The CW Sale: It's Your Move, ABC, CBS, NBC & FOX: BCTVDD Editorial

Before we jump into today's edition of the BCTV Daily Dispatch, I just wanted to throw out a few words on one of the bigger news stories of the week and the lasting impact it could have across the four other broadcast networks. After months of rumblings that also saw favorite shows such as DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman canceled, Nexstar Media Group announced that it was planning to take 75% ownership of The CW (with current co-owners Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery each retaining 12.5% ownership), with the deal expected to be wrapped up over the course of the next few weeks. Once that news hit, it didn't take long for it to become clear who the network would be focusing on under their leadership. President & COO Tom Carter made the case that the network's lack of programming focus on its key viewing demo (average age of 58) was a large part of its lack of success. Small problem with that argument? As you've probably already yelled at your screen, the average younger viewer no longer watches programming on the day/date it first screens. They're delayed streaming-watchers watching the latest episode of Walker on the toilet at 4:47 am on a Saturday morning. And then there's the matter of the network's financial future, which Carter claims will be profitable by 2025 (yup, in three years). So what does this all mean? To be blunt? This ain't the home of the Arrowverse anymore.

The CW
Image: Screencaps; The CW

So what will be left when the dust settles? Working under the assumption that it keeps its name (which it probably won't), The CW will be a network that's a combination of reality & reality competition shows and more "family-friendly" & "Middle America" programming. No more Riverdale, The Flash, or The Originals. Think more, "Tim Allen in Last Man Standing." Add to that the rumblings that Nexstar's more-and-more-right-leaning cable news channel NewsNation will be integrated more into the network's revised daily programming plans, and a very good argument could be made that the broadcasting landscape will have a proudly center-right/right-leaning network as one of its five core members. And you know what? It's going to work… and work big. Because Nexstar will market The CW as being the family-friendly, flag-saluting alternative to all of that "radical stuff" going on over at ABC, NBC, CBS & FOX. We're talking a lot of "aw shucks" nostalgia feels that will tap into folks' desires for "simpler times" ("simpler" if you were a straight, white male, that is). So how will the other four networks respond (because you know they will) to these possible CW moves? Here are our quick, down-n-dirty first-impression thoughts.

FOX: The network of random extremes, it's pretty clear that if The CW wants to go right-for-right, then FOX won't hesitate to make FOX News more of a presence on the entertainment side (like with Rudy Giuliani and The Masked Singer). And when it comes to reality competition shows, the network can make hits out of LEGO blocks, dominos, and Gordon Ramsey, so there's that.

ABC: Look, it's owned by "The Mouse," so ABC will be whatever Disney wants it to be. That said, we also know that "The Mouse" has taken a beating on the public relations side when it comes to accusations that Disney doesn't support "traditional families" (coded hate-speak) over its support for LGBTQ rights. Nexstar can win the perception war if it forces Disney to shift its programming philosophy a bit more center-right and invest more programming dollars than it originally planned with ABC. And that's a "David/Goliath" story that Nexstar could get some serious traction from.

CBS: Honestly? CBS has the least amount of changes to make because the network has been laser-focused on its older demo for years now. The combination of familiar franchises (CSI: Vegas), expanded franchise universes ("NCIS"), and higher-quality reality programming (Survivor, The Amazing Race) has served it well, and should continue to. For now, their best bet is to keep their heads low and keep doing what they're doing.

NBC: Could "The Peacock" go back to being the kind of network that helped bring Hannibal into the world? It could be, and it wouldn't even have to go that dark to make it happen. Because as the other four either shift right or maintain their course, you're going to have a sizeable demo out there that feels too cool for broadcast but doesn't want to do any serious deep dives into streaming. And that's where NBC could step up to fill the void by being the "cooler" alternative (at least when it comes to broadcast networks) for older folks who don't like feeling old. Throw in some occasional "content lending" from sister streaming service Peacock, and NBCUniversal might just be able to turn the 83-year-old NBC into a "rebel network"- a true sign of just how upside-down the television & streaming landscape has become over the past ten years.

Now here's a look at today's BCTV Daily Dispatch, a rundown of our television/streaming coverage from the past 24 hours:

Kenny Omega Returns on AEW Dynamite as Mystery Partner of Young Bucks

Stargirl S03 Character Key Art Profiles Journey From Comics To Screen

Watch The Acclaimed Save Billy Gunn from an Assault by His Owns Sons

Archer Season 13 Teaser: Sterling's Got a New Philosophy of Life

Trouble in JAS as Bryan Danielson Beats Daniel Garcia on AEW Dynamite

HBO Max Titles Pulled: Aquaman, Close Enough, Infinity Train & More

Beavis and Butt-Head S09E04: Doppelgangers & Nachos-Stealing Raccoons

AEW Dynamite Preview: Will Tonight Be The Return of SPOILER?

Better Call Saul: Peter Gould Talks "Cold" Original Ending; BTS Images

American Horror Stories S02E05 Cast Teaser: Dominique Jackson & More

Young Justice/HBO Max Update: "Currently No Plans" for Season 5?

What If…? Director on S02: "Things Can Get a Little Bit Wackier"

Is She-Hulk Daredevil Same As Netflix Daredevil? EP Kat Coiro Responds

Celebrate Mike Judge History As Beavis and Butt-Head Returns

Vampire Academy Sets 4-Episode Premiere; Official Trailer, Images

Go Behind the Scenes of Nickelodeon's Rugrats With This Auction

Wednesday Teaser Filled with 3 Favorite M's: Mystery, Mayhem & Murder

Rick and Morty S06 Teaser: Is "Wormageddon" Evil Morty's Final Plan?

Criminal Minds: Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster Check In From Filming

Doctor Who: Are Those Doctor-Meets-Doctor Moments Ultimate Fanfic?

Cobra Kai Season 5: Sean Kanan "Excited" for Mike Barnes Return

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Improves A Lot After Rough Start: Review

The Sandman E06 "The Sound of Her Wings": Comics-to-Screen Changes

Only Murders In The Building Season 2 E09: Hidden Lives & Little Lies

Superman and Lois, Wednesday, She-Hulk & More: BCTV Daily Dispatch

And for today's BCTV Daily Dispatch "Long-Distance Dedication," we have Seal with "Crazy":

the boys
(Shutterstock.com) Daredevil

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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