By Lynette Rice
Senior TV Writer/TV Editor, Awards
During a call with analysts today, executives from Nexstar Media Group revealed how they hope to turn the CW into more of a cost-conscious broadcast network that appeals to a broader audience. Turns out the CW is a lot closer to that goal than anyone might have imagined.
The reality, according to Nexstar President and COO Tom Carter, is that the average CW viewer is 58 years old — which he thinks is why the broadcast network is also the lowest-rated among all five. Since the CW is home to such teen faves as Riverdale, All American and The Flash, news of its 50-something appeal elicited more than a few laughs online.
“I would have laughed if the average age was 40,” wrote Mike Royce, the former EP on One Day at a Time, on Twitter. “58 is true comic genius.”
Royce went on to suggest that his old TNT comedy Men of a Certain Age serves as a lead-out to Riverdale.
After Riverdale, stay tuned for an all new pic.twitter.com/EAPeceLF9S
— Mike Royce (@MikeRoyce) August 15, 2022
***The CW, 2006-2022***
– sexy teens
***The CW, 2022-????***
– The Bucket List: The Series
– Golden Girls: The Next Generation
— Alex Zalben (@azalben) August 15, 2022
the average CW viewer tuning in to Riverdale each week https://t.co/wXz4agIe23 pic.twitter.com/8mMhDK1339
— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) August 15, 2022
Finding out the average age of a CW viewer is 58 is THE BEST thing that could have happened to me. Maybe it's that when you're 58 you finally have time to watch TV? Time to sit back, crack a White Claw & live vicariously through fake teens doing shit you always heard teens did?
— Caissie (@Caissie) August 15, 2022
in absolute hysterics at this paragraph https://t.co/GFfpExtLVV pic.twitter.com/LmQnP05EV5
— uzi (@uzionmain) August 15, 2022
"You hear about this?– Apparently the average age of a CW viewer is 58 years old. 58 years old! Now I know you're thinking, that's absurd!
But just think about how long Supernatural was on for." pic.twitter.com/ZbjyKRWyO1
— Matt Sibley (in his Red era) (@Matt_Sibley) August 15, 2022
So this was the CW the whole time? pic.twitter.com/V6v0aCtTxs
— Scott of Rivia (@DerfelMacGuffin) August 15, 2022
the average cw viewers watching organ harvesting cults and supernatural plots playout on riverdale: pic.twitter.com/xSIAiVQZ9P
— barchiedaily (@Barchiedaily) August 15, 2022
For what it’s worth, younger viewers tend to stream CW programming — not watch it day and date on their living room Samsungs.
Nexstar today confirmed it is set to take a 75% ownership stake in the CW, with previous 50-50 owners Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery each retaining 12.5%. The transaction will formally close in the next few weeks.
Carter went on to say during this morning’s call that the demographic focus of the CW will also change over time. The promise was to make the CW profitable by 2025.
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