The CW has a tortured relationship with the Web. Last month the youth-oriented network tried to stop ratings declines for its “hit” show “Gossip Girl” by taking episodes off the Web. That didn’t really work. Now, with ratings down 28%, the WSJ says the CW might just have one more season to prove itself before at least one of its co-owners — it doesn’t specify whether that’s Time Warner (TWX) or CBS — bails out.
What does the Journal think is wrong with The CW? You guessed it:
Part of the problem is that the CW’s young audience is most prone to spend leisure time on the Internet. Last winter’s Hollywood writers’ strike, which forced scripted shows off the air for three months, hastened the defection of viewers to the Web.
It’s a convenient theory, impossible to prove or disprove, but it seems unlikely the Web would be a more powerful draw for CW viewers than cable TV. (MTV’s “The Hills” is crushing “Gossip Girl” in the ratings.) More likely, young people just aren’t that into The CW. Or, they’re watching the show on their own time (an episode of “Gossip Girl” is the top-selling TV show on iTunes).
We, for one, hope the C-Dub sticks around. Here’s red carpet video from The CW’s upfront presentation for advertisers earlier this week: