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.

 
  • Jaka

    @Ultima
    DST causes everything to go down, so it isn’t that big of problem

    I know that, but the CW’s ratings are so low even without DST.

  • SarahL

    @Joel

    Too funny. Very true too.

  • Leonard

    @ Ultima: What The CW should do is end in March instead of May. They can have a five month summer season airing their side pickups.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “It saves them a bit of production money.”

    It *might* if they’re reducing their episode order numbers, but I haven’t seen any indication of that yet.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    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, since new shows will be replacing repeats *within* the season. 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.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “What The CW should do is end in March instead of May. ”

    Not that The CW doesn’t have enough problems already, but a big one looming is their affiliates threatening to bail on them when their contracts are up over the next several years.

    The more The CW reduces what it does, the more their affiliates are likely to say “screw The CW, I’ll just air syndicated repeats in primetime”.

    The San Francisco CW affiliate airs Two And A Half Men in the hour before primetime, and I’d bet it was their highest rated hour of the night.

  • SarahL

    @Bill

    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.

    Of course, TheCW would still have the disadvantage of having low rated programming that hardly anyone watches.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Of course, TheCW would still have the disadvantage of having low rated programming that hardly anyone watches.”

    No change there!

  • Wright

    The CW is a great network and if you don’t like it don’t watch it.

  • Ultima

    @Wright
    The CW is a great network and if you don’t like it don’t watch it.

    Most people follow that advice! ;)

  • HB

    @Ultima

    LOL.Good one ;-)

  • SarahL

    @Ultima

    LOL! Very good.

  • Jenny

    Why is CW scheduling Hart Of Dixie (my favorite show) to be on Tuesdays against three of the highest rated 18 – 49 shows on television, and three of the highest total number of viewers shows on television: The Voice on NBC, NCIS on CBS, Dancing With the Stars on ABC, Raising Hope (half hour) Fox, Ben and Kate (half hour) Fox.

    The folks at CW are idiots. Why not put Hart Of Dixie in a better time slot and watch the ratings soar?

  • Bob Jones

    @Jenny . . .
    Where is a ‘Better’ time slot? for Hart of Dixie? The problem with the CW is that it should be compared to ABC Family, not NBC/Fox/ABC/CBS.

    I watched TVD/TSC regularly; any day of the week you pick, there is a better show on (comparatively) – Sundays are packed, Tuesdays at 10 PM packed, no one (18-49 with Nielson boxes) home on Friday.

    CW can either sink or swim (I hope it swims).

  • Dean_W

    Does it mean ‘Supernatural’ can’t have a 24 Episodes order ?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Does it mean ‘Supernatural’ can’t have a 24 Episodes order ?”

    Except for the announced 11 episode order for the final season of Gossip Girl, I haven’t seen any other episode order numbers for CW shows.

  • TVGuy

    I think the new season will officially begin Mon., Sept. 17th.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I think the new season will officially begin Mon., Sept. 17th.”

    Now that I look at the dates, I think you’re right, this season it was Sept 19.

  • DD

    I really hope the CW can clean up. I don’t see them getting Fox/ABC ratings but I do hope they can get higher than 0.5 and 0.6’s lol

  • Person of Interest

    i watched the arrow teaser and it looks good im defiantly going to watch this show and with it and supernatural in one night this will be amazing although it will be hard going against american idol and the x factor i hope the show gets good rating and becomes cw’s next hit.

© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures