Check the batteries and affix your countdown clocks to your walls, there is now a date to circle on the calendar for the series premiere of The Flash and the season premiers for CW favorites like Arrow, Supernatural and The 100.
Starting off on Thursday October 2nd at 8PM, The Vampire Diaries returns for its sixth season, followed by the season 2 premiere of Reign. The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, gets its own season 2 premiere on Monday the 6th at 8PM - with The Flash and Supernatural airing their debuts back to back on Tuesday October 7th and Arrow starting its 3rd season the following night on Wednesday October 8th at 8PM. Jane the Virgin (October 1th) and The 100 (October 22nd) will debut later in October on Monday the 13th and Wednesday the 22nd respectively.
What's interesting about the CW's roll-out strategy, though, is the way that the network is supporting these debuts. Strategically scheduled encore presentations are not a new device, of course, but as the CW plans on whetting the appetites of Flash and Arrow fans by re-running both "The Scientist" and the "Three Ghosts" episodes of Arrow - both of which featured Barry Allen last season - on October 1st and series premiere episode of The Flash after the Arrow season premiere, it's worth wondering if such ploys are still necessary.
Yes, these re-airs (and the Supernatural "retrospective" that will air on October 6th) will get their fair share of viewers. That is still the point, but while it may sound like the hubris of a digital stream addict to say it, Arrow and Supernatural superfans aren't likely to gather around the ol' TV box to catch up on these shows when they will have already done their own re-watches through the summer (or binged key episodes in celebration of the coming season with help from Netflix, Hulu Plus and/or Amazon).
Despite this fresh and luxurious reality and a feeling that the very concept of re-runs - once the only option for starved summer TV viewers and those who were too busy to keep up with their favorite shows during the season - has become dated, there is still value in these airings for casual viewers who can't be bothered with binge viewing (and haven't yet climbed aboard the streaming bus). How much longer the network's account for those interests, though, is anyone's guess.
Re-runs are the ultimate in value programming for the networks in terms of cost right now and they are still a vital piece of the puzzle for cable channels as well. However, if fans stop watching these re-runs because they have embraced streaming re-watch options, that could surely change - and we could see a greater flood of cheap-to-produce original programming in the future, as a result. So, essentially, if you don't want to see three America's Next Top Model spinoffs on the air simultaneously, watch the CW's re-runs of Arrow and The Flash.
The CW's new fall season officially begins on October 2nd, 2014.