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The CW’s Parent Companies Put It Up for Adoption in a Teen-Drama Twist

This was an era in jacket history. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by The CW

Riddle me this, Batwoman: How do you create a network with some of the most popular, viral, influential shows among the coveted demographic of young people and fail to make a profit off of it? By being an executive at ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, apparently. The corporate owners of The CW are looking to sell the network, which was formed in 2006 as a merger of UPN and The WB. CEO Mark Pedowitz confirmed that the parent companies are exploring “opportunities” in an internal memo seen by The Hollywood Reporter. The network “has never been profitable since its formation,” THR reports, despite airing such shows as the original Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and The Flash, not to mention critically acclaimed series Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Heck, The CW is the home of Supernatural, a show whose fandom is so massive and fervent it appears to fuel half the internet.

Apparently The CW earned a bulk of its revenue from international sales and a streaming deal with Netflix that made shows like Riverdale explode in popularity. This deal ended in 2019, when CBS Studios and Warner Bros. TV divested streaming rights to their respective new platforms, Paramount+ and HBO Max. We’re just gonna go ahead and blame this all on Archie Andrews’s music career.

The CW’s Parent Companies Put It Up for Adoption