While focusing on the ratings round up this morning, I missed the news that The CW has announced its mid-season schedule, so I will look at the implications of that here. Despite my predictions that the network would shake things up going into next year, the Monday through Wednesday schedule has remained intact from Fall. I expected iZombie to get shifted because it is losing around sixty percent of The Flash‘s lead-in audience, but the network is keeping it in place for now. Thursdays and Fridays are instead where The CW will be making changes as new series Legends of Tomorrow will bow at 8 PM EST on Thursdays starting on January 21st and The 100 will take the lead-out slot on that night while Vampire Diaries and The Originals get shifted to Fridays.
Legends of Tomorrow should definitely make a dent in Thursdays for The CW as its superhero shows continue to draw strong viewership numbers (for the fifth place network at least). And The 100 couldn’t have asked for a much better timeslot, though it didn’t make good use of its Arrow lead-in last year. The shift of Vampire Diaries and The Originals to Fridays is not the death knell it would be for other networks as The CW had Supernatural on that night just a couple of years back. They are basically making the best use of the ten hours they program in Prime Time because Vampire Diaries is almost certainly looking at wrapping up this year or next and The Originals is pretty much guaranteed a fourth year because of its third season show status. And those shows are not pulling great numbers on Thursday anyway and will probably hold about the same when they shift one night.
The biggest loser in the scheduling announcement is actually mid-season entry Containment (a virus outbreak series) because it hasn’t received a slot yet. This reminds me of The Messengers last year which ended up getting shifted to a late season start and that essentially acted as its a burn-off run. It is possible that Containment will take over iZombie‘s spot when that one wraps up its second season (which will only total nineteen episodes). That puts it at around a March start which would not be too bad because iZombie did okay with that last season. But if it gets pushed to April like The Messengers did, consider it likely that The CW has already given up on the show and will not give it much of a chance.
Interestingly, this schedule moves The CW to four nights of solid genre programming as this network has essentially become the broadcast sci fi channel. And I don’t think it should shy away from its superhero-heavy lineup, because that seems to be working for it. If Supergirl fails to fly on CBS (it’s numbers slipped notably last night), then The CW should consider working that one in as well and probably bring iZombie into the Arrow-verse to help build that show’s audience (and also bring John Constantine back). That all remains to be seen, but it is nice to see one of the broadcast networks giving so much airtime to sci fi / fantasy shows.