It was not all that long ago that “The Vampire Diaries” on The CW was considered a lock to go on for as long as the showrunners wanted it to. However, something happened along the way: The interest in vampires from teens and young adults everywhere started to wane. The ratings were down before Nina Dobrev left the show, and we feel like the stories both in season 5 and 6 in particular left something to be desired.
While the show has in our mind improved over the past several months, that does not guarantee a renewal. In our latest Ratings Bubble Report below, we’re going to discuss more of what helps the show’s hopes for a long-term future, and what is a strike against it.
The good news – The social-media following for this show is still unlike any other. Damon and Elena remain a popular couple in spite of Dobrev’s absence, and internationally this is a show that has a wide array of fans. It’s a franchise for The CW that includes “The Originals,” and we are only a couple of years removed from it being a tentpole. You want to see shows that have helped your network find an identity get a proper ending, and other than maybe “90210,” this network has in particular been good at ushering its scripted shows into the night. If they renewed “Gossip Girl” with its terrible ratings, shouldn’t they also be giving this show more life? It’s moving to Friday, and with that come lower expectations. If it keeps around a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic, it should be fine for at least one more year.
The bad news – The odds of it keeping a 0.5 are pretty low. This move was a sign that The CW is moving forward to look at non-vampire properties, and while “The Vampire Diaries” is not the lowest-rated show on the network, it doesn’t help that two of the ones worse off in “Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” are critical darlings. It may make more sense for the network to keep them than something that isn’t giving them awards recognition.
One other factor here could be the performance of “Legends of Tomorrow” and “The 100” on Thursday night this winter / spring. If both of them perform in the 0.6-0.8 range, we’re suddenly in the situation where “The Vampire Diaries” is not really more successful than any show other than ones on Sundays or Mondays.
Odds of renewal – We’d say moderately high still, mostly because we do think the network wants to do right by the series and its legacy. Our feeling is that a possibly-shortened final season would be the right way to wrap up the story and build towards a fitting conclusion.
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