid asset for its producing studio, while the latter continues to have a very passionate fan base and has been able to reinvent itself creatively. The CW brass’ confidence in The 100 is so high, they renewed the post apocalyptic sci-fi drama for a seventh season ahead of its Season 6 premiere.
The series being ordered for the 2019-2020 broadcast year now include second seasons of all of The CW’s freshman series All American, Charmed, In The Dark, Legacies and Roswell, New Mexico, as well as new seasons of Arrow (Season 8), Black Lightning (Season 3), DC’S Legends Of Tomorrow (Season 5), Dynasty (Season 3), The Flash (Season 6), Riverdale (Season 4), Supergirl (Season 5), Supernatural (Season 15) and The 100 (Season 7).