The CW might not pull as many overall viewers as the other broadcast networks, but what it lacks in numbers, it makes up for in youthful enthusiasm and, more recently, some of the best genre programming anywhere on television. But when the network launched 13 years ago, it’s unlikely that anyone would have come close to guessing that fact at the time. (And you know what? Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong.) So we’re taking the time to recognize all of the game-changing dramas (and, unavoidably, the forgettable ones) in this ranking of every CW drama to ever air.
Before we begin, a few qualifiers: Shows that also aired on The WB or UPN are judged only based on the seasons that aired on The CW. (This affects the rankings for Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls, for example, which both aired only their final season on The CW.) Also, this list includes only dramas, which means no America’s Next Top Model, no Everybody Hates Chris, and no Jane the Virgin or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which The CW classifies as comedies.
Finally, the importance of a TV show within the history of The CW and the development of network television in general over the past decade will be taken into account. You have been warned, fans of “Shows That Are Kind Of Awesome, But Indistinguishable From Larger TV Trends.”
Let the definitive ranking of the best and worst of the CW’s many dramas begin…