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The CW is Still a Network: A Schedule Review

By Alexander Joenks | TV | September 24, 2014 |

By Alexander Joenks | TV | September 24, 2014 |

I don’t want to unduly alarm anyone, but I have a critical announcement to make: the CW is still a network on American television. Now, some of you are going to have various kneejerk reactions of: of course, that’s where I watch Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Arrow or some other guilty pleasure that you sort of only admit to people online. I’ve seen the ratings numbers, and despite liking me some chain watching of genre shows on Netflix, the live ratings of these things are somewhere between reruns of soccer and late night Mexican game shows.

The bulk of you probably had a reaction closer to: wait, the CW is seriously still a network?

So I poked around a bit, because the only reason I had any conscious thought of their existence on my television is the fact that they air Community reruns after midnight around the time I go to bed. From a certain point of view, that makes it the most watched network in my house then.

They have exactly ten television shows. Ten! That’s kind of adorable, really. Let’s have a day by day review to get you reacquainted.

Sunday: Nope, nothing. CW doesn’t even try on this day.

The Originals: Vampires. Spun off of their other vampire show, which is in itself a clone of clones of clones. At some point the photocopy just becomes a sad mass of blurry blobs. And that’s how you end up with Twilight.

Jane the Virgin: a remake of a Venezualan telenovela so you know you’re dealing with peak mediocrity. The story is that a young religious virgin gets knocked up when her doctor accidentally artificially inseminates her … and hilarity ensues? The premise sounds about as likely as vaccines causing autism, but hey, Mary got away with it the first time around, so who knows. Points for actually going with a Hispanic cast, but then it loses all those points on account of looking really stupid.

The Flash: Spun off of their other superhero show featuring a second tier hero. It’ll probably run eleven seasons and feature a lot of people insisting to you on Facebook that it’s actually really quite good once you get past the first season. Why don’t they put these spinoffs back to back on the same nights? Wouldn’t that reinforce the audience for each of them?

Supernatural: This show of the deep love affair between brothers (and I do actually love watching this show on Netflix) has been running so long, that approximately 650 million people have never lived in a world without it. And that number isn’t made up.

Arrow: The only people more vocal than those telling me that I should give this a try are the people insisting that Girls is terrible, closely followed by the people insisting that Girls is awesome.

The 100: Had to look this one up and it’s going into its second season. My favorite review? THR: “The sci-fi drama presents The CW’s ultimate vision for humanity: an Earth populated only by attractive teenagers, whose parents are left out in space.” Yep, I’m out.

The Vampire Diaries: Oh thank god, teenage vampires. But like the original rip-off, not the rip-off of the rip-off.

Reign: Ooh, historical fiction? Mary, Queen of Scots? You have my attention! From wikipedia: “focus[ed] on romance and teenage drama instead of historical accuracy”. That noise you hear is all my attention dissipating like a punctured balloon.

Whose Line is It Anyway? The fact that this is on television in any form but reruns on WGN or some such is the single most astonishing thing that I have learned today. This show will outlive cockroaches and America’s Funniest Home Videos after Skynet drops the bomb.

(encore programming): Ok, bullshit here. They have half an hour dedicated to “encore programming”, which is supposed to mean “err, we’ll throw some random rerun up here”. Except that the only half hour show in their lineup is Whose Line is it Anyway?. What are they airing in this timeslot? If it’s just another episode of Who’s Line, why not make it an hour block on the schedule and label it as such? Note: I don’t actually care enough to wait until Friday, tune in at that time, and actually research this.

America’s Next Top Model: Friday at nine, I think I’ll just watch X-Files reruns in its old timeslot out of nostalgia instead.

So, after consideration, I think that the midnight reruns of Community are still their strongest programming.