What Investors Need To Know About The CW's New 2016 Fall Season
It is that time of the year again where the networks reboot themselves with a brand new schedule and a brand new crop of rookie series. For investors it is an important period as it can give them a snapshot of how the network will do over the next season and in many cases how that will impact the network’s parent company.
Benzinga has gone network-by-network among the "big five," showcasing all the big moves, risky decisions and most interesting new shows that could impact the ratings starting this month.
The CW In Focus
The CW (CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS)) launched just two new series last fall, and both succeeded in the areas they needed to for investors to be pleased. The problem was neither held their numbers for their full runs, and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” failed to capitalize on its awards buzz when it came time for the Emmys. That said, the CW is a network that is truly beginning to find its direction, and this year’s crop will hopefully begin to firmly solidify that thought across a broader demo.
Biggest Move/Riskiest Move: Adding ‘Supergirl’
Dating back to its launch, the CW has only had one season where it didn’t have a superhero show on its roster. It will enter the 2016–2017 season with four following the acquisition of CBS’ “Supergirl.” The move is not without risk; while the show got off to a solid start on CBS last year, it soon began to slip. Many analysts questioned CBS taking the show in the first place, as the series seemed custom-made to slide in the CW’s lineup. This year, that will be the case, as the network will have a super-series kicking off its schedule Monday through Thursday.
New Show Most Likely To Succeed: ‘No Tomorrow’
“No Tomorrow” follows in the same direction of “Jane The Virgin” and “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” in that it has a quirky cast of characters in a over-the-top situation. While that has not translated into ratings, it has connected with critics and in some cases award voters. The series about a woman who falls for a handsome stranger who believes the world is going to end in a year, has some very appealing elements. It also will have the benefit of “The Flash” as a lead-in, which should boost its chances to gain audiences early on. The CW has been known to give these types of inventive series a long leash. That will likely continue here.
New Show Most Likely To Cancelled First: ‘Frequency’
The problem with “Frequency” isn’t that it looks to be a bad show, it is that film-to-TV adaptations have fizzled as of late. This new take on the Dennis Quaid/Jim Caviezel 2000 drama is going to try and buck those odds, but outside of its super-hero success, the CW has not had much luck in this action genre. “Frequency” also has the unfortunate distinction of taking on ABC (parent company, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS))’s comedies and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOX)’s powerhouse “Empire,” which will siphon off viewers. However, the bar here is not that high, and last year, CW flagship series “Supernatural” held this slot and made it work just fine.
Show To Keep An Eye On: ‘Riverdale’
The CW only has two new shows (plus “Supergirl”) on its fall schedule, but around the corner in 2017 is “Riverdale.” Based on the characters made famous in the Archie comics, this is a new “90210” style take that has gotten a lot of people excited. The CW has proven it can re-invent franchises, and investors should be eagerly awaiting this latest transformation.
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