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The CW doesn't offer a flood of new original series each season. In fact, the network only ordered a handful of new scripted series to join their returning shows for the 2014-2015 season, and only two of them debuted this fall. Following up on The Flash's success with its debut last week, Jane the Virgin made less of a splash in the numbers, but did manage to deliver the CW's largest audience in its time period since February of 2012, when Gossip Girl took its bow.
CW posted the numbers today, stating that Jane the Virgin took in 1.63 million viewers (0.6/2 adults 18-49), up 22% from its lead-in, The Originals (.7/2 adults 18-49). While Jane the Virgin's premiere numbers aren't exactly off the charts high, especially by comparison to The Flash's launch, it sounds like the network is pleased with what the drama has delivered, especially as it facts into their efforts to build their Monday night audience.
Jane The Virgin stars Gina Rodriguez as the titular Jane, a virtuous 23-year-old woman who finds herself accidentally inseminated during a routine doctors visit. Naturally, the news that she's pregnant comes as quite a shock to Jane, her single-mother Xo and her grandmother Alba, not to mention her very patient boyfriend. And then there's the father of the baby, who also happens to be Jane's very wealthy -- did we mention married? -- boss. The premiere episode aimed for charming and hit the mark. Between its frequent nods to telenovelas -- fitting, considering the plot, and the fact that this series is based on one -- and a strong performance by Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin's pilot did a solid job of introducing this story and a fair amount of drama, which extends beyond a pregnant virgin.
Spoilers from the pilot beyond this point...
While I'll be interested to see how much of its audience Jane manages to retain in the weeks to come, I'm also curious about the direction of the story. For one thing, does Jane stay a virgin to suit the title? Or is getting pregnant before she's ever had sex enough to justify the title going forward? Beyond that, there's some kind of murder investigation going on, not to mention marital difficulties for Rafael and his wife Petra, who's keeping a couple of major secrets from her husband. And then there's Jane's father, who appears to be back in the picture. The series certainly has enough drama on its plate. Too much? That remains to be seen, which is why I'm looking forward to more episodes. There's just enough going for the show to make Jane the Virgin a charming and relatively original addition to the Fall line-up.
Check out the preview for Chapter Two of Jane the Virgin on the next page...