The CW has given early pickups to its three strongest series — breakout freshman Arrow, flagship The Vampire Diaries and veteran Supernatural, which has had a resurgence paired with Arrow this season. All three shows hail from Warner Bros TV and will return in fall 2013. It will be a fifth season for Vampire Diaries and ninth for Supernatural. The renewal for Supernatural became possible after stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles inked rich new multi-season deals last year. “We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and now with our new hit Arrow and fan favorite Supernatural on Wednesday night, and the continued success of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, we’ve been able to do that,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz. “Not only do Arrow, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially.”
Early renewals are reserved for series whose pickup is never in doubt. On the bubble at the CW are 90210, Nikita, Hart Of Dixie and freshmen Beauty And The Beast and The Carrie Diaries, all of which have been floundering in the ratings. The pickup of Arrow, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural — all genre shows — and the network’s heavy emphasis on such fare in its pilot pickups indicate a clear shift away from soaps under Pedowitz.
Arrow posted The CW’s best series premiere since 2009 and currently stands as the network’s most watched show (4.3 million). The Vampire Diaries remains The CW’s highest-rated series in target demographics, including adults 18-34 and women 18-34, and is big hit in social media. Airing behind Arrow this season, Supernatural has seen its ratings go up 15% among total viewers from last season, 10% in adults 18-34 and 18% in adults 18-49.