It's the most wonderful—and horrible—time of the year for TV fans (and, you know, showrunners, actors, etc.): renewal season.
The CW started the renewal game early, picking up The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and 90210 for the fall 2012-13 season. That leaves five shows, including Gossip Girl, Nikita and this season's three freshman series (Ringer, Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie), stressing over their fate until the network makes its final decision.
Now, it's time for you to play fantasy network president: Which CW shows would you bring back next season?
Gossip Girl: Considering the show's main cast (Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford) are all locked in for six seasons, we're expecting the network to renew the soap for a sixth and final season made up of only 13 episodes. The showrunners (minus Josh Safran who will be taking over showrunner duties on NBC's Smash) will have time to wrap up the storyline in the shortened season and the actors would still be available for pilot season.
Hart of Dixie: The CW charmer starring Rachel Bilson didn't get any help from a weak lead-in (Sorry, G.G., but you know it's true!), so it's no surprise that ratings haven't been all that great. Still, Hart of Dixie has developed a small but loyal online following and is well-liked by critics. What the show has working against it? Strong buzz for the network's medical drama pilot First Cut, starring Mamie Gummer and Justin Hartley.
Nikita: It's a darn shame that more people aren't tuning into the Friday-night drama, which is arguably the network's best and most well-liked shows (second to The Vampire Diaries). We're sure the CW is having a hard time deciding the fate of Nikita given the great acting, great writing and great, well, everything. Our bet? The Maggie Q starrer gets picked up for 13 episodes.
Ringer: Ringer was arguably the pilot with the most buzz going into the fall 2011-12 season, thanks in large part to the whole Sarah Michelle Gellar-returning-to-TV aspect of it all, but the soap failed to connect with viewers and critics in the beginning and soon became the lowest-rated show on the entire network. Ringer managed to hook some viewers late in the season, when it embraced the campiness of its world, but the fact that the CW aired its finale in April isn't exactly a good sign of faith. The bright side? Ringer came in third in our Save One Show poll, so yes, there is a fan base craving more twin shenanigans.
The Secret Circle: Chance Harbor's coven landed the CW's most sought-after time slot—the pimp slot, if you will (Thursdays at 9 p.m. after TVD)—and has the best ratings of the CW's three freshman series, but that's not exactly saying much. We actually think post-Vampire Diaries airings hurt the show, given that its targeting a much younger audience, so we think the show could possibly work well with 90210.