The CW has spent a lot of time, energy and money to make itself into the premiere network for teen girls.  It all started with America’s Next Top Model and Gossip Girl, and continues this season with the debut of new shows like 90210, Stylista and Privileged.  The network has done everything it can to cater to this particular demographic, but it hasn’t exactly paid off in the ratings.  The CW can’t seem to turn any of its new teen soaps into smash hits.

Considering the success of edgier, more male-oriented fare like Smallville and Supernatural, it’s a wonder the network doesn’t attempt to develop more sci-fi and horror shows.  Both series returned last week to big numbers, with Supernatural delivering its highest ratings since it started airing on the CW.

The season 4 premiere of Supernatural, “Lazarus Rising,” pulled in 3.96 million viewers.  That’s a whopping 33 percent surge over the season 3 premiere, and the best numbers the show has ever had on the CW.  As far as the demographics go, Supernatural was up 42 percent among 18-49 year-olds compared to the season 3 premiere.  That has to make the CW rather happy.

The premiere of Smallville, on the other hand, dropped 14 percent from its debut last year, delivering 4.38 million viewers.  That’s nearly on par with FOX’s Hole in the Wall, which aired in the same time slot and was seen by 4.72 million people.  Those are great numbers for a smaller network like the CW, but not so great numbers for FOX.  I don’t think Hole in the Wall is long for this world, and I certainly won’t cry when it goes away.

It’s hard to explain the reasons behind Supernatural‘s ratings surge, but it’s certainly a great thing to see.  The episode likely benefited from a lack of competition, since shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Office have yet to return.  People may have also been interested to see how Dean Winchester returned from the grave.  The show’s ratings success is even more impressive when you realize the CW doesn’t promote it nearly as much as soaps like Gossip Girl and 90210, both of which would kill for 3.96 million viewers.

Can Supernatural keep breaking ratings records?  This Thursday it’ll go up against the premieres of The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, so the show will likely take a hit.  We’ll have to wait and see, but for now the Winchesters rule.

– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV