'Beauty and the Beast' gets a May premiere, fourth season renewal
The 13-episode third season of "Beauty and the Beast" will premiere on Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m.
That's the day after the formal end of the 2014-2015 Nielsen season and the week after network TV upfronts were going set schedules for the 2015-2016 season, but at least fans of the drama won't have to worry about a fourth season.
That newly ordered fourth season will premiere at some point during the 2015-2016 or, more likely, during the summer after the 2015-2016 season, unless something strange happens.
Last spring and summer, CW President Mark Pedowitz was asked multiple times why "Beauty and the Beast," which got pulled from its in-season slot due to minuscule numbers, earned a renewal while shows with better ratings -- "The Tomorrow People" and "Star-Crossed" in particular -- were canceled after one season.
"'Beauty and the Beast' had a very engaged fan base," Pedowitz explained to reporters last July. "It had a very big international following. We brought it back because it actually because of what we are as a network as well as the platform for our parent company, it’s a very profitable show for everybody. So that’s the reality to it."
That was the justification for the previous renewal, but the justification for the fourth season renewal may be The CW's expressed commitment to year-round programming and the network's desire to air as few repeats as possible.
In January, The CW renewed all eight shows that aired during the fall, ranging from hits like "The Flash" and "Arrow" to critical favorite "Jane the Virgin" to the viewer-starved "Reign," which may not have a massive audience, but does share Toronto studio space with "Beauty and the Beast."
So that means The CW has now renewed nine scripted shows already for 2015-2016, a number that doesn't include a new cycle of "America's Next Top Model" or "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," nor the inevitably returning "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
The only show currently airing on The CW without a renewal is "Hart of Dixie," which has been doing better-than-"Reign" (or "Beauty and the Beast") numbers airing without a lead-in and on Fridays.
The CW also has the heavily promoted "iZombie" and the yet-to-be-heavily-promoted "The Messengers" launching this spring, as well as whatever pilots the network opts to order.
That's a lot of programming.
Or maybe The CW is just mocking me...