11:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
'Arrow,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Originals,' 'Supernatural,' 'Reign' Renewed at CW
The CW has handed out early renewals to five of its biggest hits.
Returning for the 2014-15 broadcast season are veterans Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural as well as rookies The Originals and Reign, the network announced Thursday. Arrow will be back for its third season, Vampire Diaries its sixth and Supernatural will hit season No. 10.
"This season we've had great success with our new hit series The Originals paired with Supernatural, giving us our best Tuesday nights in years," CW president Mark Pedowitz said. "The Vampire Diaries is No. 2 in its time period in the young adult demos, and with Arrow continuing to gain among young men, and Reign growing its time period, we now have strong nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I'm very pleased to announce early pickups for all five series and let our fans know they’ll have more great drama to look forward to next season."
The CW programs 10 hours of originals, and the renewals lock up half of the network's original programming schedule for next season.
With the exception of Reign, this crop represents The CW's strongest performers. Recently hitting the 100-episode mark, flagship The Vampire Diaries remains the network's highest-rated show and has regularly outperformed Big Four competition from ABC and NBC this season. With an average 1.8 rating among adults 18-49, it has been giving the network's best lead-in to freshman Reign (1.3 adults), which has grown 8 percent since its soft premiere.
The network's biggest success story this season, however, has been on Tuesday night. In addition to launching the strong Vampire Diaries spinoff, The Originals, as the new network No. 2 (1.7 rating adults 18-49), nine-season-old Supernatural has been hitting three-year highs. The lone holdover from the defunct WB Network, Supernatural is up double digits from last year. And Arrow, still the network's most watched series with 3.9 million viewers, continues to bring in men to the female-skewing network.
Worth noting: Arrow and The Vampire Diaries have also seen a 25 percent spike in digital viewing compared with last season. Supernatural has also jumped 57 percent year-over-year.
The fate of freshman series The Tomorrow People, The 100 and Star-Crossed, as well as that of bubble veterans Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie and the recently concluded The Carrie Diaries, will be determined closer to the network's upfront in May and likely depend not only on ratings (and streaming) performance but also on The CW's pilot returns. The younger-skewing network this season has picked up six drama pilots, down two year-over-year. Among the crop are Supernatural spinoff Supernatural: Tribes as well as Arrow spinoff The Flash.
For their part, Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast were both recently displaced from their spots on the schedule as the network shuffled its midseason lineup to make room for Star-Crossed and The 100. Dixie, from Fake Empire's Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, will move to Fridays beginning in March. Sophomore entry Beauty and the Beast will take a break starting next month when rookie The Tomorrow People will move into its Monday home.
Meanwhile, The CW continues to dip its toe into comedy with a second-season renewal for its revived game show Whose Line Is It Anyway? as well as Canadian scripted sperm donor comedy Seed. The network has yet to develop an original scripted comedy in-house but is looking at its digital platform CW Seed as an incubator to potentially bring its web series to the screen.