Monday, November 12, 2018

Renewology Week 7: The CW's Rising Rookies and Slumping Superheroes

Here's a look at the big Renewology developments in week seven. There was very little week-to-week movement in R% on the big four this week, and a lot of it on the CW, so this week I'm just gonna run through a few CW shows.

The Volatile Newbies
All American61%

After Legacies and All American both showed signs of life in their post-premiere episodes, all three of the CW newbies got an episode extension. Charmed got 22 while the other two got 16, which is yet another pretty good piece of evidence of the network's bias in favor of the CBS studio. Charmed started much stronger, but there's not a whole lot of separation among the three right now in terms of Live+SD ratings strength (though Charmed has stood out as a notably stronger DVR gainer).

Legacies had a strong week two but dropped back a good bit in week three. Due to the show's Los Angeles preemption, we don't know exactly how far it dropped, so maybe it should be lower than the number listed above. (But it didn't adjust down that much in total viewers.)

Meanwhile, All American really solidified its momentum with a big uptick in the un-rounded prelims in week four. Unless the show is a dud on digital, that data point looked like a show the CW should renew, but the R% is still tentative because the very low 0.3 in week three is still part of the rolling average.

Nerdy note: if it can stay north of a 0.300 in the un-roundeds next week, we could see this become part of the rare club to experience both the dark red and the dark green zone in Renewology in the same season. (I actually don't think anything did this all of last year, though Brooklyn Nine-Nine did get kinda close. There were a couple of them two years ago. And three years ago, when Renewology was in the test phase, had one show that would've been a particularly egregious example.)

Could a Superhero Show Get Cancelled?
Black Lightning92%0.320.310.23442%50%
Legends of Tomorrow78%

Black Lightning has looked rather shockingly weak at times, especially in episodes two and four, but episode three was OK enough to keep its R% in good shape at this moment. And Legends of Tomorrow's week three was bad enough to maybe cast some doubt on that show. In general, they haven't consistently looked bad enough to stay out of the dark green zone yet. (On this network, you gotta be really weak.) But they don't have to drop much from where they are now for things to get shaky, at least according to Renewology.

If this were a regular broadcast network, I would be looking to phase out of this space a little bit, simply in the name of diversifying your assets: a Chicago Justice situation, if you will. I'd put a high priority on "different" stuff like Riverdale and All American, and I'd give some real consideration to getting rid of Legends (or perhaps Arrow or Black Lightning) unless their ratings situations strengthen later in the season. But it's not a regular broadcast network, so it's important to know how crucial these shows are to the Netflix deal.

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