The CW will expand its prime schedule to include Sunday nights for the 2018-2019 season. When the season starts in the fall, the network will offer 12 hours of primetime series, up from the current 10.
The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp., had given Sunday nights to affiliates in 2009.
Leading The CW’s efforts to expand into Sunday primetime were Chris Brooks, executive VP, network distribution, and Ann Miyagi, senior VP and general counsel, who worked with major affiliate partners such as Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, CBS Television Stations and Nexstar Media Group.
“By expanding to six nights, The CW is now able to give our fans even more of the series they’re so passionate about,” said Mark Pedowitz, network president. “Broadcasting remains the foundation of our multiplatform approach to bringing our programming to viewers. 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. I’d like to thank Chris and Ann for being instrumental in making this happen, and to thank all of our station groups for being such terrific partners as we add Sundays to our primetime schedule this fall on all our affiliates across the country.”
The CW launched in 2006. Current shows include Riverdale, Black Lightning, The Flash and Supergirl.
Talks with affiliate partners about the network programming Sunday nights started at the beginning of 2018. Pedowitz said affiliates were “very receptive” to the idea.
“As one of the largest CW affiliate groups, we are excited to see The CW Network reaffirm its commitment to broadcasting by expanding its schedule to Sunday night,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group. “We value our relationship and look forward to an even stronger audience following with more of The CW’s popular primetime programming.”
Added Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations, “We are very pleased with the growth and success of The CW over its 12-year history and look forward to welcoming the expansion of the network's primetime schedule to 12 hours.”
The CW had given up Sundays in 2009 to better focus on its Monday-Friday schedule.
Pedowitz said the network has not decided yet how to best program its new night, but stressed that The CW will “stick to who we are.”
He called the Sunday expansion “a great win for The CW, which is rooted in broadcasting.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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