The CW network offers a compelling coming of age story reflective of its changing demographic. In 2006, the network was launched as a joint venture of CBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment and next generation to The WB and UPN (1995-2006), which followed Fox’s success and shift in television broadcasting away from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and toward young viewers.
The CW’s early programming borrowed from The WB and UPN, airing the final seasons of 7th Heaven (The WB: 1996-2006; The CW: 2006-2007), Gilmore Girls (The WB: 2000-2006: The CW: 2006-2007), and Veronica Mars (UPN: 2004-2006; The CW: 2006-2007) and continuing longer runs with Smallville (The WB: 2001-2006; The CW: 2006-2011), One Tree Hill (The WB: 2003-2006; The CW: 2006-2012), America’s Next Top Model (UPN: 2003-2006; The CW: 2006-2015), and Supernatural (The WB: 2005-2006; The CW: 2006- ).
However, in its early years, it also introduced new series Gossip Girl (2007-2012) and The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017), which helped to define the emerging network and establish its brand identity. The premiere of Arrow in 2012 and expansion of the Arrowverse with The Flash (2014- ), Legends of Tomorrow (2016- ), and acquisition of Supergirl (CBS: 2015-2016; The CW: 2016- ) led to the network’s self-identification as the “destination of superhero television.” Initially marketed as “TV to Talk About,” The CW has redefined itself as “TV Now” (2012), and, most recently, encourages its viewers to “Dare to Defy” (2016), introducing popular and critically-acclaimed programming that reflects the network’s strategies of adaptation and innovation.This collection of essays will examine the past, present, and future of The CW, the series and strategies that have defined and continue to shape the network.
Some possible themes or topics include:
- Individual series
- Programming choices/changes over the years
- Trends in programming (e.g., subject matter, narrative structure, casting/diversity, etc.)
- Inter/Intratextual references
- CW branding
- Fan responses
- Social media
Some possible primary texts include:
- The 100 (2014- )
- 90210 (2008-2013)
- Arrow (2012- )
- Beauty & the Beast (2012-2016)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015- )
- The Flash (2014- )
- Gilmore Girls (The WB: 2000-2006; The CW: 2006-2007)
- Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
- Hart of Dixie (2011-2015)
- iZombie (2015- )
- Jane the Virgin (2014- )
- Legends of Tomorrow (2016- )
- Nikita (2010-2013)
- One Tree Hill (The WB: 2003-2006; The CW: 2006-2012)
- The Originals (2013- )
- Reign (2013-2017)
- Riverdale (2016- )
- Smallville (The WB: 2001-2006; The CW: 2006-2011)
- Supergirl (CBS: 2015-2016; The CW: 2016- )
- Supernatural (The WB: 2005-2006; The CW: 2006- )
- The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
- Veronica Mars (UPN: 2004-2006; The CW: 2006-2007)
- … etc.
Please submit a 500-word abstract and CV to Ashley Carlson and Lisa Perdigao at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by August 1, 2017. Accepted essays should be 5,000-7,000 words and will be due December 1, 2017.
Ashley Carlson, University of Montana Western