Upfronts week came to an end today, as The CW was the last major network to announce its schedule for the 2015-16 TV season. And while much of the attention was on The Originals and The Vampire Diaries now pairing up on Thursdays, or the trailer for a little show called Legends of Tomorrow, I was most interested by The CW’s decision to hold off on premiering Season 3 of The 100 until midseason.
At first, I was somewhat surprised by the news. I figured that both iZombie and Supernatural would keep their Tuesday and Wednesday night timeslots, respectively, but assumed that The 100 might slide in on Thursdays or Fridays, especially over Reign, which I had predicted would become a summer series, thus following CW president Mark Pedowitz’s plan for the network to have new, scripted programming year round. But that was not the case; we won’t be getting any new episodes of The 100 until at least January, and while that bothered me at first, I’m now actually very excited about the idea. In fact, holding The 100 Season 3 until midseason is probably the best move The CW could have made.
Unlike a show like iZombie or even Supernatural in its later years, there’s nothing even remotely procedural about The 100. There’s no “case of the week,” or mystery that need to be solved in each episode. Each installment of the series continues to tell one major serialized story, while also following the characters’ emotional journeys, as they develop and change throughout their time on the ground. A season of The 100 is essentially the equivalently to a 13-hour or 16-hour movie, and it’s not as easy to break up each chapter of the show’s story as it is with other shows. Long breaks, whether they be two weeks, four weeks, or more, end up taking away from the breakneck pace The 100 has established during its first two seasons.
And that’s what’s so great about having The 100 return in 2016: whether it’s January or March or later, these 13-16 episodes will run virtually uninterrupted, allowing the series to turn into an event, something that viewers wait six months to a year for and then get to excitedly devour and discuss with fellow fans. It’s just like what FOX did for years with 24, or what ABC did with the later seasons of Lost, which are both shows that had a similar storytelling style to The 100 and fans that were (and are) just as passionate.
Speaking of fans, The CW’s move here can only help The 100‘s fanbase continue to grow. As Pedowitz stated, the series is “a big Netflix favorite,” and giving this time in between Seasons 2 and 3 will allow so many more people to discover The 100 on Netflix, or other streaming platforms. This is the type of show where word of mouth and the ability to binge-watch can only help it, so that, to quote Pedowtiz again, The 100 can hopefully have “that Breaking Bad moment.” Premiering at midseason won’t cause fans to forget that the show is still on the air; instead, the long hiatus will help The 100 fanbase welcome even more viewers into its ranks, so that this critically beloved series can actually get the viewership it deserves.
Finally, The CW’s decision will not only enrich the viewing experience of The 100 for its fans, but also the production experience for the creative team of the series, as they will be allotted more time to work on post-production. And as great as The 100 already is, if the talented and inventive minds behind it are given even more time to make sure that everything is just as they want it to be, whether it’s related to editing, ADR, or special effects, that means that the series can only get better.
Will waiting to see what happens next with Clarke, Raven, Octavia, Bellamy, and the rest of The 100 gang suck? It definitely won’t be easy, especially given that it was only a short few months between the end of Season 1 and the start of Season 2. However, this was the right move by The CW for both the show and its fans, and I can’t wait to see what to see what stories The 100 Season 3 will have for us, no matter what time of the year it airs.
[Photos via The CW]