The CW Renews 3 Drama Series

Arrow, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries to return in 2013-14

The CW has renewed three series for the 2013-14 broadcast season, ordering a fresh slate of newcomer Arrow and veteran performers The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural.

Arrow achieved the goal of drawing a greater cohort of young male viewers to the network, and among the four new series introduced by the CW this season, the brooding superhero drama is the only one that can be characterized as a reach vehicle.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, Arrow over the course of 13 episodes has delivered an average audience of 3.39 million viewers and a 1.0 in the adults 18-34 demo, more than double what the network averages in prime time over the course of a given week.

That said, four weeks of holiday preemptions and repeats in late December-early January may have stalled Arrow’s momentum. Last Wednesday’s installment was the least watched of the baker’s dozen, averaging 2.96 million viewers in the 8 p.m. time slot.

After airing the first two episodes of the new series, the CW gave a back-nine order for Arrow on Oct. 22. The show premiered to 4.14 million viewers and a 1.1 in the guaranteed demo. 

The top-rated CW show among young males, Arrow is the priciest buy on the network’s schedule, boasting a unit cost of $65,000 for clients who invested in the show during last spring’s upfront. Per buyer estimates, the network’s average cost per 30 seconds of prime-time inventory is just shy of $45,000.

Five episodes remain in Arrow’s Season 1 order. The show leads into the paranormal drama Supernatural, which is now in its eighth season. Since being paired with Arrow, Supernatural’s deliveries are up 15 percent versus the year-ago period. 

Now in its fourth season, The Vampire Diaries occupies the CW’s Thursday 8-9 p.m. time slot. It is the network’s highest-rated show in the women 18-34 (2.1) and adults 18-34 (1.4) demos.

“We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and…we’ve been able to do that,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz, by way of announcing the renewals. “Not only do [these shows] perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially. I’m thrilled to have all three returning to our schedule next season.”

Since the CW began its fall campaign—in a bid to avoid the annual marketing crush, the network began rolling out its new series in October—it has canceled one freshman property (Emily Owens, M.D.). Another newcomer, Beauty and the Beast, is unlikely to be renewed, but there may be hope for the midseason Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries. Since bowing Jan. 14 to a 0.6 rating among the 18-34 set and a 0.9 in the women 18-34 demo, Diaries has grown 33 percent and 22 percent, respectively, drawing a 0.8 and a 1.1 on Feb. 4.

Next up for the CW is the show-within-a-show metadrama Cult, which steps into Emily Owens old spot on Feb. 19.

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