Executives at the CW just had what was undoubtedly one of the best meetings in TV history, followed by one of the best parties where they celebrated renewing all 11 of their current scripted series. It seems to be an unprecedented move for a TV network, and doesn’t necessarily make obvious sense since not all the shows are exceptional performers, but critical support is strong and audiences are large enough to spare executives the rigors of a big development slate.
The shows receiving renewals include obvious favorites like Supernatural (season 12) and Jane the Virgin (season 3). Legends of Tomorrow and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend have been given sophomore seasons. And the networks reputation for supernatural and superhero shows will remain strong with The Originals (season 4), iZombie (season 3), The Vampire Diaries (season 8), The Flash (season 3), and Arrow (season 5). The 100 picks up season 4 and Reign gets a 4th season even prior to the start of season 3, which kicks off April 25.
Deadline reported insider information that Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles already knew the show would be renewed since they’d previously locked in deals for seasons 12 and 13. CW president Mark Pedowitz is a big fan of the show himself and has said that he’ll let it continue as long as the charismatic stars want to stick with it.
If you’ve never understood what makes the show so popular, check out this kind of regular silliness from Ackles and Padalecki (it’s the faceswap app, if you cant tell). They, along with Misha Collins, front a charity to address depression and suicide inspired by Padalecki’s own struggles with depression.
— Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) March 8, 2016
The packed slate doesn’t mean there won’t be room for new material next year. Not all of the reality programming may be renewed, and Beauty & the Beast is entering its final season this summer. Some series, like The 100, are also created as limited runs and don’t get a full season order, leaving room for more original programming. Pedowitz said, “The CW has become home to some of the most critically-acclaimed shows on broadcast television, with a wide array of fantastic scripted series across the week, ranging from musical comedy, to superhero action, to gritty sci-fi dramas. As we continue to further our strategy of more year-round original programming, picking up these 11 series for the 2016-2017 season puts us in a great position of having proven, high-quality shows to launch in the fall as well as midseason and summer of 2017.”
Containment is the one scripted show still up for renewal the the network will evaluate it after its April 19 debut. Starring Trevor St. John (One Life to Live), Kristen Gutoskie (Originals), and David Gyasi (Interstellar) the series follows a quarantine of the city of Atlanta after a virus breaks out, and how the society that develops inside the cordon reveals both villains and heroes.
A fun fact revealed by all this renewal talk: the CW network is a joint TV venture of CBS Corporation, who produce Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Reign, and Warner Bros, who produce the rest of the renewed shows. Thus the C and W of the name.