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The CW: The Top 8 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For This Network 

Photo Credit: The CW

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re recapping the shows we’re thankful for and since you already know that I have mad, bad love for Haven, Hell on Wheels, and Covert Affairs, I wanted to give a special shout out to the good folks at the CW.

Full disclosure: I am 41 years old and nowhere near the CW demographic, but it’s the network I watch more than any other right now, so it’s getting a thank you.

In no particular order here are eight reasons why I’m grateful:

Photo Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW

#1 The Vampire Diaries

I get to write about the show every week for you fine folks, so that’s the first reason, but it’s also consistently good TV. Whether I’m on the edge of the couch or rolling my eyes, it’s become appointment TV and introduced me to a set of writers, directors, and actors who are doing really interesting, compelling work.

Photo Credit: Sven Frenzel/The CW

#2 Beauty and the Beast

This one is really growing on me every week, and a fandom that started from a position of defiance against the haters has now grown into genuine affection. I care about these characters. I look forward to the show every week. I’m happy when I remember it’s Thursday. The general crime of the week is silly, but I’m hooked by the love story in the middle.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

#3 Arrow

I’ve already covered my Stephen Amell problem here, but Arrow is evolving into a much better show than it had to be, given that it pretty much had a built-in audience at the ready in the wake of Smallville’s graduation. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s dark, and when you least expect it, it’s sweet. I’m digging it.

Photo Credit: Sven Frenzel/The CW

#4 Nikita

The second season yanked me in and didn’t let go and it was the one show I was on edge about last May when it looked like they might reboot the cast (they didn’t). I’ve written here that they’re not always perfect, and they may have more players than they know what to do with, which is an easy enough problem to remedy, but when they’re on their game, they’re better than pretty much anything else out there.

#5 Loyalty casting

The CW is super loyal to its family. They cast from within a lot of the time, which is great if you love their actors (I do).  Cases in point: Amell did a stint on TVD before Arrow, Kristin Kreuk was a regular of Smallville before Beauty and the Beast, Justin Hartley played a very different Oliver Queen on Smallville before donning scrubs in Emily Owens M.D., and Phoebe Tonkin lost no time in moving to TVD after The Secret Circle was shuttered. The best examples are Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who did time on Dawson’s Creek and Smallville (Ackles) and Gilmore Girls and an unsold MacGyver reboot (Padalecki) before landing at Supernatural.

#6 Canadian shoots

Beauty and the Beast, Arrow, Nikita, Emily Owens M.D., Supernatural, and the upcoming Cult all shoot in Vancouver or Toronto, which equals bonus casting. So, even if I’m not watching all of these shows, I love that the network is introducing U.S. viewers to an extraordinary repertory company of Canadian talent. Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize actors popping up on more than one CW show as well as USA’s Suits and Covert Affairs, which also shoot in Toronto.


Although the cataloguing drives me bonkers, I’m appreciative that the website maintains a photo archive of episode stills of every episode of every show. At its end, you could scroll ten years worth of images for Smallville. Right now, you can look at over 1,500 pics from Supernatural’s 8-year stint.  The downside? The photo directory requires sequential scrolling, without the benefit of thumbnail preview, and is front-loaded newest to oldest so you risk spoilers when you start at the beginning. I recommend searching “” and the episode title and “images” on Google and that takes you right into stills for the episode you want. If I had a wish list, they’d catalog them by episode.

Also bonus points to the site for streaming full episodes the next day. That’s extremely customer friendly when there are still pockets of the country without a CW affiliate. I found this out last week when I stayed in a hotel that didn’t have a feed for me to watch Arrow.

Photo Credit: Nino Munoz/The CW

#8 Promo monkeys

They can’t cut a promo for sh-t—they’ll use scenes that appear nowhere in the finished episode, or tease you about something that never happens or is completely misleading and wrong or spoil something the writers worked really hard to have a killer reveal of. So, know going in that they’re not indicative of the actual episode, and you’ll be fine. Where they get it right is in the avant-garde, artworthy promo shoots. Check out the PR shots (not episode stills) for The Vampire Diaries and you’ll see some amazing work.

Now, if we could just get some of our cancelled one-season wonders like Hellcats or The Secret Circle on DVD, we’d be besties.

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