The CW Shortens Its Season As One Way To Reduce Repeat Hiatuses

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

May 17th, 2012

In its just announced 2012-13 primetime schedule, The CW demonstrates one way to reduce the repeat hiatuses that its fans are always griping about....shorten its season!

In recent years, The CW has begun airing its shows a week or two earlier than the rest of the broadcast network's "premiere week" in late September, which effectively lengthened their season.

For 2012-13, The CW won't begin to premiere shows until "early October", two (or more) weeks later  than the rest of the broadcast networks, effectively reducing their season length from recent seasons by about a month or so. Instead of programming 36-37 weeks, the CW will only program 33 (or fewer) weeks.

Update: I looked at this season, and the CW aired 18 new episodes prior to week 3 (which ended 10/9/11 this season), so for 9 scripted shows, they'd swap 2 new for 2 repeats during the season assuming a week 3 start, more for a week 4 start, etc.

I wondered how the CW would reduce its repeat hiatuses given its programming strategy and constraints (no sports, no specials, just a handful of old holiday movies), I just wasn't thinking out of the box enough to think of the solution of reducing the size of the box!

Update: Here's a PR advantage to The CW I just thought about. Since *all* their new episodes will air during the broadcast season, instead of a week or two of them airing outside the broadcast season, they'll get a benefit vs. previous year's ratings comparisons. Or if you want to look at it another way, they'll no longer have the disadvantage of some of their new episodes airing outside the season.

  • danny94

    Good idea less repeats and breaks can only be a good think, I hope the cw has some sucess this year.

  • Petar

    When the season will start for big 4 networks this year? OK september but what date?

  • Bob

    Outstanding idea. All the networks should begin in October in order to have less repeats. October to May with two weeks in December and beginning January for repeats or other specials.

  • Oliver

    Seems like a reasonable gamble, and it makes sense they want to launch away from the other networks.

    The only problem is if people get into the habit of watching other shows before The CW’s season begins. But I guess they don’t have much to lose at this point.

  • Mark Wood

    The only problem with this is historically all shows that started in October on the CW had lower initial ratings, ie less sampling then when they started early or on the official opening week of the Eason.

  • Bill Gorman

    “When the season will start for big 4 networks this year? OK september but what date?”

    Should be September 24.

    Edit: I think that 9/24 was wrong, and it’s September 17.

  • Pete

    the CW are SCUM

  • Petar

    THANKS, Bill!

  • Oliver

    Emily Owens, M.D. is up there with Mob Doctor and Ben & Kate as most generic title of the season. It’s not as outright bad as The Family Tools, though.

    Especially weird since First Cut was such a good title.

  • SmG

    I think its a great idea. I hope they will give 24 episodes to some series (there were rumors about 90210 and TSN) and if we discount the holidays, that means there will be a small number of repeats next year.

  • Joss

    until “early October” ??? OH BROTHER!

  • Baqinardo

    It could work. OUAT and Grimm started late too, and they got best premiere #s.

  • Bill Gorman

    “that means there will be a small number of repeats next year.”

    Impossible to know exactly without seeing their premiere dates, but it should reduce repeats per show by 2-4.

  • AV

    First Cut is a great title, but also sounds like a horror movie.

  • boogke

    Is Top Model renewed for one or two cycles this year?

  • Dan S

    Ironically NBC is going to premiere some shows in August like the new comedy Go On. The only risk there is if the new shows are no good the cancellation bear will be coming out of hibernation earlier than usual.

  • NBC Hater

    I hate the hiatuses, but i don’t know, guess we’ll see:/

  • Liam

    This is a great idea. October to May. But I think they should finish the season eariler than other networks.

    They could do October to December. Hiatus for Xmas.
    Return in mid-January and wrap up the season end of March begining of April when other networks are on hiatus. 10-11 episodes before xmas and then then airing the remaining 10-11 episodes unbroken for them weeks.

  • Fake Me Out

    Anything that gets me from eps.1 to eps.22 with fewer gaps, breaks and repeats is a good thing. My inside sources (you know, those voices in our heads telling us to do evil …) say they were even toying with a later start … they even had a 2012-2013 season start slogan worked up … “The only thing scarier than Hallowe’en is our ratings!” Join us October 31, 2012 for the CW premiere week.


    Help save Endgame and watch season 1 on Hulu, also watch Craig Ferguson in Scotland this week

  • Heradite

    “The only problem is if people get into the habit of watching other shows before The CW’s season begins.”

    If anything it gives people the chance to test out the new shows of the other networks and when they decide they don’t like it (since, and I hate saying this because it’s usually just internet hate but this time it’s true, most shows this season look utterly like crap) they’ll check the CW.

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