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Reaper: Renew or Cancel?

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Written By

November 25th, 2007

UPDATE: CW Has Renewed Reaper.
New Episodes return March 17, 2009

reaper.jpgCW's Reaper, Tuesday 9PM Eastern, was a pre-season critics darling, but has the comedy about reclaiming lost souls for the devil captured the eyes of enough viewers to survive for another season?

It won't be Heaven or Hell making the decision, but likely 57th Street or West Hollywood. Before they get the chance, we ask: Renew or Cancel?

Reaper's Ratings Rank among New CW Shows, All New Shows

Date Viewer Rank among New CW shows Viewer Rank among all new shows
9/25 #1 of 4 #16 of 20
10/2 #2 of 6 #19 of 23
10/9 #2 of 6 #20 of 24
10/16 #1 of 5 #20 of 24
10/23 #1 of 5 #20 of 24
10/30 #1 of 5 #17 of 22
11/6 #2 of 5 #19 of 22
11/13 #2 of 5 #21 of 22

In a disappointing fall for new CW shows, Reaper's ratings started at the top and have traded the #1 or #2 position with Gossip Girl for the entire season among new CW shows.

Among all new shows, CW shows have been solidly at the bottom. At least Reaper's ratings have been a bit more above the bottom than the other CW shows.

How is it doing against its competition on Tuesday?

Reaper's Ratings and Rankings @ 9PM Tuesday

Date Viewers (Rank) Adults 18-49 (Rank) Adults 18-34 (Rank) Adults 25-54 (Rank)
9/25 3.28m (5) 1.95m (5) 1.19m (5) 1.71m (5)
10/2 2.86m (5) 1.78m (5) 1.08m (5) 1.42m (5)
10/9 2.65m (5) 1.62m (5) 0.95m (5) 1.28m (5)
10/16 3.27m (5) 1.93m (5) 1.12m (5) 1.78m (5)
10/23* 2.44m (5) 1.52m (5) 0.89m (5) 1.26m (5)
10/30 2.60m (5) 1.56m (5) 0.81m (5) 1.29m (5)
11/6 2.42m (5) 1.31m (5) 0.70m (5) 1.18m (5)
11/13 2.46m (5) 1.53m (5) 0.83m (5) 1.35m (5)

Reaper's ratings have been below its ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and even Univision competition in all categories at 9pm Tuesday.

Reaper's ratings dropped sharply after its debut, but have stabilized, although at a low level, recently. (*10/23 data is Live, all other data is Live+SD, useful for rankings but not viewership trends).

Conclusions

Negatives

  1. Reaper ratings are consistently last place in its timeslot in all demographic categories.
  2. Reaper ratings are near the bottom compared to all new broadcast shows.

Positives

  1. Reaper is one of CW's two best new shows, and CW may not be able to do better with new shows.
  2. Reaper ratings, while low, have stabilized.

Verdict: Marginal renew.

I think the bad performance of the new CW shows has possibly reset the CW expectations for new shows, and as badly as Reaper ratings have turned out relative to all other networks it may well be a keeper when looking at CW's future options.

 

Wondering about other shows? Check our all our Renew or Cancel? posts.

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Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2007 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
  • Rena Moretti

    CW should be bold and cancel its entire lineup with the possible exception of Smallville. Reaper is probably the one show other than Smallville that doesn’t advertise “I’m a CW show and I’m Bad” but its ratings are terrible. It does suffer from being on CW which is equated to Low Quality by most viewers.

    CW needs to stop its nonsensical demographic approach and decide if it really wants to be a network.

  • Rena Moretti

    CW should be bold and cancel its entire lineup with the possible exception of Smallville. Reaper is probably the one show other than Smallville that doesn’t advertise “I’m a CW show and I’m Bad” but its ratings are terrible. It does suffer from being on CW which is equated to Low Quality by most viewers.

    CW needs to stop its nonsensical demographic approach and decide if it really wants to be a network.

  • Rena Moretti

    CW should be bold and cancel its entire lineup with the possible exception of Smallville. Reaper is probably the one show other than Smallville that doesn’t advertise “I’m a CW show and I’m Bad” but its ratings are terrible. It does suffer from being on CW which is equated to Low Quality by most viewers.

    CW needs to stop its nonsensical demographic approach and decide if it really wants to be a network.

  • susan

    I really like Reaper a lot. The show makes me laugh every episode. I have 2 favorite shows and Supernatural is one of them. Please don’t cancel Reaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • susan

    I really like Reaper a lot. The show makes me laugh every episode. I have 2 favorite shows and Supernatural is one of them. Please don’t cancel Reaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • susan

    I really like Reaper a lot. The show makes me laugh every episode. I have 2 favorite shows and Supernatural is one of them. Please don’t cancel Reaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • susan

    I really like Reaper a lot. The show makes me laugh every episode. I have 2 favorite shows and Supernatural is one of them. Please don’t cancel Reaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ang

    “Reaper” should be renewed. Reaper has the unfortunate time slot that puts it up against some well established shows, such as “House” and “Dancing With the Stars”. Everyone needs to give “Reaper” a look. They will be pleasenty surprised to find out that it’s actually a very descent show.

  • Ang

    “Reaper” should be renewed. Reaper has the unfortunate time slot that puts it up against some well established shows, such as “House” and “Dancing With the Stars”. Everyone needs to give “Reaper” a look. They will be pleasenty surprised to find out that it’s actually a very descent show.

