Friday, July 29, 2022

The War of 18-49, Legacies


The Second Vampire Diaries Spin-Off

Two years after The Vampire Diaries signed off as the most successful drama of the pre-superhero years on the CW, and a year after the final season of its first spin-off (The Originals), the TVD universe stayed alive on the network with the premiere of Legacies. It may not have had the mothership as a lead-in, but it did have a still potent Supernatural, and Legacies held onto a pretty solid chunk of that audience. The series premiere was underwhelming at 0.29, but it leapt up to 0.37 the next week and spent most of the rest of the season somewhere in the 0.3's (while Supernatural was usually hitting 0.4's at 8/7c).

The pairing returned for season two, with Legacies arguably looking even more impressive. Its fall ratings were almost even year-to-year in Plus while Supernatural took a noticeable dip.

Thursday Falls Apart

But that last dose of Supernatural in fall 2019 proved to be the high water mark for Legacies. It started in winter 2020 when Legacies had to air after the disastrous Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene. That took a chunk out of Legacies' ratings, but it still held up admirably, building big on Katy and posting massive DVR gains to boot.

Then the show didn't air again for 10 months due to COVID-19 production delays. When it came back in January 2021, it actually had a lead-in that was every bit as strong as Supernatural in the new drama Walker. But it was attracting a far older audience and was never really a good fit. Legacies had an even worse Plus after the early Walker eps than it did following Katy Keene. Then Walker fell off hard and fast, and Legacies pretty much followed suit. It was down to 0.1's for good in the spring and summer of that season. By the second half of season four, with Walker still down 40% or more year-to-year, Legacies was struggling to even hang onto 0.1's. That left Legacies as a casualty in an uncommon flurry of CW cancellations after the 2021-22 season, a harrowing result for a show that had shown so much potential in the first two seasons.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
12018-19Thursday 9:000.310.20.4detailB-
22019-200.23-24%0.20.3detailB+
320210.12-47%0.10.2detailC-
42021-220.08-38%0.00.1detailD+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow22y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
12018-1932marginal(CW)0.1722.09413131
22019-2028marginal(CW)0.15-12%20.75353526
3202119flop0.10-33%10.86282619
42021-2215flop0.08-21%7.84241218

AVERAGE:24flop


The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

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