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CW will expand prime-time schedule to seven nights

Mondays are for game shows, while weekends will see a mixture of sports and movies.

Mondays are for game shows, while weekends will see a mixture of sports and movies.

The Penn & Teller: Fool Us FAST channel joins a growing list of linear streams available on the CW Network website. (Screen capture by The Desk)
The Penn & Teller: Fool Us FAST channel joins a growing list of linear streams available on the CW Network website. (Screen capture by The Desk)

Nexstar Media Group’s CW Network will expand its prime-time programming schedule to seven nights a week, starting with the fall line-up of scripted series, game shows and sports entertainment.

As part of the schedule revamp, Nexstar and the CW Network will debut a new prime-time game show block on Mondays, which will include shows franchised from the popular board game “Scrabble” and general knowledge competition “Trivial Pursuit.”

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) returns to the CW Network with “WWE NXT,” which will air Tuesday evenings from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Times).

Scripted series like “Sullivan’s Crossing,” “Superman & Lois,” “The Librarians: The Next Chapter” and “Joan” will pepper the CW Network’s prime-time schedule throughout the week. Friday nights will keep “Whose Line is it Anyway?” while debuting “Inside the NFL” at a new day and time.

Breaking from tradition, Inside the NFL won’t just offer a recap of the prior week’s games — it will also preview upcoming Sunday and Monday games airing on CBS, Fox and ESPN. The show typically aired on Tuesdays when it was offered by Paramount Plus, one day after the conclusion of the prior NFL week.

Saturdays will be reserved for sports on the CW Network, with live events from the AAC Conference, Pac-12 Conference and the debut of NASCAR Xfinity Series races. Other live sports events will also be offered throughout the season.

Sundays are reserved for movies, with the CW Network licensing blockbuster films. It will also debut a new documentary series called “I Am,” which will run in the CW Sunday Movie Night block reserved for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“The Fall 2024 season is another leap forward in the bold transformation of The CW Network, as we continue building a media brand with broadcast at its core,” Brad Schwartz, the President of Entertainment at the CW Network, said in a statement, noting that the network was “enjoying three consecutive quarters of growth.”

While the CW Network might be growing its audience, the broadcast outlet is still not earning a profit for Nexstar, which acquired a controlling 75 percent stake in the business from Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery two years ago.

Earlier this month, Nexstar executives affirmed the CW Network lost $50 million during the first three months of the year. It was better from the $89 million the CW Network cost Nexstar during the first three months of 2023. The network is still on track to lose $100 million in 2024.

That said, executives also project the CW Network will swing to profitability at some point in the calendar year, with the bulk of its losses occurring in the first half of 2024 as Nexstar shells out for sports rights and content licensing agreements. The broadcaster hopes to see a return on those investments in the second half of the year, which coincides with the debut of its now-announced fall schedule.

The CW Network also offers content through its own free, ad-supported streaming platform, and has recently introduced a few dozen linear content streams from its own library of shows as well as third party programmers like E. W. Scripps and FilmRise.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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