The CW has picked up additional episodes of all three of its new fall series. Charmed has received a traditional Back 9 order, bringing its Season 1 run to a full-season 22 episodes. Legacies and All American will each produce three more episodes for 16-episode totals.
The orders followed the CW’s early vote of confidence to the three rookies, which all received additional script orders on the eve of their debuts.
The full-season order to Jennie Snyder Urman’s Charmed reboot reflects the series’ performance. Despite — or possibly fueled by — pre-launch controversy, Charmed has helped the CW reestablish a foothold on Sundays. It is the highest-rated and most-watched of the three new CW shows in linear ratings. Additionally, it posted the CW’s strongest digital launch ever this fall on CWTV.com and the CW app until its record delivery was eclipsed by Legacies.
Julie Plec’s The Vampire Diaries/The Originals universe follow-up, which was tracking strong in awareness in the weeks before its premiere, got off to a flying start on digital as the new biggest CW debut. Legacies and Charmed now rank as the CW’s No. 3 and No. 4 digital series behind streaming juggernauts The Flash and Riverdale.
Legacies was rushed to air, getting a straight-to-series order in May for a fall launch without having gone through the traditional development process and without producing a pilot. Because of the lack of run-up, the series had been earmarked for a shorter run.
As for Berlanti Productions’ All American, there is a sense of disappointment in the series’ ratings performance. Despite solid reviews, the culture-clash high school drama ranks toward the bottom of the CW’s lineup among total viewers and demos. Its digital play has been OK though not strong enough to make the show a streaming breakout hit.
Still, the CW boss Mark Pedowitz and his team believe in the show’s creative and auspices and are giving it more time, something they have done with other shows in the past.
Because the CW has been growing its slate of original series over the past few years, the network has been playing with size of the orders. Half of its fall shows will not produce traditional 22-episode seasons. The list includes Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning, both doing 16 episodes. The CW will need the room as it has five series on deck for midseason.