Women Not Welcome at CBS: SUPERGIRL Moved to the CW and Nancy Drew Declared “Too Female”

Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation

Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corp.

Last Thursday we learned that Supergirl had been renewed for a second season, but not at CBS. CBS Corp. has moved the show to the CW, following rumors that Warner Bros. Television, the studio which owns and produces the show, was working to trim costs by possibly moving production to Vancouver. The ratings were respectable and the show had long been a presumed renewal by the reliable TV By The Numbers. So the move to the CW, which runs on a different revenue model that doesn’t require a large live viewership, was a huge surprise.

CBS had made a big deal this past year about attracting a younger and more “diverse” audience, but they don’t seem interested in following through on that talk. A day after the Supergirl renewal news, we learned from Deadline that CBS also passed on the new series Drew, based on the Nancy Drew franchise, despite the pilot testing well. (THR reports that “Drew was said to be an internal favorite for new network president Glenn Geller”.) Even though the ‘New York cop with issues’ procedural was a radical reworking from the plucky, independent teenage mystery solving sleuth, CBS chose not to pick up the pilot because they felt the show skewed too female for their schedule.

That’s right. After all their talk about expanding their audience, and making a big deal about casting a non-white lead (the popular Sarah Shahi) CBS decided Nancy Drew is too female for their network.

The network has reduced its (already paltry) female-led shows to only Madame Secretary, one new drama (Doubt) for the fall 2016 season, and two sitcoms. According to Deadline, they just didn’t have a 8pm or 9pm timeslot “available” for Drew.

What did they pick up?

  • A poorly conceived MacGuyver reboot that is on its fourth script and third showrunner, whose pilot is to be completely reshot with only two of the original cast (in other words, they greenlit a series based on a rejected pilot)
  • A drama based on the life of the execrable Dr. Phil
  • Training Day reboot, one of several series based on Warner Bros. movies in the works that includes Lethal Weapon on Fox, Frequency at the CW, and the Rush Hour reboot that CBS just cancelled.
  • lots of sitcoms starring has-been male comedians

I’m sure they’ll all do just as well as the dead-on-arrival Rush Hour.

Is it any wonder CBS passed on Supergirla show proudly and enthusiastically made for young women and girls, scarcely five months after its openly feminist advocate Nina Tassler left?

Good riddance to you, too, CBS.

Michelle Bacon

Michelle loves comics and code. A lifelong Superfamily fan, she's been collecting comics for 20 years, and running Supergirl: Maid of Might since 2000.

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