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TV Week's Josef Adalian writes: The CW Lives!

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March 1st, 2009

The CW's Dawn Ostroff

I know a lot of commenters aren't buying it.  I know Bill Gorman isn't buying it.  I'm buying it much more than Bill and the commenters, but still not sure I'm buying it.  But Josef Adalian  is buying it, and TV Week is celebrating with a CW-themed edition this week.

In an article (perhaps cover story) Mr. Adalian headlines the piece The CW Lives! (and it's subtitled: How The "Gossip Girl " Network Beat the Odds by Pleasing Its Parents -- sure to make some of our commenters, and perhaps Bill, say OMFG!).

It doesn't matter whether we're buying it or not, Dawn and the CW are selling it, and they finding buyers. Whether the buyers are really advertisers and its parents and not just TV Week, Variety and other media remains to be seen, but,  there can be no doubt the sales-pitch is getting some traction some how, some way.

From the article:

Building on the momentum of 2-year-old pop culture sensation “Gossip Girl,” The CW this season appears to have achieved a breakthough, firmly establishing itself as a destination network for an advertiser-friendly audience of 18- to 34-year-old females. A revival of “90210” has been one of the season’s few ratings success stories, while a planned revival of “Melrose Place” is already generating obsessive online buzz.

[...]

“We no longer receive questions from the creative community (or) from the advertisers (about the future of The CW),” said Bruce Rosenblum, president of the Warner Bros. Television Group. “I think the built-in assumption and the expectation is that The CW is here to stay.”

Profitable Programming

The key to The CW’s viability was evident last week, when the network announced it was giving early 2009-10 renewals to a half-dozen series, including “Gossip Girl,” “America’s Next Top Model” and first-year hit “90210.” All of the shows greenlit are turning a profit for the studios—and hail from either Warner Bros. Television or CBS Paramount Network Television.

[...]

Up in Key Demos

But Ms. Ostroff’s efforts have yielded ratings results where they count. Among women 18 to 34, The CW’s Monday-through-Thursday lineup is up 13% year-over-year; among all viewers in the age group, the network is up 8%.

Among the shows driving the women 18-34 gains: “Gossip Girl” (up 36%), “One Tree Hill” (up 31%), “Supernatural” (up 8%) and “90210” (which has improved its Tuesday timeslot by 67% from last season). During the fall, The CW was No. 1 among women 18 to 34 on Monday, while its C3 ratings (on a Monday-Friday basis) rose 16% in the same demographic.

It’s no wonder, then, that when CW executives talk about the network’s difficulties, it’s almost always in the past tense.

“We’re there now,” Mr. Rosenblum said. “It just took a little longer than we had initially planned.”

 
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