Nexstar CEO Perry Sook: “We, as the owner of The CW, are constructing a new affiliation agreement template that is going to allow affiliates to opt out of The CW deal with the virtual MVPD and cut their own deal — or they can opt in to the deal that we have already established for them.”
Inside The New CW: Network Chiefs Explain How They’re Measuring Success, Leaning Into Adult Dramas And The Path To Profitability
CW network president Dennis Miller and entertainment president Brad Schwartz talk about the network’s plans for adult dramas, programming to Black audiences following the success of All American, going hard on unscripted with FBoy Island, and the path to making the former Paramount/Warner Bros. Discovery-owned network profitable for Nexstar.
Superhero Shows ‘Had Their Time’ As New CW Leaders Outline Plans To Make Network ‘Bigger And Profitable’
“The CW is now run by broadcasters whose only goal is to build a strong brand and cultivate emotional attachment to the largest audience possible,” Entertainment President Brad Schwartz told reporters Thursday. “Our goal is to do what’s best for viewers, for stations and for advertisers. No longer will The CW be built for the benefit of two content studios.”
The CW is reopening the book on The Librarians, ordering a spinoff of the TNT series five years after its cancellation. Aptly titled The Librarians: The Next Chapter, the sequel will center on “a ‘Librarian’ from the past, who time traveled to the present, and now finds himself stuck here,” according to the cryptic logline.
The CW has put together a fall schedule full of international series and unscripted formats alongside scripted returner All American, while Walker is moving to midseason. The move is not a huge surprise given the company’s recent acquisition by Nexstar amid plans to lean into lower cost programming. Decisions are yet to be made on the three outstanding dramas Gotham Knights, Superman & Lois and All American: Homecoming, although more information is expected to emerge during the network’s upfront presentation later Thursday morning.
The CW has bought Everyone Else Burns, Channel 4’s apocalypse comedy about a religious sect starring Friday Night Dinner’s Simon Bird. The show, which was the first to come from Emily in Paris producer Jax Media’s U.K. office and is co-produced with Universal International Studios, is expected to be be unveiled as part of the network’s fall lineup.
What Happens Next For Tegna?
New owner Nexstar has gutted the network’s roster that former CEO Mark Pedowitz built in favor of low-cost imports and unscripted shows — and a rejected cable drama. Pictured: Sullivan’s Crossing, starring Chad Michael Murray, Morgan Kohan and Scott Patterson, is one of many low-cost foreign series that The CW will program instead of homegrown original series. It’s already aired elsewhere.
The broadcast network has picked up both seasons of the drama series 61st Street from AMC. The legal thriller stars Courtney B. Vance as an attorney defending a high school athlete (Tosin Cole) who get swept up in Chicago’s corrupt criminal justice system. AMC picked up the series with a two-season order and aired the first installment in the spring of 2022. Despite Season 2 already being finished, however, AMC scrapped the conclusion — part of a wave of cost-cutting un-renewals at several outlets in late 2022 and early 2023. The first season is set to air in the fall on The CW, with the unseen season two set for 2024.
The CW on Thursday canceled two more series as network owner Nextstar continues to whittle down its roster of scripted shows. Kung Fu and Supernatural prequel The Winchesters — both produced by Warner Bros. TV, one of The CW’s former owners — won’t return to the network in 2023-24. Kung Fu ran for three seasons, while The Winchesters ends after a single season. The cancellations follow that of first-year show Walker: Independence, which comes from the network’s other former owner, CBS Studios, on Tuesday.
The CW has been busy north of the border. The network has picked up The Spencer Sisters, a Canadian drama starring Caroline in the City star Lea Thompson and Superman & Lois’ Stacey Farber, for its fall lineup. It is the latest Canadian series that it has acquired, this time from eOne, as the Nexstar-owned company’s scripted strategy becomes a little clearer.
The CW Network today unveiled its slate of original scripted and unscripted programming debuting on the network in Summer 2023.
On Tuesday, The CW canceled Walker prequel Walker Independence after one season. The move, which was expected, followed the CW’s renewal of mothership series Walker earlier in the day. The bulk of the CW’s existing scripted series will be canceled this week as the network is transitioning to a new business model of lower-cost scripted programming in pursuit of profitability.
