When we first envisioned doing a Ratings Bubble Report article on The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” we envisioned it being a case of a fun show that, unfortunately, was going to be one-and-done do to low ratings. However, we’re willing to wager a Golden Globe victory for star Rachel Bloom this past weekend complicates that. As a result, we now have potentially one of our most interesting case studies to date. Can critical acclaim and awards attention help a show overcome low ratings? It worked for “Jane the Virgin” last year, but “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has performed worse so far this season than the Gina Rodriguez comedy did last year.
Let’s not waste any more time setting this up, given that there is a lot to discuss here.
The good news – As we mentioned, critical acclaim plus Bloom’s win. She and Rodriguez are the only Golden Globe winners in the history of the network, and that buys the show significantly more slack than it would otherwise. We know that programming head Mark Pedowitz believes in the concept, and everyone who watches the show does seem to enjoy it. Many of its musical numbers also have the ability to go viral, and we feel like the more that people understand what the show is (the title probably threw some off in the early going), the more that they will flock to it.
Also (as we’ve mentioned a few times in this series), there is value to this show hailing from CBS TV rather than Warner Bros., as The CW likes to have a mixture of the two studios that comprise its ownership. Right now “Crazy Ex,” “Jane,” and “Reign” are the only three on the fall / spring schedule.
The bad news – This is a test of The CW’s patience. It is the lowest-rated scripted show on the network, and that even includes “Reign” on Friday night. It’s amazing that the show did not lose any momentum at all over the course of the first season (it actually gained more than 100,000 viewers in between the premiere and the midseason finale), but that doesn’t change the fact that the numbers are still low. We haven’t seen what the midseason premiere figures are, and that will be a true test of the show’s staying power … in addition to whether or not the Globe win can translate into anything numbers-wise.
Renewal odds – It’s a toss-up. The problem for The CW is that they’ve got a logjam of shows right now, and if they want to bring on some new ones next season, they’ll have to make some decisions. Our feeling is that (provided the ratings don’t fall) “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” will get at least a 13-episode season 2, while “Reign” is kept for either midseason or summer if it is brought back. We’re worried about “Containment” before it even premieres, and the future of “The 100” depends heavily on its ratings later this month. Also, “The Vampire Diaries” / “The Originals” could be in peril.
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