The music will keep on playing for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and ten other CW series: The network has decided to hand out renewals to virtually every show on its schedule. In addition to ordering a second season of the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-winning CEGF and the superhero adventure D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow, CW has also picked up the third seasons of Jane the Virgin, iZombie, and The Flash; the fourth seasons of The 100, Reign, and The Originals; the fifth season of Arrow; the eighth season of The Vampire Diaries; and the 12th season of Supernatural. The mass renewals mean the only existing shows not moving forward at the C-Dub are America’s Next Top Model (which is being rebooted by VH1) and Beauty and the Beast.
While pickups for big hits such as The Flash, Arrow, and The Originals were no-brainers, the CEGF renewal in particular was hardly a guarantee given the show’s microscopic ratings. But the Rachel Bloom-led musical comedy has drawn rave reviews, a Globe win for Bloom, and amazing buzz. And in 2016, most networks have realized they can’t keep churning shows on and off their on their schedules: Audiences need time to discover shows. CW has also realized it can no longer go dark for months at a time between the end of the traditional TV season, in May, and fall, nor can it have weeks at a time where many of its shows are in reruns. This mass pickup will allow it to spread more of its shows throughout the year, including summer. Indeed, the CW’s announcement specifically states that some of the shows just renewed won’t return until January, or summer, of 2017. Not stated, but implied, is that some of the renewed shows won’t produce the usual 22 episodes common for veteran broadcast series. This is also a nod to the realities of TV in 2016: Some shows, particularly ambitious ones such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, work better in smaller batches. Limited runs allow showrunners more time to carefully craft episodes and story lines, and they also make it easier for audiences to catch up on shows between seasons, via streaming.