The CW has given a 13-episode Season 4 order to Walker, starring Jared Padalecki, to air in 2023-24 broadcast season. This is the first renewal decision made by the CW under its new regime, flagship All American’s renewal, announced in January, was part of Nexstar’s deal to acquire the CW. Walker had been considered the frontrunner among the CW’s scripted series to snag a renewal. It is a strong ratings performer, ranking as the network’s most-watched linear show this season in total viewers.
The CW‘s latest acquisition (and its fourth in two weeks) is Son of a Critch, the hit comedy from Canada’s CBC and Lionsgate Television. Created by Mark Critch and Tim McAuliffe and based on Critch’s award-winning memoir This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Son of a Critch tells “the hilarious and very real story of a young Mark coming of age in the 1980s.”
The CW is about to lose eight important affiliates: the CBS owned and operated stations that are currently affiliated with the Nexstar-owned network will become independent in September. The stations are WPSG Philadelphia, WUPA Atlanta, KBCW San Francisco, KSTW Seattle, WTOG Tampa-St. Petersburg, WKBD Detroit, KMAX Sacramento and WPCW Pittsburgh. This will give the CBS stations group 14 CBS Television Network stations and 13 independents.
The reality dating competition series has been picked up for a third season by The CW after its cancellation at Max with returning host Nikki Glaser. The franchise also announces the new spinoff series FGirl Island, also hosted by Glaser — a seed that had been planted by creator Elan Gale when he launched the series.
The CW has always had a thing or two for an international acquisition and it seems that this strategy is continuing under new ownership. The network has acquired British supernatural drama series The Rising and Australian surfer drama Barons for its summer lineup. It comes after Nexstar acquired the network and brought in Brad Schwartz to oversee programming.
In lieu of a formal presentation, the company said Monday that it will unveil its fall programming lineup in its usual Thursday morning timeslot on May 18. Rather than a large-scale event, the network will host a press breakfast at Park Lane Hotel in New York City, followed by a press conference with Dennis Miller, president of The CW Network, and Brad Schwartz, president of entertainment at The CW Network.
Nexstar Media Group’s The CW Network has appointed Ashley Hovey chief digital officer, a new title at the network, effective April 17. Hovey had been senior director for AVOD at The Roku Channel. At The CW, she will oversee business strategy and day-to-day operations of the network’s digital operations and streaming platforms.
TV’s nail-biting season has arrived. Although most of the cancellation headlines continue to be focused on the continuing purge at big streamers and premium cablers like Showtime, attention has begun to shift to the beleaguered Big 5 broadcasters as the May upfronts draw closer. While many in-limbo shows are a lock to return (NBC’s #OneChicago and Law & Order troikas and ABC’s Good Doctor, Station 19, The Conners and assorted Rookies), there are a handful of high-profile series on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW that remain very much on the bubble.
FBoy Island, the breakout HBO Max reality format, is getting another date. The CW is lining up a third season of the STX-produced show after beating out a number of other bidders. Interestingly, the network, which was recently acquired by Nexstar, is also set to pick up a spinoff: FGirl Island.
iSpot and Nexstar’s The CW have announced that the network will use iSpot to measure cross-platform premium video campaigns and sponsorships associated with the 2023 LIV Golf Tournament across linear and digital properties.
Using data from iSpotTV along with internal CW and LIV results, CW says LIV’s opening weekend at Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course in Mexico averaged more than 3.2 million total viewers across all linear and digital platforms from Feb. 24 to 26. Day one of the tourney streamed on the CW app. Days two and three aired on affiliates, as well as indie stations and diginets.
