Is The CW in Limbo?

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TheMisterManGuy

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The CW, a Joint-Venture of Warner Bros. and CBS Corporation that was born out of the fall of the former UPN and WB networks, has found a comfortable niche next to the big 4 broadcast networks for DC shows and Teen Dramas. But corporate shakeups behind the two parent companies could change its ownership one way or the other. Warner Bros. parent, WarnerMedia, is now a subsidiary of AT&T, who is in the process of restructuring the company by dispersing many assets of the former Turner and HBO divisions. WB has recently been given the keys to four of Turner's Networks (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TCM, Boomerang, along with associated production studios) in addition to overseeing The CW.

Meanwhile, over at CBS, It's longtime front-man, Les Moonves, was outed amidst a #MeToo scandal last year. On top of that, the company has called off all searches for a replacement CEO. This is due to speculation and talks about the company remerging with its former parent, Viacom. With Warner Bros. now having to look after 5 networks on top of an AT&T ownership, and CBS looking to reunite with Viacom, what will that mean for The CW?

Eventually one of the two parties will have to take over, the question is who? Will Viacom buy out Warner's stake? Doubt it, they're more concerned with trying to fix their own mess, and focusing more on its core 6 brands is more important to them. Plus, after the disaster that was UPN, it's doubtful that Viacom will revisit Broadcast Television again aside from CBS. So that just leaves WarnerMedia. If Warner can convince the re-merged Viacom to sell their stake in The CW, then Warner could probably take the network out of WB's management, and place it under the oversight of WarnerMedia Entertainment, alongside TBS and HBO. While The CW would no longer be owned by the "C" in their name, the name will have to stay the same, since renaming a Broadcast network is very hard to do thanks to affiliate influence (Viacom learned this when they tried to rename UPN to Paramount Network). Viacom will also have to sell some of its CW stations to Warner as well since having no O&O stations is partially what doomed The WB.

Or, there is the possibility of Viacom and WarnerMedia keeping their partnership alive even if a re-merger with CBS happens. Who knows, but The CW is in for some changes over the next year or so.
 
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gokaiblue

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If this means the return of The WB....then this would be the first time my market has had a WB affiliate since 1997. I doubt it though.
 

PF9

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The CW will be fine as is. Remember the WB and UPN struggled for years and the merger was the only way CBS could continue operating a sister broadcast network and for WB to have one at all. If one of the partners pulls out it will collapse under its own weight.

The only other way WarnerMedia could operate a large broadcast TV network is if they acquire one even then it may have to be a Spanish language network, like my suggestion of buying Univision Communications.
 

lowell

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The CW will be fine as is. Remember the WB and UPN struggled for years and the merger was the only way CBS could continue operating a sister broadcast network and for WB to have one at all. If one of the partners pulls out it will collapse under its own weight.

The only other way WarnerMedia could operate a large broadcast TV network is if they acquire one even then it may have to be a Spanish language network, like my suggestion of buying Univision Communications.
CBS doesn't need to continue operating a second broadcast network, the CW when WarnerMedia is the one company lacking the full control of a broadcast network. CBS-Viacom's future revenue will heavily be dependent on CBS itself and its group of cable networks including Showtime. Now that some of Warner Bros.'s recent network shows are canceled and are being shopped around, Warner Bros. can use the CW to pick them up and revive them.
 

PF9

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If anything another partner will replace CBS as co-owner of the CW. Perhaps that will be Sinclair?
 

lowell

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If anything another partner will replace CBS as co-owner of the CW. Perhaps that will be Sinclair?
I think AT&T can provide enough financial backing for WarnerMedia to manage the CW fully under their united network group with TBS, TNT, truTV, HBO, Cinemax, etc.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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May 13, 2016
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I don't really think The CW is in limbo. They're doing fine with their content and have managed to last longer than their predecessors.
 

Radical Buster

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Feb 3, 2018
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I'm surprised they'll still let other streaming services bid for their shows. I figured CBS and WB (WarnerMedia) would put their shows exclusively on their respective streaming services.
 

PF9

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The article mentions CBS and WB co-produce only the CW shows not based on older IPs owned by either of them.

I'm sure they could make an exception for a possible Dallas reboot so it can take place in the same universe as the Dynasty reboot (enabling crossovers which were something s soap opera fan could only dream of in the 80s) with CBS owning the US rights and WB owning the international rights (a similar arrangement with Comcast is in place for the Magnum PI reboot where Comcast owns the IP).
 

the greenman

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Jul 24, 2006
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the point of no return
The article mentions CBS and WB co-produce only the CW shows not based on older IPs owned by either of them.

I'm sure they could make an exception for a possible Dallas reboot so it can take place in the same universe as the Dynasty reboot (enabling crossovers which were something s soap opera fan could only dream of in the 80s) with CBS owning the US rights and WB owning the international rights (a similar arrangement with Comcast is in place for the Magnum PI reboot where Comcast owns the IP).
So who owns Archie comics rights? I think the CW is a little flawed in this era. Every studio is intent on developing their own Streaming Service now. CBS/Viacom/PARAMOUNT is kinda on their own one but Warner Media needs to close some doors and pull in more of their IP out there. No reason they shouldn't have Swamp Thing USA 90's tv series on DCUniverse; at least the two feature films. Look at what just happened to Hulu.

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Takao

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Depending on who you ask, The CW is a scam network. It only exists as the first point of monetization for lesser WB/CBS Studios shows. You'll notice literally all but one of their first-run scripted shows on the network are owned by those two. That's unheard of for broadcast TV.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Depending on who you ask, The CW is a scam network. It only exists as the first point of monetization for lesser WB/CBS Studios shows. You'll notice literally all but one of their first-run scripted shows on the network are owned by those two. That's unheard of for broadcast TV.
I wouldn't really see their practice as a scam.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Maybe "sham" is a better word? Most networks aim to be successful. The CW is just a cog in a machine for CBS and Warner.
They're doing fine with their content and even if ratings of their shows are lower than the likes of NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, they have done quite successful as your comment is coming off as that you don't like the network and their shows and that you want the network to aim to be successful like them.
 

PF9

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Another reason CW should stay a joint venture is this:

Currently, during NFL season, CBS cannot start their Sunday primetime line-up right at 7 PM Eastern/6 Central. In some weeks, it starts a few minutes late in a number of markets because those markets are airing a 4 PM game instead of a 1 PM game. In others, it starts at or after 7:30 PM because CBS those weeks has a doubleheader.

My solution to this? During NFL season, in the Eastern and Central Time Zones, move the broadcast of 60 Minutes to The CW while on CBS, they air a postgame show following the conclusion of NFL coverage up until 8 PM. In other time zones, 60 Minutes would still air on CBS.
 

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