So the news broke a couple of weeks ago, but I only found out last night. Looks like the CW will no longer be hosting their shows on Hulu this fall. Sure, you’ll be able to find their programming over on the CW site and the CW’s app, and okay, you’ll get the finished seasons much sooner on Netflix (as it stands, you have to wait until about a week before the new season starts to get last season. With the new program you’ll get them 8 days after the season ends). And yes, there is that traditional way of watching television, but how many people actually watch shows when they’re on these days? I don’t even have cable anymore–the basic package just isn’t cost effective for me. Why pay so much for digital only channels when I can stream via Hulu and Netflix and get it in HD for about the same as it would cost to get the most basic of channels?
I watch a lot of CW’s shows and I do so through the Hulu app because it’s the most convenient for me. I don’t want to download yet another app to watch a handful of programming and I watch from my PS4, so I don’t even think CW has an app for that. I write, which means I spend many hours a day with my computer. The last thing I want for my down time is to stare at the screen only a foot away any longer. So definitely not going to bother putting the app on my phone or tablet either. That means, at the end of summer, my access to CW’s network is going to poof. While I could wait around until the end of season to binge-watch what I missed, I doubt I’ll bother. What would be the point? My interaction with these fandoms is strictly online these days, and if I’m watching long after everyone else, the conversation will have already moved past any thoughts I might have. It’s not going to be fun.
And that got me thinking. I’m likely not the only one who will be giving up their program because of the inconvenience. Others aren’t going to wrangle each episode and CW’s shows don’t always compete with whatever else is on during their programming. Like Supernatural, this last year they were in direct competition with Fox’s Empire.
Talk to most people and they’d be surprised that Supernatural is going on its 12th season this fall. Rightfully so, not a lot of programs last that long and certainly not monster-of-the-week paranormal based fantasy. But I’m going to call it now. This one’s going down this season. Why? Well, besides the limited character growth over the last few seasons and the dwindling fandom, the removal of easy access will reduce the show’s visibility. For a show already bleeding Nielsen ratings the last few years, the inability to draw in new audience from the cross-network platform of Hulu will likely stagnate an already decaying fandom. At this point, without an influx of new viewers, the show doesn’t stand a chance of pulling up out of its tanking ratings.
So, enjoy this show–if you can that is–this fall, because this new deal will likely mean the end of Supernatural.