The initial ground-breaking output deal between Netflix and the CW parents CBS and Warner Bros. had been already in discussions when Mark Pedowitz joined the network in 2011 as President. For the first time since Pedowitz has been at the helm, past seasons of the CW’s new 2019-20 series won’t automatically go to Netflix.
During the CW upfront call Thursday, Pedowitz was asked to comment on Deadline’s report that the CW Netflix deal is not being renewed and its potential impact on the network.
“Not at all,” Pedowitz said when asked whether the CW’s strategy will be affected.
“We have a very strong brand, and it is really up to our studio partners to decide where the past seasons of our programming goes,” he said. “It’s important to note that the CW is a vital part of their ecosystem. We end up as a platform making these shows popular and they have increased value across the multi-platform system.”
Pedowitz said that Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studios, which produce all CW series “will figure out where they wish to go with the out-of-season rights.” “In terms of how we program and strategize, there’s no change whatsoever,” he added.
As we reported, the three new CW series — Batwoman, Nancy Drew and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene — are being shopped for streaming deals individually by their respective studios. Batwoman, part of the DC Arrowverse on the CW, is solely owned by Warner Bros TV and Nancy Drew by CBS TV Studios. Katy Keene is produced and distributed by WBTV, with financial participation of CBS Studios under the companies’ joint-venture agreement to co-produce CW series not based on owned IP.
Past seasons of CW series that premiered through the current 2018-19 season, such as The Flash and Riverdale, will continue to stream on Netflix during the broadcast life of the series and beyond.
I hear WBTV’s Batwoman is earmarked for the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service. Katy Keene and Nancy Drew are both being shopped, with Netflix said to be among the contenders.
Netflix’s former CW deal, as well as the ones currently shopped for the three new series, are “library” pacts for completed seasons of a show. (According to the most recent agreement, a season becomes available on Netflix eight days after the finale airs on the CW.) In-season, the CW series run on the network’s digital platforms.