Earlier this month, The CW proudly trumpeted how the 2023 LIV Golf League season will air in 100% of markets across the U.S. The 14-event schedule kicks off Friday at the El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course in Mexico, with the CW app streaming coverage on Fridays and linear CW broadcast picking up on Saturdays and Sundays. What was missing from the surprise announcement last week was the list of CW affiliates that declined to air the Saudi-funded tour that has deeply divided professional golf (and kept CBS/Paramount, NBCUniversal and Disney/ESPN on the sidelines when LIV looked to upgrade its media deal in year two after launching last year with free YouTube streams). Since CW affiliates are only contractually obligated to air primetime programming, all eight of the CBS-owned CW affiliates declined to air the weekend tourneys. So did the Weigel-owned CW affiliate WCIU in Chicago, and Tegna-owned CW stations like KFMB in San Diego and WCCT in Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
The CW announced Friday that 100 Days To Indy, its upcoming motorsports docuseries, will premiere on Thursday, April 27, at 9 p.m. on the network. Produced by Penske Entertainment and Vice Media Group, the six-part series is said “to take fans behind the scenes to chronicle the personalities of the NTT Indycar Series as they begin the 2023 season and start their epic quest for racing’s greatest prize.”
The CW said today that the LIV Golf’s first official full season of the Saudi-backed league will blanket the U.S. via some CW stations and on Nexstar owned and operated stations in key markets including Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tampa and Hartford, Conn.
The original star of The CW drama was written out during the show’s Feb. 13 episode.
Tom Martin, a veteran business affairs executive with more than two decades of experience in the entertainment industry, on Thursday was named head of business affairs and general counsel for The CW Network. He joins from MasterClass.
The former CMO of HBO and WarnerMedia Entertainment will lead the broadcast and digital marketing efforts for the Nexstar network.
CW Head Of Development Gaye Hirsch & Head Of Current Michael Roberts Among Latest Executive Departures Under New Nexstar Regime
In what appears to be a new wave of CW layoffs, several senior scripted executives have left the broadcast network, including Gaye Hirsch, EVP, development, who is departing after more than 15 years, and fellow CW veteran and head of department, EVP, Current Programming Michael Roberts, who had been at the network (and its predecessor the WB) for 21 years, sources say.
Three Trump National Golf Club courses to see action from the controversial competition.
The programming veteran will lead development and production for all alternative series and specials at the Nexstar-owned network.
Although most of the canceled TV show headlines of late have been focused on the big streamers, attention will soon shift to the beleaguered Big 5 broadcasters as the May upfronts draw closer. Many in-limbo shows on the 2023 Renewal Scorecard are a lock to return, but there are a handful of high-profile series on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW that remain very much on the bubble.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the LIV/CW deal — details of the agreement between the Saudi-backed league and the Nexstar-owned network were not announced, including financial specifics — but in the days since the news was first reported, there’s also much we’ve learned about how this deal came to be, and what fans can expect from LIV broadcasts in 2023 and beyond. Here’s what we know.
A U.S. television deal was seen as critical for the rival league, which last year was available only through streaming on its website and on YouTube. The next season of LIV Golf League, with an emphasis on the 12 four-man teams it hopes to create as franchises, starts Feb. 24-26 on the Gulf coast of Mexico at Mayakoba, which hosted a fall PGA Tour event. Above, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, left, walks off the course after the final round of the LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral Golf Club, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Doral, Fla.
The deal would mark one of the first major moves for the network since being acquired by Nexstar.
The Critics Choice Awards aired Sunday night without much fanfare. The CW’s broadcast of the 28th annual ceremony drew 900,000 viewers, according to early Nielsen numbers. That’s a slight dip from last year when the ceremony, which was simulcast across The CW and TBS, took home an audience of 1.1 million. TBS didn’t simulcast the ceremony this year, so technically this year’s viewership is larger than the CW’s portion a year ago, however the overall audience declined to a low for an in-person ceremony. (The virtual 2021 edition drew just 365,000 total viewers.)
First up is Riverdale, which kicks off its time-bending seventh season on Wednesday, March 29, at 9 p.m. ET, following a new episode of The Flash. Nancy Drew‘s fourth and final outing then begins on Wednesday, May 31, at 8 p.m., taking over The Flash’s time slot.
Former NBCUniversal exec Heather Olander is on the verge of joining The CW to oversee its unscripted programming. The news comes after Deadline revealed that the Nexstar-owned company was in the hunt for an alternative chief to work alongside recently appointed President of Entertainment Brad Schwartz.