February 11, 2013

THE SKED: CW Kicks Off Renewal Season

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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It’s always an advantage for shows to know they’re being renewed as quickly as possible.  With that security in hand, they can shore up their writing staffs before newly-ordered series begin making their picks, start preparation for next season’s production, and in the case of increasingly plot-heavy serialized dramas, begin planning out the story arcs to come.  So we’re at the point in the season where producers of shows that are clearly hits (and some that aren’t) begin pressuring the networks for early confirmation that they are, in fact, coming back.  (The networks, for their part, prefer to leave things open for as long as they can, just because you never know when you’re suddenly going to need some flexibility in your plans, and as a matter of principle they hate committing to a set number of episodes months ahead of time.)

Of course, another level of this game is the PR statement a network makes with an early renewal, publicly showing its love for successful shows and their cherished producers (think of it as a gift given even before an anniversary makes one mandatory).  CW has started the boll rolling with no-brainer new seasons for its three clear hits:  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, SUPERNATURAL and the new ARROW.  These are the only shows on the network’s schedule to regularly score ratings over a 1.0, so of course they were coming back.  The much harder decision for CW will be choosing which of their cluster of ratings mediocrities–90210, THE CARRIE DIARIES, HEART OF DIXIE, BEAUTY & THE BEAST and NIKITA–make it to next season.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."