The CW likely won't renew all 3 shows from the pre-Nexstar era, sources say (but one has a path to renewal!)

All American -- “Things Done Changed” -- Image Number: ALA601a_0110r -- Pictured (L-R): Daniel Ezra as Spencer James and Bre-Z as Tamia Cooper -- Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW -- © 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All American -- “Things Done Changed” -- Image Number: ALA601a_0110r -- Pictured (L-R): Daniel Ezra as Spencer James and Bre-Z as Tamia Cooper -- Photo: Troy Harvey/The CW -- © 2024 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Apologies for coming to bear bad news but, for those of us who are still tuning into The CW in its Nexstar era, we could be in for yet another axe spree. A new report from Deadline posits a shaky path to renewal for the remaining pre-Nexstar CW originals--All American, All American: Homecoming, and Walker--and it's not ratings that are sinking the shows chances for renewal. It's the licensing fees.

To be clear, if the powers that be choose to, they can foot the bill for these shows. Apparently, Walker's fee is just a bit over the $500K per episode threshold which is a drop in the bucket compared to what the network used to pay. However, their $1-1.5 million dollars an episode cap isn't feasible for the studios to make quality content long-term without making cuts elsewhere and, per the outlet, there's been conflicting information on whether the cap will stay the same or decrease next television season.

This is why it's not ratings that could end Walker sooner than fans would like. The Jared Padalecki-led modern western is the most watched show on The CW. But it may not be worth it to CBS Studios to keep the series going with such a low licensing fee. International co-productions are the projects that are best able to make this work and none of the pre-Nexstar originals are in this boat. All American: Homecoming is in a worse position as they already suffered major budget cuts in order for season 3 to get a greenlight which included a series regular cast cut and reduced writing staff.

It doesn't help matters that the All American spin-off got bumped to the summer schedule and can't debut its new season until its parent show finishes season 6. The college drama has never aired without being paired with its predecessor and will have to find its sea legs. But even if it manages to hold its own in the ratings (though it will need to improve them because they're comparatively low), it's getting up there in seniority. A potential season 4 may be out of the cards if the licensing fee is reduced even more.

Now you may be asking why The CW would try to negotiate a lower fee and the answer is that they're still cost cutting. Per Deadline, "Amid headwinds from a soft ad market, the CW has been looking for more savings beyond the ones initially identified in the network’s pursuit of profitability by 2025 as its owners continue to spend on non-entertainment programming..."

Next year, 500 hours of the network's airtime will be devoted to sports content. They've found success with Sullivan's Crossing and Wild Cards (which is highly likely to be renewed), and are looking to carry The Chosen season 4. The Librarians: Next Chapter and Good Cop/Bad Cop are set to prove themselves in the coming television season. The network's Nexstar era scripted programming is beginning to rollout which means they don't have to rely on what came before particularly if it's not cost-effective for them.

The one pre-Nexstar original that has the surest ground for renewal is All American and that may be because it's reached the point in its maturity that they could feasibly and respectfully phase out the main cast and bring in younger characters. That's what Deadline reports anyway. This is due to Spencer James and Jordan Baker's storyline about the NFL Draft. They could conclude their stories and that might be what's about to happen since two more episodes were added to season 6's count bringing it to a 15 episode run.

We're closing in on cancellation season so the fate of these three shows may be determined in May though it's not out of the realm of possibility for the decision on All American: Homecoming to be held until its third season begins airing on The CW. We'll keep you posted as more news comes in. Stay tuned to Hidden Remote!

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