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.

 
  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    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.

  • Sara

    I only wish networks could afford to do year round programming even if it were only for one or two of their best rated shows on each network. I’m so tired of these long breaks from may to sept or Oct. By the time sept and Oct roll around I’ve forgotten what has even happened in the finale. I understand that it’s nice outside and it’s summer so should do other stuff other than watch tv but I so look forward to certain shows. And most tv during summer that gets rolled out sucks..mostly reality tv garbage. Oh well..will never happen but one can always hope

  • Brandy

    This is soo stupid.People will already be hooked on the other new shows on before CWs so they won’t watch CWs shows and people will get sick of waiting for CWs shows to return or debut and just give up on the network.Also it makes it even harder to wait to wait even longer especially after finales as amazing as VDs.

  • kasii

    I wonder how do a network get cancelled?

  • Silvio

    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?

    Tuesday is good slot, baring weekend that’s day with big 4 having the lowest viewership. Recently, Monday is death slot for CW, they’re slaughtered there by ABC Family, especially at 8PM by Pretty Little Liars. Hart Of Dixie got unexpectedly (and perhaps undeservedly) good slot.

  • V

    They have basically been doing this with Smallville & Supernatural for the last few years on Friday. These shows also went on long hiatuses too.

    Gossip Girl had late start this year, i believe in October.

  • Dean_W

    @ Bill
    OK I’m still hoping ! ‘Supernatural’ is the best Show of the CW (and the older) and it deserves to have a 24 Episodes Eighth Season. Its Ratings will increase next Season (It’ll Air on Wednesday at 9 + ‘Arrow’ will be an Awesome lead-In).

  • Liz

    @V

    They have basically been doing this with Smallville & Supernatural for the last few years on Friday. These shows also went on long hiatuses too.

    Gossip Girl had late start this year, i believe in October.

    No, Supernatural has only started in October once, in 2007. Every other year, it’s premiered in September (either the week before, the week of, or the week after official premiere week). Smallville premiered in September every year except 2001 (its first season) and 2003, and Gossip Girl started every season in September, this year on September 26, the week after premiere week.

  • V

    Nice fact checking.
    Point being the Friday shows have premiered usually a few weeks behind.
    So we have some idea of what this will do already.
    Will shows do better with less repeats?

  • Chris

    I like the idea, but I don’t know whether it will help or hurt the CW. On the plus side, less breaks helps keep the audience interested. The real question is this: Because the CW started early last year their shows received higher ratings for their pilots [since they were up against reruns on CBS, et al.] Ringer premiered at a 1.2 (a hit by CW standards), but could not maintain those numbers once certain shows [they were competing against] on CBS and FOX started to hit their strides. OTOH, each time a show goes on break, it tends to lose viewers…especially after breaks so long fans assume that the show has been cancelled (I’m looking at you NBC). This means the CW’s rating will experience less variation which might be a good thing since some people interpret a large decline in ratings [even if the current ratings are still acceptable] as meaning that the show is a failure, when in fact it could simply be the result of another show premiering on another network or a break. Another positive I just thought of is that by starting later than everyone else, the CW would be able to tweak their schedule in response to how shows on other networks perform. That is put your freshman shows in the time slots with the least competition and give the worst time slots to the shows that are ending (e.g. Gossip Girl).

  • Justin121

    This year they gave 24 orders for GG and 902101

    23 for Nikita and SPN

    Vamp Diaries needed more production time so they kept 22

    I assume this year they’ll give *all* of their shows 24-episodes orders

    35 minus 2-4 weeks + 24 epiodes = only 7-9 weeks of repeats

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