The CW is one of my favorite networks. I am an avid watcher of CW shows thanks to their prevalence on Netflix. I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (my favorite show ever) and then I started Jane the Virgin, then Supergirl, and suddenly I found myself watching nearly the whole current CW lineup, with a few more lined up to watch when I have time to start a new show. On top of that, I have watched even more CW shows that aren’t on anymore (Gossip Girl, you were iconic). This all got me thinking: how does The CW as a network stack up in terms of its Picture Parity ratings? Does my love of the shows correlate with them being high ranking? The answer: sort of.
The CW was founded in 2006 after Time Warner and CBS combined their network channels, The WB and UPN respectively, into the new network. The most popular shows from both networks continued to air on The CW, including Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. The average score for shows that continued after the creation of the network is 5.25.
Out of the 21 original shows that have been created since the founding of The CW began, 16 score a 7 or higher. The average score of these shows is a 7.11, nearly 2 points higher than shows created prior. There are also a few shows that we would recommend despite their not making the cut because of their portrayal of women on screen, including The Flash (6.5).
Since its creation, The CW has reliably created content that tells women’s stories and involves women behind the scenes in the writers room, in the director’s chair, and in producing roles. With shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Supergirl creating complex female characters and celebrating strong women, The CW has set an example for other television networks to follow. Plus, as of 2017 The CW is the only network with a majority of female showrunners, with 67% of showrunners on the network being women. (Source: Variety)
That said, The CW still has room to improve. While women of color are cast in many of the shows, only one of the shows currently airing, Jane the Virgin, features a woman of color in the lead role. And none of the shows prominently feature a female LGBTQ character, though a few of the shows do have supporting women who are queer.
Overall, we here at Picture Parity would highly recommend The CW! If you want to check out scores for specific shows, find our ratings database here.