Feb 8, 2008

Let Me Get This Straight About The CW

I know I'm not a media executive, but I want to know if this thesis is even correct.

The CW Television Network hands over control of their Saturday morning lineup to a competing company that already controls a low-rated Saturday morning block.

The CW moves its modestly-performing urban comedies to a night that has the worst ratings for the network most likely causing their imminent cancellation as was the case with Reba and 7th Heaven a year ago.

The CW is rumored to be cancelling Smallville, which may not be on everybody's must-watch list, but has a significant fan following that kept it around for seven seasons. Even that didn't help Veronica Mars nor Gilmore Girls.

And today, The CW announced that they're pulling the plug on their highest-rated series, Friday Night Smackdown.

Here's my thesis.

The CW wants to shut down operations.

That's the only logical reason I could think of for the recent idiotic decisions to come out The CW as of late. The C part of the partnership seems to have left the building a long time ago (perhaps focusing more of their energies on CBS itself) leaving Time Warner, the MOST POORLY RAN ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY ON THE PLANET, largely in charge of the network. And heaven forbid they're thinking these days. I mean, the idea of shutting down New Line Cinema is moronic, but that's what Jeff "Synergy is bullscat" Bewkes is thinking about in this round of "Who Wants To Demolish A Media Conglomerate?," but I digress.

The recent decision to cancel Smackdown is troubling to say the least. As I mentioned before, it's the highest rated series on The CW, and that's saying a lot. It attracts young viewers, Blacks, and Latino audiences, more than any other show on their lineup. The Smackdown brand had been a major component of the WWE for almost a decade. Hell, the brand has become the wrestling video game franchise of the WWE and became forever immortalized in Webster's dictionary.

I wonder why The CW cancelled it though. Was it to distance themselves from the WWE in the light of the Benoit tragedy and the impending steroids investigations? Was it because Vince wanted to shutter the Smackdown brand? Or is because The CW (Time Warner) is jealous of the somewhat chummy relationship WWE has with NBC Universal, home of the RAW and ECW brands and the bi-annual Saturday Night's Main Event? I'm thinking that relationship may be the true reason behind The CW's sudden and surprising cancellation of Smackdown.

I doubt Smackdown will be gone entirely. Hell, I bet that another network (either Fox or the struggling My Network TV) would jump at the chance to acquire the brand for their lineups. As far as The CW goes, well, they could only go so far with those shows about "pretty White kids with problems" (thanks MAD TV) and "reality" shows, because at this rate, that's all they'll have in the 2008-09 season. Oh, and Saturday morning lineup full of low-rated 4Kids acquisitions. The CW has become The WB.

And The WB failed a long time ago. Even before the merger.

POSTSCRIPT: On Tuesday, February 26, World Wrestling Entertainment officially announced that Friday Night Smackdown will continue at its new broadcast home, My Network TV as well as launced multimedia deals with MNT's parent company, Twentieth Century Fox. Meanwhile, The CW has nothing. Ongoing . . .


Daikun said...

They could plan on shutting down OR...

They could just be shuffling their programming for the worse, like Fox or Cartoon Network.

Robert Peterson said...

I don't understand it either. Why are they trying to destroy themselves? Anyone else notice these Turner Broadcasting networks are going loopy? It's like they're sabotaging themselves or... or maybe.. they know something we don't.

WizardDuck said...

Time Warner has officially gone crazy.

Wait, that was a long time ago. And they're practically dead to me now.

Wes said...

Actually, the W part checked out of the network pretty much once the merger happened. Warners checked out of the network and gave operational control to Les' folks. Everything, and I mean everything is managed by CBS, and it shows here with UPN2.

Wes said...

Further addendum... The Wall Street Journal confirms that it is CBS Corp (Les Moonves and protage Dawn Ostroff), and not Time Warner who has been running (and ruining) the CW the past two years.