As we approach the season 1 finale on The CW tonight, it’s time to take a realistic look at the All American season 2 renewal hopes … if there are any.
Let’s kick things off (yep, already using football puns) with this — if you’re reading this article, there’s already a pretty-good chance that you’re a big fan of All American. Why read otherwise? We also get it — watching this show is so great, it makes you feel like that guy who scored a touchdown in the state championship game and talks about it for the rest of his life. It’s so well-written and acted, and it brings you a side of high-school football and its culture that hasn’t quite been seen since Friday Night Lights. This is a story about perseverance and hope just as much as it is football — ironically, perseverance and hope are two of the same motions you really need to have in regards to its future.
Football dramas are never exactly watched by the largest of audiences. Friday Night Lights was never a ratings barnburner, and it mostly made it as far as it did because critics loved it and it was able to create an unusual network partnership between NBC and DirecTV to keep it on the air longer than just a couple of seasons. Here, All American is riding solely with The CW, critics do love it, but a lot of typical TV viewers have no idea it exists. While All American is technically a football terms, we feel like a high percentage of actual Americans have no idea of this. It’s not a name that immediately pops out to mainstream viewers in an “oh! I know what this is and want to watch it now” kind of way. Also, it’s on The CW — a network that isn’t exactly synonymous with true-to-life dramas or sporting events — and other than Taye Diggs and maybe Cody Christian (if you’re a Teen Wolf fan), you may not have been familiar with that much of the cast.
Let’s also just make this clear — unless you’re a remake/revival of something or you’re wearing a cape, it’s hard out there to have a successful TV show! We’re in the Instant Gratification Era, where young viewers are scoffing at the mere idea of commercials and having to sit down and watching a show when it airs. It’s easy to understand why they wouldn’t want to watch something live, but it makes it all the more frustrating if you’re a producer or a crew member and your jobs depend on it — plus some other factors, which we’re about to get into now.
The Netflix factor
This is important — incredibly important. This is going to be what turns the tide now, since the finale’s just one episode and The CW has to make their decision across a whole season. Mark Pedowitz, the executive who oversees all things programming, already made it clear that the renewal for All American will be based largely on how the show fares over on Netflix. If it finds a big home there and generates a ton of viewers, it’ll have more of a shot at coming back. Otherwise, it could be a goner. We know that The CW hates canceling shows, even low-rated ones with devoted followings. They kept Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the air for years, mostly because its small audience and critics liked it! There’s just also a point where the rubber meets the road, and right now these tires are struggling to keep their traction on the highway.
The CW’s got until May to figure this out — start crossing your fingers for that miracle play, where the football’s tossed all the way at the endzone. Maybe someone will catch it, and do the right thing and give All American one more season to properly find itself.
Do you want to see an All American season 2 renewal happen? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments below. (Photo: The CW.)