Batwoman dominated social media conversation around The CW’s 2019-2020 pickups, according to analysis by The WIT.
The latest DC Comics adaptation to arrive on the network hails from über-producer Greg Berlanti (who has a whopping nine shows on CW’s fall and midseason schedules) and stars Ruby Rose in the lead role. The trailer was viewed 6.4 million times and the show notched up more than 41,000 Instagram followers, 47,000 Facebook likes and more than 48,000 social media comments. However, The WIT’s Geise Fiscina notes, “perhaps the series is buzzing for the wrong reasons,” referencing the 279,000 “dislikes” of the trailer versus 68,000 “likes.” Fiscina adds, “It is not a surprise that The CW’s moderators on YouTube tried to cushion the negative reviews by allegedly deleting over 22,000 comments, but unsatisfied users kept coming back to post again and show their disapproval. Many believed that the network’s obsession with empowering women went too far, to the point that the show looks like over-the-top feminism (it features a lesbian Batwoman, and the villain and the police commissioner are also women) and claiming that it showcases a ‘man-bashing agenda.’ The most talked-about scene (which also shows what the internet crowd defined as the ‘character’s astounding hypocrisy’) sees Batwoman saying she doesn’t want a man to take credit for a woman’s work, then proceeding to steal the Batcave, suit, equipment, Batmobile, symbol, etc. from her cousin—a man. Meanwhile, on Facebook and Twitter, the comments were slightly more positive, praising actress Ruby Rose for her fierce and sexy performance as Batwoman, and urging the DC fandom haters to ‘stop whining and posting hateful and homophobic comments.’”
The CW’s non-DC Comics adaptation Nancy Drew focuses on the 18-year-old sleuth as she becomes involved in a murder investigation. There were some 1.6 million trailer views, 15,000 Instagram followers and 13,000 likes as of May 22. “However, the series also shows a huge dislike ratio with the social media audience,” Fiscina reports. “Those who already felt ‘betrayed’ by the CW’s rendition of the Archie comics in Riverdale are begging the young-skewing network not to ruin yet another beloved book (or how some users phrased it, ‘Don’t Riverdale this up.’)
Fans complained about the dark and sexualized versions of characters originally intended for child and pre-teen audiences. They also urged the network to gear more toward the source material—a smart, independent and upbeat Nancy Drew—and stay away from the usual ‘CW material.’ On the positive side, some users saw a Veronica Mars vibe in it and praised the strong female lead.”
The Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene is slated for midseason and only had a 20-second teaser for viewers to watch. The musical dramedy follows four Archie Comics characters as they chase their dreams in New York City. The teaser scored 727,000 views and the show attracted 53,000 followers on Instagram, 6,000 Likes on Facebook and almost 4,000 social media comments. Reviews were generally positive, with comparisons being drawn to Gossip Girl and The Carrie Diaries, “or even a ‘grown-up version of High School Musical,’” Fiscina says. “Overall, people seem hyped and intrigued by the glossy and fun vibe of the show. On a less positive note, the social media audience protested that Josie, another character from the Archie Comics that was recently taken off Riverdale, is introduced in Katy Keene as a side character. And they’re afraid of an early cancelation.”
Visit WorldScreen.com’s Fall Season Grid for all the details on the new and returning shows on the U.S. broadcast networks, and a listing of pickups by studio.