Ratings debate: Will ‘Hart of Dixie’ survive in midst of CW slump?

What should happen?

We’ve done a good many ratings debate pieces over the course of the past several weeks, but there is one network that seems to be the subject of many of them at the moment — The CW. Why? It’s really pretty simple. The entire network as a whole is down significantly in the ratings versus last year, and outside of a small core of shows (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Supernatural,” “90210,” and “America’s Next Top Model”) nothing else appears to be safe.

With that, we turn to a show that has developed a devoted following in a relatively short period of time “Hart of Dixie.” Should it stick around for a season 2? Check out our verdict below.

Why it should go – Out of the three new dramas this year made for The CW, “Dixie” entered the season with the least amount of promotion — and after getting off to an okay start, it has stumbled since on a night (in Mondays) where watching TV is pretty popular.

Over the past few weeks, the show has failed to muster more than a subpar 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic Monday night — considering that the only shows to be somewhat safe on the network are those that pull a 0.6 or higher on a consistent basis.

Why it should stay – By the same time, the fact that “Dixie” has fared better than “Ringer” despite having half of the promotion is rather impressive — who knows how it would have done had it been the apple of The CW’s eye? It seems to have a more devoted following at this point than any of the new shows on the networks.

The other thing that you have to remember here is the issue of a lead-in. Both “Ringer” and “The Secret Circle” (which as fallen to 0.5 ratings as of late) have stronger lead-ins, whereas “Dixie” had to follow up a show in “Gossip Girl” that has drawn more than a million viewers in recent weeks.

What will happen – These sort of things are pretty hard to predict. “Ringer” for a variety of reasons should be canceled for sure, and you also have to remember that “Nikita” is also likely to receive the ax, as well. If you add these two shows to the open timeslot Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, that means that there are three hours for sure that will likely be filled in with new content. Our prediction? The network will pick up “Arrow,” “The Carrie Diaries,” and the new series starring Matt Davis of “The Vampire Diaries.” If “Gossip Girl” is brought back for a final season of 13 episodes, they will also need a show to fill in the cracks there.

We actually could see The CW keeping both “Hart” and “Secret Circle,” if for no other reason to give them more opportunities to stretch creatively.  While this Rachel Bilson drama is not a slam dunk for a renewal, we believe its chances are good unless the network just decides to clean house and start over.

Photo: The CW

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