Reaper: Does the CW Want to Cancel the Supernatural TV Show?

ReaperA couple months ago, the CW announced that Reaper would return for season two on March 17th at 9pm. They’ve now announced that the show will return even earlier, on March 3rd at 8pm. Great news, right? Nope. More than likely it’s a nail in the show’s coffin. Does Reaper have a chance in hell of getting a third year?

Reaper centers around Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison), a slacker who works at a home-repair superstore alongside friends Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez). Sam’s life gets turned upside down on his 21st birthday when he learns that, years ago, his parents sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise). As a result, he has to work as a bounty hunter to recapture evil souls and send them back to Hell. This puts a serious crimp in his efforts to date his crush, Andi (Missy Peregrym), and live a normal life. Others in the series include Andrew Airlie, Donavon Stinson, Valarie Rae Miller, Christine Willes, Allison Hossack, Ken Marino, Jessica Stroup, Colby Johannson, Michael Ian Black, Kandyse McClure, and Eriko Tamura.

The supernatural comedy was one of the most anticipated new shows of the 2007-08 season and debuted on September 25, 2007. It attracted 3.28 million viewers and a 1.5/3 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. For the fledgling CW network, those numbers were quite good. The second episode fell to 2.86 million and a 1.3/3 in the demo. Reaper’s ratings averaged 2.6 million viewers for the season with a low of 2.08 million and a 0.9/2 rating/share.

Sign a petitionBased on the numbers, it was no surprise that Reaper was on the edge of being cancelled. But, last Spring the show was renewed — albeit for just 13 episodes beginning midseason. Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely that the show will return for a third year. Why? For a couple reasons.

First of all, by the time March 3rd rolls around, Reaper will have been off the air for over nine months. The show’s ratings were pretty shaky last season and, since it’s been off the air for so long, it’s likely that many will forget to tune in or just choose to skip it. Remember, ABC tried a similar strategy with shows like Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies. That turned out to be a disaster. Many of those shows’ casual viewers forgot about them and they were cancelled before the end of 2008.

Should Reaper be given a different timeslot?

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Secondly, because of American Idol and 90210. As you may have noticed, ratings-starved CW has been pouring a lot of resources into making 90210 a success. The drama certainly hasn’t measured up but they’re still banking that its audience will grow. They’re even developing a remake of the original series’ spin-off, Melrose Place, which will likely lend itself for a lot of cross promotion opportunities.

For the past few Tuesdays, 90210 has been airing opposite FOX’s Idol and has been getting completely hammered in the ratings. When given the choice, the vast majority of the CW’s targeted demographic prefer to watch the reality competition and leave 90210 in the dust. The more often that that happens, the more likely it is that those viewers will give up on the teen drama.

To stop that from happening, the CW execs have decided to shift 90210 to Tuesdays at 9pm. It won’t be airing opposite Idol any longer and they’re likely hoping that young viewers will watch Idol and then switch to 90210. Unfortunately, they’ve also moved Reaper into 90210’s old timeslot, essentially ensuring that no one will be watching the supernatural comedy.

So, Reaper’s audience was dwindling at the end of last season, it’s been off the air for nine months, and now, it’s being pitted against the ratings juggernaut known as Idol. Could the show’s odds be any worse? For whatever reason, CW has set the show up for failure. Do they regret renewing it?

If Reaper’s going to survive long enough to get a third season, the show is going to need some serious divine intervention.

Canceled and renewed TV show

13 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Thomaas says

    Thats sad that CW doesnt like good shows. All they see are ratings and the dollar, They dont see good shows or creativity of the such. This is why I am glad that Heroes is on NBC or it would get cancelled too no doubt.

    I never watch TV all that much anyway. Just Smallville Reaper and Supernatural and Heroes. I even watch Life ocaasionally because of the life-like characters and really good humor.

    If it gets cancelled then Ill hate CW forever.

  2. PK says

    I just hope Reaper gets a chance. It’s not cool that they would just let it slide, but even sabotage it so it fails.

    I wish I had tons of money right now. I would definitely use it to keep great shows (like this and Kyle XY) going for years. The hell with profits, we just want good entertainment!

  3. Justin says

    Breaking news! Network incompetence kills brilliant show!

    Bah, the CW deserves to fall apart. I just hope they let Supernatural finish.

  4. MDL says

    I had never seen this show before until my brother picked up the Season 1 DVD set. I am now hooked on the show and would be devastated if they cancel the show. This show is like a better version of Friends, and way more interesting to watch than another season of American Idle.

    I stopped watching AI after the second season. It’s the same stuff every year, just different contestants. I think it’s the same for all the reality shows out there. We’ve all seen enough. Shows like the “Reaper” are creative and interesting on a different level. A level that has been missing from TV for a while now.

    CW, DON”T CANCEL THE SHOW! If you do, at least let the actors finish season 3 and release it to DVD. I’ll buy it.

  5. Yasmine says

    Come on, if they get rid of supernatural then television as we know it is over. They need to keep in mind the masses that don’t watch the show on an actual TV. Thousands across the world download them via online torrents. These television companies need to start thinking smart to keep the viewers happy and also make a profit.

    One suggestion, create an online streaming site so that people all over the world can watch the shows as soon as they air. There is obviously a lot to think about such as licensing etc, but these networks need to get with the times, technology has evolved so much that it affects the entertainment market WE KNOW!

    But don’t cancel the shows, repesct the people actually tuning in to watch these bloody shows.

  6. guy says

    keep reaper going. play it on saterdays, nothing on but repeats anyway. and they all suck. so keep reaper going, it reminds me of the comedy version of brimstone, which they took off also, another good program gone, yet they keep the simpson, family guy,

  7. Jim says

    I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan, and love this show. At least it won’t oppose The Mentalist anymore. I have NEVER watched Idol and couldn’t care less about who follows in Kelly, Just in and Ruben’s footsteps next. Now all we need are 4 million more. The real down side is that this puts it up against NCIS.

  8. MK says

    As a 40 year old female fan still grieving the loss of Daisies, Eli Stone and Kyle XY I cannot believe that yet ANOTHER show that I love is likely to go away. Fer cry-eye! Why don’t they pair Reaper with Supernatural?

    I know why they currently pair it with Smallville, but Smallville has more in common with these crappy 80s retreads like 90210 than with Supernatural (and I say that as someone who watches Smallville). Apparently programmers want to drive away any viewer who appreciates quirky, creative, new or different. Well, fine. Thank heavens the BBC still makes Dr Who and Torchwood and that LOST has one season left after this one.

  9. says

    Actually the show was gaining viewers at the end of the season, and let’s hope we can get some positive buzz going for the early start of Season Two. I know what you’re saying, it doesn’t look good, but at least we can hope that the CW doesn’t have much else going, so will at least stick with Reaper for the whole run of Season Two and give us a chance to keep promoting the show to new viewers! Thanks for your support for the show, anyway!

  10. says

    Not to defend those idiots at the CW who have completely mishandled this show, but I believe the thinking was that 90210 and AI tend to attract the same young mostly female viewer, whereas Reaper skews slightly older and slightly more male. The idea is that Reaper won’t lose as many viewers to AI as 90210 would. While I admit that the network has treated this most excellent show horribly and has failed to promote it, I also think Reaper stands a better chance against AI than it did in its former 9pm time slot against other sci-fi, genre and procedural shows that attract the same demo. This may be a blessing in disguise.

    Anyone out there who is curious to check out Reaper should do so and record AI if they must. AI is better seen with a fast forward ability anyway, while Reaper should be experienced live. Reaper season two is going to be excellent. More talk on this topic can be found at

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