Upfronts Week — The CW's Fall Schedule
It's Upfronts Week, and the final "network" to unveil its schedule is the CW. Their propped up with an aging drama and superheroes. And they only schedule 10 hours of prime time a week. So how did they fare?
Network: The CW
Best Scheduling Move:
The CW wisely decided to cut its (ratings) losses with critical darling "Jane The Virgin," and move the series to Friday nights along with another critical fave, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," which is itself ratings challenged. However, the two shows are compatible (something we saw during the 2015-2016 season), and should create a nice Friday night block of counter programming. Most of the other network lineups skew heavily male and heavily nerd, so this will be a nice change-of-pace by the CW.
Most Curious Scheduling Move:
Schedulers will say it's a misstep to move around an established show to a new time slot. It's best avoided. Yet, that's just what the CW is doing with "Arrow," the anchor of its wave of D.C. Comics series. "Arrow" is moving from its home at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, in a move that is incredibly curious. "Arrow" has seen its ratings slip this season, which is cause for minor concern, but it is still a reliable piece of the CW arsenal. And now, it's been shipped to a time slot of doom. It will be going up against "Scandal," "This Is Us," new sci-fi show "The Orville," and the NFL right out of the gate. That's not pretty. And it doesn't feel like a great companion piece to "Supernatural," either, which makes the move even more curious. I would have preferred to see "Legends of Tomorrow" move back to Thursdays at 9 p.m. and let "Arrow" join "The Flash" on Tuesdays if a change had to be made. But, alas, it wasn't to be.
Most Promising New Show:
The CW only has two new shows this fall, and I don't like either, so take this with a grain of salt. If pressed, the most promising is "Dynasty." It's a re-make, and the CW has shown that it can thrive by re-making soap operas from other decades (see "90210" and "Melrose Place"). It's also the kind of soapy show that appeals to the CW demographic, and in pairing it with "Riverdale," a teen show that's gotten increasingly soapy during its first 13 episodes, they've created another interesting and compatible night on the schedule. Again, I can't imagine watching "Dynasty," but it seems like the most likely to succeed.
Least Promising New Show:
This goes to the other CW series, "Valor." The whole elite helicopter pilot unit premise feels like something more befitting CBS than the CW. And putting it on Monday nights after "Supergirl" doesn't feel like compatible programming at all. So it's a curious move all around. I applaud the CW for, perhaps, trying to broaden its brand. But the trailer for this series felt like overly patriotic cliches, and I didn't click with any of the cast, either. I could see this being one of the first casualties of the new fall season, though the CW likely won't hold its premiers until later in October.