The CW’s Wild Cards May Become a Key To Network’s Major Rebranding

The CW’s Wild Cards May Become a Key To Network’s Major Rebranding
Image credit: The CW

It may as well be the last hope.


  • In 2022, The CW closed a deal with media giant Nexstar, which planned to make the network profitable.
  • The changes the network has undergone since then have only served to disappoint The CW's former core audience.
  • The CW's upcoming original Wild Cards, however, has the potential to unite the viewers the network already has with those it wants.

Since The CW's deal with Nexstar, fans have been forced to deal with a reality that they didn't enjoy but had to endure.

The shows that everyone loved and cared about were slowly written out to their respective finales, and the audience was reminded of their own age, realizing that there were some who had already gone through The CW's first major rebranding after The WB years. It was never really about the people, whether they were the decision-makers or just the viewers, it was only about the money.

The CW was never meant to be profitable, as the network was heavily dependent on working with CBS and Warner Bros. The new business model that would finally be implemented for the network makes The CW the freest it has been in years. Even if independence has cost it just about everything.

Is The CW Wild Cards Actually Good?

The CW’s Wild Cards May Become a Key To Network’s Major Rebranding - image 1

It was hard for the network to gauge the interest in the channel after the long and painful massacre of its originals. Viewers had to say goodbye to all the cheesy dramas, fantasy stories, and superhero goodness to switch to catering to a more affluent audience.

Now that the teen shows have been left behind, The CW may pursue something more serious. Coverage of several major sporting events or even political debates. The network that once produced the most unhinged Supernatural episodes has now grown up and asked to be given a chance.

So far, the few who have decided to give it a chance have been nothing but highly dissatisfied with what they have seen. The change that Nexstar brought to the team felt too radical, and the lineup that was supposed to come in after the round of cancellations wasn't half strong enough to keep anyone entertained.

The only show that gives The CW a glimpse of a chance to succeed in its plans is the network's new original, set to premiere on January 17, 2024, Wild Cards.

While the choice of genre is indeed a wild card for the network, which has never been known for its procedurals, the casting seems far more thoughtful. A dynamic duo of Riverdale 's Vanessa Morgan and Grey's Anatomy's Giacomo Gianniotti is exactly what was needed to at least try to unite two very different audiences.

Still nostalgic for the good old days of Riverdale nonsense, The CW's core audience is likely to stick around and support their favorite. Those who already know the genre, having endured the last few seasons of Shondaland's staple, are looking for something fresh yet vaguely familiar.

If Wild Cards, the classic story of former detective Ellis and his out-of-jail, troublemaking partner Max, is as good as the trailer promises, the show could become a beacon for The CW's distant transformation.

If it doesn't, however, the poor lineup could be the final nail in the network's coffin.