The CW may be the smallest of the major networks– IF it can even be considered a full network– but it’s also the home of more sci fi/fantasy shows than any of the bigger four– ABC, CBS, NBS and FOX.  Granted, none of The CW’s shows can even pray for the ratings of a big hit on one of those other four, but the smaller scale means that the shows they have tend to get longer runs to prove themselves, which is why so many of them have such passionate fan followings.

As a comparison, on ABC ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ averages roughly a 1.3 rating, which translates to about 3 million viewers.  ‘Agents’ is NOT considered much of a hit for that network.  It’s often referred to as being “on the bubble” meaning if ratings slip much lower, it will likely be cancelled.  (The fact that Disney owns both ABC and Marvel Entertainment which produces the show helps swing things in its favor.)

The CW’s biggest hit is ‘The Flash‘ which has an average rating of 1.41 (about 3.6 million viewers), just slightly higher than those of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, but on this smaller network, that equates to being a HUGE hit.

How are the shows doing? Here is a rundown of their shows from highest to lowest ratings:

1. The Flash:

As stated, this is The CW’s biggest hit, even surpassing ‘Arrow‘, the show from which it originated.  ‘The Flash’ averages a 1.41 rating, which equates to 3.61 million viewers.  This number jumps up 60% when 7 day DVR viewings are factored in.  The series is actually down 2% from last season, but is still doing phenomenally well.  It’s no wonder that The CW is about to launch ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ further building upon their DC superhero universe.

2. Arrow:

Trailing just behind ‘The Flash’ is big brother series ‘Arrow’ which is actually up 3% from last season, averaging a 1.04 rating (2.68 million viewers) which increases 52% when 7 day DVR watching is included.  Like ‘The Flash’, this is a solid hit (which may have actually benefitted from following ‘The Flash”s more fanciful comic book tone) and both will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.

3. Supernatural

I mentioned that CW shows tend to have a longer shelf life than some shows on other networks and ‘Supernatural’ which is in its 11th season, is proof of that.  The show has slipped by 10% from last season, earning a .75 rating which equals 1.8 million viewers, plus an 80% bump from DVR viewings.  Another factor aiding it, is the fact that it’s become a licensing bonanza with fans eagerly snapping up figurines, clothes and other goods bearing the show’s logo, slogans or any of the handsome cast members– of which The CW gets a healthy cut.  The show is still going strong and should continue as long as the creators and stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (everyone else is expendable) want to keep it going.

4. iZombie

Sophomore hit ‘iZombie’ averages a .56 rating (1.38 million viewers), but get this, that number increases 100% with DVR viewings!  Even so, The CW didn’t order a full second season, and overall, the show is down 10% from last season.  But honestly, considering the numbers, I would expect an extension order soon.  If not, I’d still bet on it returning next season.

5. The Vampire Diaries

The show, in its 7th season, has already lost its leading lady in Nena Dobrev and its ratings have been declining with each new season.  It currently averages a .56 rating (1.29 million)  Like ‘iZombie’, though, ratings double (+100%) with DVR viewings.  In both cases, that means there is a devoted following, just not one that sits and watches it live.  In both shows’ cases, that may result in The CW moving them to a weaker night like Friday, which would allow them to maintain these followings which aren’t likely to increase.  It would also allow The CW to give their current time slots to other shows in hopes of boosting their ratings.  Even with the drop off, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is likely to carry on for at least one more season.

6. Jane The Virgin

Not a genre show, but here are the numbers: .4 rating; 1.02 million viewers; +70% with DVR viewings; down 15% from last season.  The show’s saving grace is that it’s the most acclaimed show on the network and the only one that gets any award nominations.

7. The Originals

This ‘Vampire Diaries’ spin-off has slipped 30% in its third season, earning an average .42 rating (.99 million viewers).  A show is required to have 88 episodes in order to enter syndication (reruns).  This season brings ‘The Originals’ up to 66, so expect one more 22 episode season just so The CW can cash in.

8. Reign

Not quite a genre show: .30 rating; 1 million viewers.  The DVR numbers aren’t listed, so are presumably minor.  The show has lost a lead and is already being moved to a new time slot.  Like ‘The Originals’, ‘Reign’ is in its third season, but is only getting 18 episodes this season so a fourth won’t give it enough episodes to syndicate.  Its chances are therefore greater for cancellation once this season wraps.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Not a genre show: .28 rating; .87 million viewers; no DVR uptick.  Likely to be cancelled despite critical acclaim.

So while some shows aren’t exactly burning up the airwaves, most of the genre shows should warrant another season for one reason or another.  With steady numbers, The CW actually only ordered one new show this fall and that was ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ which is its lowest rated show and is therefore the one that is most likely to get the ax when the new fall schedules are announced in the spring.  Some of the other lower-ranking shows may also go bye-bye, depending on what pilots The CW decides to pursue once they are submitted for consideration.  But most likely, a long-running show like ‘The Vampire Diaries’ isn’t going to simply get cancelled without the network giving the producers a chance to wrap things up satisfactorily for fans.

Are you a fan of any of the endangered shows?  What do you think can be done to save them?

Source: TV Fanatic