The CW is being reinvented and this time, they won’t be broadcasting much superhero content – or at all.
The CW has found a new corporate home with TV giant Nexstar Media Group and with the media group owning 75% of the network (Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global own 12.5% each), there are about to be big changes.
These changes, according to the network president Brad Schwartz, will be more focused on broadcasting content for The CW’s viewers, stations and advertisers. Miller even took a jab at former co-owners CBS Studios and Warner Bros. Television in his announcement.
“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. Broadcasting is their core business. 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,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz has also cancelled all of The CW’s originals except for All American and Walker. All American: Homecoming is at risk of cancellation, so are DC’s Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights.
When asked about the future of Superman & Lois, Schwartz said, “They were the hallmarks of The CW for a long time. As we look forward and try to make this network bigger and profitable, frankly, as much as we all love those shows and they had their time, they’re not working on linear.”
He continued, “We don’t have the rights to prior seasons. It was frustrating for us because you can’t tell people to go catch up on Superman & Lois and it’s on HBO Max and it’s the 30th priority there. It’s tough. If you want to be in business on a show and connect that show to audiences everywhere, you need to have the whole library.”
The CW’s new strategy now is to attract an older audience and turn a profit by 2025. The network admits that the 18-49 demographic don’t tune into broadcast as much as older viewers. This is in part due to the streaming services and the accessibility such a platform can offer.
“Young adult audience not making an appointment with broadcast today. That audience has abandoned broadcast, hence the opportunity we have to broaden the audience,” continued Schwartz. “We have to pick up shows if we think they can grow, be profitable, have great audience retention and that we can market other shows to.”
He concluded, “The CW brand has such a passionate connection to a certain small audience, and we’ll try to hold on to them. But we have to get bigger and broader.”