The CW 2015-16 failure factor: One down in a renewal-happy season
The CW was like Oprah Winfrey with a lot full of Pontiacs this season: You get a renewal! You get a renewal! Everybody gets a renewal!
Well, everybody except one.
Because it has fewer hours to program than the other broadcasters, The CW typically adds fewer new shows than the other networks. And partly because its ratings threshold is considerably lower than the others, it also tends to renew shows at a higher rate. This season wasn’t atypical compared to recent years. Here’s how it breaks down.
“Legends of Tomorrow” had a solid premiere (1.2 in adults 18-49), and though it faded by a good amount over the course of the season (its last four episodes averaged 0.7), it still wound up as The CW’s No. 3 series, behind fellow DC Comics shows “The Flash” and “Arrow.” Its renewal was pretty much a no-brainer.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” on the other hand? That was a surprise pickup, despite its star and creator Rachel Bloom winning a Golden Globe for her performance. It was the lowest-rated show on broadcast TV this season in both same-day and delayed viewing. So unless The CW gets a whole lot of streaming plays from “Crazy Ex” that it’s not telling anyone about, its renewal was purely one based on the show’s creative strength (and possibly to keep another CBS-produced show in the lineup).
“Containment” was marketed as a “limited series” — i.e., one that would wrap up the story it was telling in the time it had this season. Still, it’s hard not to think that had ratings been a little better (they weren’t bad, by CW standards: its 0.5 18-49 average is right in line with those of “The Vampire Diaries,” “The 100” and “iZombie”), the network and the show’s producers would have figured out a way to continue the story.
Say it’s canceled, or say it’s ending where it’s supposed to end, but either way, it’s not returning in 2016-17.
Failure rate: 33.3 percent.