The CW Shows Its Commitment to TV as It Expands Into Sunday Nights

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'Black Lightning,' the latest DC superhero show to arrive on the youth-oriented CW broadcast network.
'Black Lightning,' the latest DC superhero show to arrive on the youth-oriented CW broadcast network. Credit: The CW via YouTube

The CW is adding a sixth night of original programming to its lineup next season, joinining its much larger broadcast rivals with first-run shows on Sunday nights.

The move shows that even as traditional TV networks invest more in their digital and streaming initiatives, The CW, which historically has attracted a younger audience than its broadcast counterparts, is still investing in the linear model.

"Broadcasting remains the foundation of our multi-platform approach to bringing our programming to viewers," Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW, said in a statement. "Over the past seven years, The CW has added more than 80 hours of original scripted programming to its schedule—now that number can continue to climb, as we grow our broadcast lineup, and continue to add content on every platform."

The CW debuted in 2006 as a joint venture between CBS and Warner Brothers. A combination of the defunct WB and UPN networks, the CW was heavily skewed towards females, with "Gossip Girl" being one of its biggest hits. But in recent years the network has evolved to include more superhero programming and now is nearly evenly split between male and female.

It has had a spotty history with Sundays. The CW originally had difficulty programming Sunday on its own, so it handed the night over in fall 2008 to the independent studio Media Rights Capital. After a few months The CW ended its agreement with MRC. In 2009, it gave Sunday nights to local affiliates to program.

During the 2018-19 season, The CW will air 12 hours of primetime series each week, including on Sundays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., up from 10 hours this season.

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