It’s been a long week since we all found out that the CW had renewed seven of their shows, but not two of our (LezWatch) favourites.
The CW is a unique network, in that 99% of their scripted dramas have queer regular or recurring characters. The one that doesn’t, or at least doesn’t normally, is The Flash. Yes, even Superman introduced a bisexual student (currently interested in one of the SuperSons).
|All American||5||Coop, Patience|
|Nancy Drew||4||Bess, Addy|
|Riverdale||7||Cheryl, Toni, Kevin, Fangs|
|Superman & Lois||3||Sarah|
The first thing I noticed with that list is that it doesn’t have any shows where the queer is the lead. The closest you get is Riverdale, but even then the ‘real’ leads are Betty, Ronnie, Archie, and Jughead. Cheryl, while the primary antagonist (… sometimes) is not the lead-lead character.
Waiting in the Wings
Here are the shows not yet renewed.
|4400||1||Andre, Noah, Mariah, Keisha, |
|All American: Homecoming||1||Nathaniel, Keisha||No|
|Batwoman||4||Ryan, Sophie||Yes (2022)|
|DC’s Legends of Tomorrow||7||Sara, Ava, Spooner||Yes (2022)|
|In The Dark||3||Jess||Yes|
|Legacies||4||Ben, Finch, Jade, Jed, Josie,|
|Roswell, New Mexico||3||Isobel, Charlie||Yes (2021)|
Now. Looking at those, we have the shows where queers are very much leads (4400, Batwoman, Charmed, and Legends) and the others where they are core regulars.
The second you list them like that, it kind of jumps out at you.
The shows that are not yet renewed are the ones with queer leads.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, though. Back when Stumptown was canceled, I pointed out that shows like Dexter got a revival as NCIS got a renewal which was indicative of an unbalanced market.
Statistics Don’t Make Sense
Let’s look at this differently, with regards to the coveted 18-49 demographic per the Nielsen Ratings, shall we?
|Year to Year|
|Year to Year|
|Superman & Lois *||0.19||-18.89%||0.904||-13.84%|
|All American *||0.18||-24.57%||0.590||-17.29%|
|The Flash *||0.15||-28.57%||0.664||-19.02%|
|All American: Homecoming||0.12||N/A||0.422||N/A|
|Kung Fu *||0.09||-30.77%||0.579||-39.80%|
|Legends of Tomorrow||0.09||10.58%||0.528||27.03%|
|Nancy Drew *||0.05||-34.62%||0.356||-23.64%|
I put asterisks by each renewed show so you could make the face I did when writing this, which is “How the hell did they pick those renewals?!”
All American: Homecoming ranks fourth but isn’t finished it’s first season, sure. But Legends is the ONLY show to be fully increasing metrics! The shows with the least losses? Dynasty and Charmed.
That looks weird, right? Well here’s the ‘sorted by total viewers list:
- Walker *
- Superman & Lois *
- The Flash *
- All American *
- Kung Fu *
- Legends of Tomorrow
- All American: Homecoming
- Nancy Drew *
- Riverdale *
Quite honestly, I cannot explain how it is that Riverdale got renewed.
Is it a Bias? Or is it Money?
I wanted to argue that maybe this was because superhero shows are spendy … That’s true. Also long running shows are expensive to produce since everyone gets raises. But that really makes a weird argument when you look at Riverdale again, doesn’t it?
The most logical explanation is the one that stands out at you. There is a bias, possibly unconscious, against queer and female led shows.
At least, I sure hope it’s unconscious.