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The CW, fresh off news that it is expanding to a sixth night of originals for the 2018-19 broadcast season, has renewed nearly its entire lineup.
Returning for additional seasons are: Arrow, Black Lightning, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, Riverdale, Supergirl and Supernatural.
Still to be determined are the fates of midseason fare The 100, iZombie and Life Sentence and fall debut Valor. Official decisions on those four — as well as The CW’s new series orders — will be determined in May.
That the network would renew the bulk of its original scripted fare comes as little surprise. The CW, which relies heavily on streaming returns and lucrative Netflix SVOD deals, is expanding its programming lineup to include a sixth day of programming — on Sundays — starting in October.
“As The CW expands to a six-night, Sunday-through-Friday schedule next season, we are proud to have such a deep bench of great returning series for 2018-19. By picking these 10 series up for next season, we have a terrific selection of programming to choose from when we set our fall schedule in May, with more still to come,” network president Mark Pedowitz said Monday in making the renewal announcement. “And I’m especially happy that we’ll continue to work with the incredibly talented casts, producers and writers who create the series our fans are so passionate about.”
For Pedowitz — who recently inked a contract extension — the decision to expand comes as The CW is brimming with scripted and unscripted originals. Since he boarded in 2011, the network has upped its midseason offerings to five scripted shows, compared with only two in the exec’s first year. Additionally, Pedowitz has beefed up The CW’s summer schedule with three or four unscripted shows as he pushes the network to a more competitive year-round slate of originals.
With the extra night, The CW’s programming slate will grow from 10 to 12 hours starting in the fall as the network looks to build upon recent viewership gains. Season-to-date, The CW is up 3 percent in total viewers (though it’s flat year-over-year among adults 18-34 and 18-49) with seven days of delayed viewing. That doesn’t count digital viewership, where the network is particularly strong.
A decision on final seasons — potentially for Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — have not yet been determined. Also still to be determined is whether The Originals/The Vampire Diaries will continue, as showrunner Julie Plec is prepping a spinoff of the former, which will wrap its run this season. The CW has a record nine pilots in the works this season, including a female-fronted spinoff of Supernatural, as the network looks to build out its roster following the end of The Originals and likely cancellations of Valor (whose stars have been cast in pilots) and Life Sentence (which was recently moved to Fridays).
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