Ratings debate: Can ‘The Secret Circle’ survive?

Will the circle stay put?

We’ve talked quite a bit about CW shops when it comes to our ratings debate pieces, but there also is a reason for that — many of these shows are on the bubble due to low ratings.

At the moment “Supernatural,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “90210” are the only three scripted shows officially coming back — and this time, we are focusing on a new series that many felt was going to be the network’s new smash in “The Secret Circle.”

What it should go – When the “Circle” first premiered, expectations were high — and you have to think that the show has really failed to meet them at least when it comes to the ratings. It loses a greater percentage of its lead-in than any other show on the network, which is especially sad for the network since the show it is following is tops on the network in “The Vampire Diaries.”

You could also make a pretty interesting argument here in favor of keeping a show like “Hart of Dixie” over “Circle” — if the ratings are close to being the same, wouldn’t “Hart” be doing even better if it had the same sort of lead-in that “Circle” has? Ultimately, you have to wonder if the lead-in is the only reason that the numbers really are what they are here.

Why it should stay – It’s all about averages. While “Secret Circle” has barely been higher than “Hart” and “Ringer” lately, it wasn’t always that way. The show was the most-successful new show of the season for its first few weeks, and with the sort of lead-in it has you have to believe it’s possible to get some viewers back.

You also cannot underestimate the name behind the show here — Kevin Williamson. The CW loves to deal with him, and if he makes a strong pitch for a season 2, we’re pretty sure that the network will listen to him.

What will happen – We’ve talked about this before, but we really think that two of the four shows listed here (“The Secret Circle,” “Nikita,” “Hart of Dixie,” and “Ringer”) will be renewed. But which two? You have to think about potential, cost, and how the show does in the network’s target demographic.

With all this in mind, we do think that the “Circle” will be back for another season along with “Dixie” — and we even still think The CW will keep it after “TVD” on the schedule since it doesn’t make sense to move it.

If the ratings slump again next year, we think it’ll be the end to the “Circle” — however, this is a series that is worth one more shot.

Photo: The CW

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