Gossip Girl (Poster)


Take that, Wall Street Journal.

On the same day the nation's leading business newspaper reported that time may be running out for the CW, the network went on to score its biggest second-biggest Monday night. Ever. In its two-year history. Among viewers named Ashley who like venti decafs, except on Fridays when they favor grande chais aged 18 to 34.

Well, anyway, it's something.

And, actually, the season finales of One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl needed no qualifications. Per the CW, they provided the network with its most-watched Monday of the season, and its best Monday performance in its aforementioned two-year history among prized young adults, aged 18-49.

But because the CW is committed to even-younger adults, it was the 18-34 stat that the network trumpeted above all today.

Yesterday, it was the Wall Street Journal reporting that advertisers had "cooled" on the network, that "at least" one of its owners was ready to bail, and that next season could be its last.

The CW, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros., which was formed out of the demise of the WB and UPN, launched in the fall of 2006. Though it was formed by addition, the math hasn't added up for the CW. Instead of pooling the WB's and UPN's audiences, it essentially lost one of them. Where the WB and UPN were drawing a combined 6 million viewers in their final season, the CW averaged about 3 million in its first season.

With just days to go in this season, the CW is down to 2.6 million. And it's losing, not gaining, ground among 18- to 34-year-olds.

Next season, the CW will go with its most narrowly focused, cable-esque lineup yet, zeroing in on young females, aged 18-34, with its Beverly Hills 90210 update, and returning shows such as Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and America's Next Top Model. Overall, it'll program five nights a week, having originally spurned Saturdays, and having recently turned Sundays over to an outside company.

In the Journal, CBS and Warners execs didn't sound thrilled with the CW's struggles, but they didn't sound any direct threats, either.

If nothing else, the CW will always have Monday. Gossip Girl averaged an estimated 3 million viewers, way up over its season average. One Tree Hill also closed strong, with an estimated 3.2 million.

It'll also have Sunday's New York Times, which published a think piece on Gossip Girl.

Memo to Serena and pals: Renew Times; cancel Journal.

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