CW's 'Reaper' gets a second life

Series will return for 13 episodes midseason

The CW has picked up cult-favorite supernatural drama "Reaper" for a second season.

"Reaper" will return for 13 episodes midseason and will likely be paired with "Supernatural" on Thursday nights after "Smallville" concludes its run.

The network made the decision Monday, going down to the wire on picking up the series before the CW's upfront presentation to advertisers the next day.

"Reaper" has a devoted fanbase, but has struggled in the ratings. Most recently the show averaged about a 1.0 rating among adults 18 to 49. The show initially impressed critics with its strong pilot directed by Kevin Smith ("Clerks"), then seemed to creatively stumble. Recent episodes, however, have fans saying the show is back on track with a more serialized storyline and sharper wit.

"Reaper," along with "Aliens in America" and "Gossip Girl," are part of CW's sophomore scripted slate. The buzz-heavy "Gossip Girl" received a quick pickup. The ratings for "Aliens" fell below the line and few expected a renewal. But the fate of "Reaper" has been a mystery, with rumors about the CW's intentions swinging back and forth.

The network's executives are uniformly fond of the show, yet the Nielsens made a pickup a tough call. Anxious fans even launched a campaign to save the series by sending socks to the network (playing off one character's name).