The CW again has given an early renewal to the bulk of its lineup, picking up all returning series on its fall schedule for the 2018-19 season as well as freshmen Dynasty and Black Lightning. The list includes all five DC series, The Flash (Season 5), Arrow (Season 7), Supergirl (Season 4) and Legends Of Tomorrow (Season 4), joined by newcomer Black Lighting (Season 2), as well as the venerable Supernatural, picked up for 14th (!) season, sophomore success Riverdale (Season 3) and praised comedies Jane the Virgin (Season 5) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 4) for what could be the duo’s final seasons.
“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 ten 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,” said the CW president Mark Pedowitz. “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.”
Both new fall CW dramas, Valor and Dynasty, underperformed at similar ratings levels. The former did not get a back order and is expected to get officially canceled. Dynasty‘s ratings continue to be soft as it was moved to the lower-trafficked Friday night. But the reboot of the classic 1980s soap has a lucrative distribution deal with Netflix for CBS TV Studios, whose parent CBS co-owns the CW. Additionally, the CW brass hope that the arrival of Nicollette Sheridan as Alexis Carrington would provide the spark that Joan Collins delivered when she joined the original series as Alexis in Season 2. Sheridan’s first episode recently posted a small viewership uptick.
Of the other CW midseason series, iZombie and newbie Life Sentence are on the bubble. iZombie, now in its fourth season, is in the middle of the pack ratings-wise and has established fan base. Meanwhile, Life Sentence is on shaky ground, logging the smallest Live+same day viewership and 18-49 rating among all CW scripted series this season and recently banished to Fridays after hitting a 0.1 L+SD demo low. There is a glimmer of hope for the dramedy starring Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale,which has been a solid performer in delayed and digital viewing. That helped Riverdale to snag a Season 2 renewal last year, though renewal for Life Sentence is considered a long shot. Renewal decisions on iZombie, Life Sentence and fellow midseason series The 100, whose new season is yet to premiere, are expected to go down down to the wire in May.
The CW has more real estate to play with next season as it is reclaiming Sunday night for original programming but it also ordered the most pilots ever.