Why Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Got Renewed, Despite Low Ratings

crazy ex-girlffriend

When shows are bringing in millions upon millions of dedicated viewers every week, it's often easy to predict that future seasons are an inevitability, but not all shows are so lucky with audience numbers. One such show is The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, whose fanbase is extremely loyal and obsessive, but is also extremely limited. So it was pretty surprising (as well as exciting) when the network confirmed Season 3 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was ordered up, and CW head honcho Mark Pedowitz defended that decision in the most refreshing way: full of faith and free of regret.

Critically acclaimed, great programming, sometimes you just leave it on the air and hopefully it finds an audience. I am hoping that happens. If it doesn't, I will have no regrets of having continued the series.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend defied all kind of TV norms by simply existing in the first place, turning Rachel Bloom from an online superstar into an award-winning TV standout whose inspirational attitude could seriously bring about change in the industry. The show brilliantly embraces all the nooks and crannies of the human psyche, particularly the female side, and it is quite possibly the most inventive and hilariously effective musical in TV history. (If "Period Sex" isn't this generation's "Imagine," then I don't understand anything anymore.) Now if only there were more than 500,000 people watching Season 2 during an average week.

Throughout its first season, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's critical acclaim definitely outweighed its audience, which generally averaged fewer than 1 million pairs of eyes. The comedy was then shifted over to The CW's Friday night schedule for Season 2, which was a potential death knell, given the night is commonly thought of as a primetime graveyard. The viewership did take a dip, and though the percentage wasn't monumental, it still placed Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in last place in terms of key 18-49 demo (a dismal 0.3 rating) and total viewers (an average of 738,000).

But as anyone who has followed The CW's renewal and cancellation news over the years knows that Mark Pedowitz is not someone who brings out pink slips very often. And at this year's TCA (via TVGuide), he further explained his decision by putting the spotlight on the show itself instead of the stats.

When you have great critical work and a critically acclaimed and nominated show like [Crazy Ex-Girlfriend], it deserves to be picked up. It has nothing to do with numbers. It has everything to do with how Crazy Ex, Jane the Virgin and the DC franchises have helped alter the perception of what The CW has become.

I can't speak to the viability of these comments from a business perspective, but from a TV viewer point of view, his fan-forward attitude is a definite outlier, and is wildly welcomed because of that. Shows like Legends of Tomorrow and iZombie likely wouldn't have lasted their entire first seasons on the other broadcast networks - CBS giving up Supergirl was a sign, too - but The CW executives understand that giving people what they want is important, even if that group of people isn't as big as those who watch other networks. Plus, none of those other networks have Darryl and White Josh, so they all lose anyway.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend thankfully will continue airing for at least one more long and musically affirming season on The CW, and you can catch the currently airing second season every Friday night. And check out our midseason premiere schedule to see what else your TVs will have to offer during the winter months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.