  • Ang

    “Reaper” should be renewed. Reaper has the unfortunate time slot that puts it up against some well established shows, such as “House” and “Dancing With the Stars”. Everyone needs to give “Reaper” a look. They will be pleasenty surprised to find out that it’s actually a very descent show.

  • Ang

    “Reaper” should be renewed. Reaper has the unfortunate time slot that puts it up against some well established shows, such as “House” and “Dancing With the Stars”. Everyone needs to give “Reaper” a look. They will be pleasenty surprised to find out that it’s actually a very descent show.

  • Craig

    Reaper is one of the worst shows on television, and underscores, rather than counters, all that is wrong with the CW.

    It is an interesting premise, that jumps the shark almost immediately. If it were a nice Dramedy, it would be something that we could handle. A progression of story. Instead, we got another cheap sit-com with bad acting, and worse scripts. A story that resets to start at the beginning of every show. I am sorry, but I grew out of that sort of thing when I was 12.

    There is almost nothing redeeming about this show, but I am not suggesting it should be canceled. The CW simply has nothing better on Tuesday nights. They are a marginal network. They will, likely, always be a marginal network.

  • Craig

    Reaper is one of the worst shows on television, and underscores, rather than counters, all that is wrong with the CW.

    It is an interesting premise, that jumps the shark almost immediately. If it were a nice Dramedy, it would be something that we could handle. A progression of story. Instead, we got another cheap sit-com with bad acting, and worse scripts. A story that resets to start at the beginning of every show. I am sorry, but I grew out of that sort of thing when I was 12.

    There is almost nothing redeeming about this show, but I am not suggesting it should be canceled. The CW simply has nothing better on Tuesday nights. They are a marginal network. They will, likely, always be a marginal network.

  • Craig

    Reaper is one of the worst shows on television, and underscores, rather than counters, all that is wrong with the CW.

    It is an interesting premise, that jumps the shark almost immediately. If it were a nice Dramedy, it would be something that we could handle. A progression of story. Instead, we got another cheap sit-com with bad acting, and worse scripts. A story that resets to start at the beginning of every show. I am sorry, but I grew out of that sort of thing when I was 12.

    There is almost nothing redeeming about this show, but I am not suggesting it should be canceled. The CW simply has nothing better on Tuesday nights. They are a marginal network. They will, likely, always be a marginal network.

  • Craig

    Reaper is one of the worst shows on television, and underscores, rather than counters, all that is wrong with the CW.

    It is an interesting premise, that jumps the shark almost immediately. If it were a nice Dramedy, it would be something that we could handle. A progression of story. Instead, we got another cheap sit-com with bad acting, and worse scripts. A story that resets to start at the beginning of every show. I am sorry, but I grew out of that sort of thing when I was 12.

    There is almost nothing redeeming about this show, but I am not suggesting it should be canceled. The CW simply has nothing better on Tuesday nights. They are a marginal network. They will, likely, always be a marginal network.

  • Sparky

    I am old enough to remember when the cash-cows of the Fox network was “Married with Children” and the Simpsons ; young networks need time to build themselves into the giants that they may become. Reaper is a very enjoyable show, and from my perspective, innovatove. Comments that the show “resets” evey episode are as valid for many other shows when you look closely at their basic formula(s). Never ending shows that develop like soap operas, e.g. Lost, Heroes, may work for people that can devote more time to their viewing habit…while self-contained episodic shows work best for others.

  • Sparky

    I am old enough to remember when the cash-cows of the Fox network was “Married with Children” and the Simpsons ; young networks need time to build themselves into the giants that they may become. Reaper is a very enjoyable show, and from my perspective, innovatove. Comments that the show “resets” evey episode are as valid for many other shows when you look closely at their basic formula(s). Never ending shows that develop like soap operas, e.g. Lost, Heroes, may work for people that can devote more time to their viewing habit…while self-contained episodic shows work best for others.

  • Sparky

    I am old enough to remember when the cash-cows of the Fox network was “Married with Children” and the Simpsons ; young networks need time to build themselves into the giants that they may become. Reaper is a very enjoyable show, and from my perspective, innovatove. Comments that the show “resets” evey episode are as valid for many other shows when you look closely at their basic formula(s). Never ending shows that develop like soap operas, e.g. Lost, Heroes, may work for people that can devote more time to their viewing habit…while self-contained episodic shows work best for others.

  • Sparky

    I am old enough to remember when the cash-cows of the Fox network was “Married with Children” and the Simpsons ; young networks need time to build themselves into the giants that they may become. Reaper is a very enjoyable show, and from my perspective, innovatove. Comments that the show “resets” evey episode are as valid for many other shows when you look closely at their basic formula(s). Never ending shows that develop like soap operas, e.g. Lost, Heroes, may work for people that can devote more time to their viewing habit…while self-contained episodic shows work best for others.

  • Gina

    In a world of regurgitated hospital dramas, police/crime dramas, night time dramas etc. I excited to see that the CW airs shows that are outside the box. Reaper being one of my new favs of the season has proven that. When has there ever been a show about a guy who goes out with his 2 best friends and captures escaped hell souls for the devil? None that I can think of in recent memory. And thanks to Smallville and Supernatural I have a reason to love TV on Thursdays. Personally I feel that those 2 shows are 2 of the best on TV right now. I just wish that the conformists who are used what they’re given on the 3 major network channels would expand their horizons a bit. They might be pleasantly surprised.

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