15 MAY 2020

THE CW POSTPONES NEW SEASON TO JANUARY 2021

Several media companies have indicated in recent weeks that their second-quarter ad revenue is likely to drop by double-digit percentages compared with 2019 levels, posing threats for the industry's USD 70 billion ad business.

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The CW doesn’t plan to air its new season until January 2021, resulting from production delays that rose from the pandemic. “As we manage the current crisis, we’ve developed a methodical programming strategy for this year and well in to next that we believe works for The CW, our advertisers, affiliates and audience while keeping the health and safety of our productions and creative partners front of mind,” Chairman and CEO of The CW, ” The CW announced on the day it would typically host its upfront presentation. “While this is anything but usual we wanted to keep this tradition."

Several media companies have indicated in recent weeks that their second-quarter ad revenue is likely to drop by double-digit percentages compared with 2019 levels. The question for the TV industry is whether its USD 70 billion ad business, remarkably stable in recent years despite secular downturns in viewership across the dial, is affected over the long term. As it relates to the advertising marketplace, Rob Tuck, exec VP, national sales, The CW, said the urgency from marketers to alter their media plans as COVID-19 ramped up, has settled down. “Third quarter options have been coming in and the pace is pretty much what we expected,”  he said on a press call Thursday afternoon. Fall’s content will consist of new original, acquired scripted series and alternative programming, including “Whose Line Is It Anyway?; ” “Penn & Teller: Fool,” and the final season of “Supernatural.” The network has spent the last few weeks making scripted acquisitions to fill the slate, with titles including “Swamp Thing” and “Dead Pixels.

Rick Haskins, the network’s president and chief branding officer, said CW promotions are "likely to be tonal and “a bit softer than what we’ve done in the past, given the COVID-19 climate."  He also said a "new graphics package will be a little more up, a little more bright as we move through the pandemic into the new phase of America.”

The CW will have more original scripted programming throughout the year, starting in their first season in 2021. Tuck said while some brands won't be ready to strike upfront deals in the traditional time frame, some will be able to move more quickly. In January, The CW will bring back “Nancy Drew,” “All American,” “Riverdale,” “Black Lightning,” “The Flash,” and “Legacies,” “Batwoman,” and “Charmed,” along with the new series “Walker” and “Superman & Lois.” It will premiere two other new series, “The Republic of Sarah” and “Kung Fu,” midseason, along with “Dynasty,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “In the Dark,” “Roswell, New Mexico” and “Supergirl.”

 

As we manage the current crisis, we’ve developed a methodical programming strategy for this year and well in to next that we believe works for The CW, our advertisers, affiliates and audience while keeping the health and safety of our productions and creative partners front of mind. While this is anything but usual we wanted to keep this tradition. ” Mark Pedowitz Chairman and CEO, The CW