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BubbleWatch: The CW's 'Beauty and the Beast'
SHOW: "Beauty and the Beast" (The CW)
IN ITS FAVOR: Thanks to a boost from its "Vampire Diaries" lead-in, "Beauty and the Beast" has a bigger overall audience (with or without DVR) than any of its CW bubble-mates and its numbers 18-49 are identical to what "Hart of Dixie" draws. I'm told that the show has an enthusiastic fanbase. Plus, CW Chief Mark Pedowitz was inexplicably enthusiastic about "Beauty and the Beast" when he talked to TV critics in January.
AGAINST IT: Ratings for "Beauty and the Beast have been only marginally higher than what "Secret Circle" did in the post-"Vampire Diaries" slot last season and sometimes they haven't even been marginally better. Given these numbers and the seeming inevitability of "The Originals" getting a series order, there's zero chance that The CW is going to give "Beauty and the Beast" the Thursday 9 p.m. slot next season, so a renewal would be saying that somebody at the CW has reason to believe there's a big enough self-generating audience for the show to survive elsewhere. That feels pretty hypothetical, unless online/download numbers are outstanding.
OUR TOTALLY UNINFORMED GUESS: If "Beauty and the Beast" returns, it's almost inevitably destined for a Friday 9 p.m. slot after "Nikita." And is that really living? Well... Kinda. If The CW decides to actually program all 10 hours next fall -- as opposed to leaving an hour on Friday for encores -- I can see why they'd rather have an established show in that 9 p.m. Friday hour than trying to pour money into launching something new. That's the only shot I see, though it's not impossible.
FINAL VERDICT: Renewed!