Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Breakdown: CW Thursday in 2015-16 (Legends of Tomorrow, The 100, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals)

It's time for a journey through the CW Thursday schedule in 2015-16...


2014-15The Vampire DiariesReign37
2015-16The Vampire DiariesThe Originals34 (-8%)
38 (-21%)29 (+16%)

The deterioration of The Vampire Diaries continued full-steam in the fall, following up a -20% season last year with -21% this fall. It was joined by spin-off The Originals, which was a double-digit improvement on last year's Reign despite having somewhat disappointing retention at times.


2014-15The Vampire DiariesReign33
2015-16Legends of TomorrowThe 10051 (+52%)
64 (+48%)38 (+59%)

The decaying vampire empire cleared out at midseason, making way for the high-rated launch of Legends of Tomorrow and a significant initial boost to The 100. This lineup more than made up for the fall Thursday struggles, and was a huge part of why the network as a whole was able to break even in Plus.


2014-15The Vampire DiariesReign28
2015-16Legends of TomorrowThe 10037 (+35%)
46 (+27%)28 (+52%)

Both shows lost quite a bit of steam in the second half of their seasons, but were still big enough for massive year-to-year timeslot improvements.

The Shows

The Vampire Diaries*0.30.460.6-36%32hit(CWFri)-26%detail
Legends of Tomorrow0.60.801.255hit(CW)detail
The Originals0.30.390.5-33%27hit(CWFri)-23%detail
The 1000.40.480.7-6%33marginal(CW)+8%detail

The Vampire Diaries: The CW's magical Friday mojo helped make the vampire shows look more respectable when they pulled similar ratings after a Friday move. The -21% in Plus for TVD in the fall is the closest thing to an apples-to-apples we really have with either show, and made it clear the show was still in a rapid decline. Grade: D.

Legends of Tomorrow: It was the third wheel in DC's superhero empire (and may become the fourth wheel when Supergirl arrives). But there's a wide gap between the superhero shows and almost everything else on the network, and Legends was still strong enough for a fall return in the same timeslot.

The Originals: Unlike TVD, Originals doesn't really have any "fair" comparisons, since it was moved to Thursday and joined up with TVD in the fall. It was only about -7% in Plus comparing fall 2014 (on Monday) with fall 2015 on Thursday, but the move still didn't help as much as it seemingly could/should have. However, it seemed to get a little better retention-wise after the Friday move, so I'll give it the slight edge over TVD grade-wise. Grade: D+.

The 100: I thought this show would settle at a consistent 0.4 after just a couple weeks. It ended up getting to that point, but it took almost two months instead. So I'd consider the season a win overall, but most of the win part was front-loaded. Grade: B.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Check back tomorrow for this day's new Schedules Plus! Till then, you can refer to the old version.

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