You’ve got to love The CW. While every other basic cable network is scrambling to immediately cancel every new show that pulls in less than spectacular ratings, The CW is happy to settle for its small, devoted viewer base and retain shows that keep its sexy, action-packed brand intact. Every freshman drama on the network has earned a full-season order today; that’s right, The Vampire Diaries‘ spin-off The Originals, period drama Reign and sci-fi action series The Tomorrow People will all last for at least 22 episodes.
Out of the pick-ups, only The Originals, which averages 2.7 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the crucial adults 18-49 age demographic, was a sure thing. The show, a spin-off of the network’s most-watched drama The Vampire Diaries, has been a consistently strong performer, at least by The CW’s standards.
Reign has averaged 2.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating, while The Tomorrow People has done slightly better with 2.4 million viewers and a 0.9 rating.
Clearly, neither show was a breakout hit, but it’s easy to see why The CW decided to keep them. Both Reign and The Tomorrow People fit neatly into The CW’s teen-targeted programming model, are holding small but steady numbers and have garnered mixed-to-positive reviews.
The CW President Mark Pedowitz released the following statement:
In just a few seasons, we have built a much stronger primetime schedule. Our on-air ratings are up year to year, and our digital viewing continues to grow exponentially. We’re excited about the creative momentum the producers have established for all three of our new series, and now our fans will have the chance to see the full stories unfold for them this season. With the additional episodes ordered, plus two new dramas and new reality for midseason, we’ll be able to continue our commitment to adding more original programming all year long.
It’s certainly true that digital platform streaming played a role in the pick-ups. Streaming of full episodes from The CW’s line-up is up 50% this season when compared to last season, and Reign, The Tomorrow People and The Originals have all seen 84% more digital viewing than The CW’s new series last fall (Arrow, Cult, Beauty & the Beast and Emily Owens, M.D.).
Are you a fan of any of The CW’s new dramas? Let us know in the comments section!