'Nikita,' 'Hart of Dixie,' or 'Ringer' -- Keep them or kill them? Plus, which CW shows are a lock for Fall 2012
With its somewhat reluctant stars still under contract for one more year, "Gossip Girl" is likely to return, though some have speculated that it will only return for 13 episodes. "90210" is also likely to be renewed, with online viewing and international success balancing out its unimpressive ratings.
This leaves "Nikita," "The Secret Circle," "Hart of Dixie," and "Ringer" in contention for the fall schedule, and with a handful of very promising pilots on deck, The CW will cancel at least two of its current dramas.
The case for it: "Nikita" is arguably The CW's most critically beloved drama. Its strong writing and impressive cast help to balance out the soapy "90210" factor on a network that might otherwise be written off as tween-centric.
The case against it: People simply aren't watching. "Nikita's" ratings are low even for a Friday night show, and as it's only in its second season, that's a bad sign.
The case for it: People in the television industry really like Sarah Michelle Gellar.
The case against it: "Ringer" is the lowest-rated show on the network. It's also not a good sign that The CW chose to air its finale in April, replacing it with Canadian drama "The LA Complex" for May sweeps. Creatively, the show had its moments, but overall the series never lived up to its potential and its first season went out with a whimper.
"Hart of Dixie"
The case for it: Rachel Bilson is a star, and with Sarah Michelle Gellar's show almost certainly getting the boot, The CW needs a little bit of star power in its pocket. Compared to many of its other series, "Hart of Dixie" has a small budget and has been consistently watchable all season.
The case against it: Ratings! It's almost certain that either "Hart of Dixie" or "Nikita" will be canceled, purely based on numbers -- and maybe both will get the boot.
"The Secret Circle"
The case for it: With a "Vampire Diaries" lead-in, "The Secret Circle" is the best-rated freshman series on the network. From a fan's standpoint, the series has only become more compelling over the second half of the season.
The case against it: The CW will move the show out of its Thursday night timeslot in order to use "Vampire Diaries" to launch a new series, and there are some doubts as to whether "TSC" can hold onto its numbers without the vampires' support. It has recently taken a dive in the ratings.