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Happy 10th Birthday The CW! A Look at Ten of Its Greatest Series

Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Executive Stage Editor

Today marks the 10th anniversary of The CW! Over its ten year history it has transformed itself from a perceived “teen network” into a heavy hitter on TV. Producing numerous hit TV shows, introducing fans to fresh faced actors and earning awards across the board, The CW has solidified its rank amongst the best.

Resident CW reporter, Nora Dominick, lists her top ten CW shows to celebrate the massive 10th anniversary of the network!

Check out the full list below!

10. Smallville

Tom Welling in Smallville. Photo Credit: The CW
Tom Welling in Smallville. Photo Credit: The CW

Following a pre-Superman Clark Kent (Tom Welling), Smallville burst onto the scene in 2001 and quickly became a fan favorite. The show featured Clark Kent dealing with the same every day issues we face day to day. With ten seasons under its belt, Smallville survived the change from The WB to The CW and became a precursor to the superhero TV we enjoy today.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Photo Credit: The CW
The cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Photo Credit: The CW

A new hit for The CW, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has redefined comedy on TV. From the hilarious original music week after week to Rachel Bloom’s outstanding comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has become a heavy hitter for The CW. Starring Bloom, Santino Fontana, Vincent Rodriguez III and a whole cast of supporting characters the show thrives on self aware comedy and some pretty spectacular musical numbers. If you aren’t watching it, what are you waiting for?

8. Veronica Mars

Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars. Photo Credit: The CW
Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars. Photo Credit: The CW

If you want to see Kristen Bell totally slay a TV show, Veronica Mars is here for you! Bell gives a beautiful, vulnerable and witty performance as the titular character. Although the show had some weak seasons, the utterly perfect first season is one to come back too. The interesting cases week to week kept fans wanting more and even allowed the show to crowd fund a final movie. Like Smallville the show also survived the switch to The CW in 2006.

7. Gossip Girl

Leighton Meester and Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. Photo Credit: The CW
Leighton Meester and Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. Photo Credit: The CW

A staple amongst teen programing, Gossip Girl remains a classic teen drama fans come back to again and again. The hit drama began airing in 2007 and gave fans six seasons of high class mischief and mystery set in the Upper East Side of New York City. From envying Serena van der Woodsen’s (Blake Lively) wardrobe to constantly quoting Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and fighting over Chuck (Ed Westwick), Nate (Chace Crawford) and Dan (Penn Badgley), Gossip Girl continues to grab hold of new and old fans.

6. The Vampire Diaries

Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder in The Vampire Diaries. Photo Credit: The CW
Paul Wesley, Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder in The Vampire Diaries. Photo Credit: The CW

In the pre-superhero era of The CW, The Vampire Diaries soared on the network. Not only did the show basically define “a love triangle” (Team Damon or Team Stefan?) it also helped launch The CW into the massive network it’s today. Starring Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev and Paul WesleyThe Vampire Diaries launched on the heals of the vampire craze and only got bigger. Now entering its final season, it’s time to say goodbye to a show that is basically a synonym for The CW.

5. Jane the Virgin

The cast of Jane the Virgin. Photo Credit: The CW
The cast of Jane the Virgin. Photo Credit: The CW

For someone who thrives in superhero TV, my biggest surprise is my absolute love for Jane the Virgin. Now entering its third season, Jane the Virgin remains a beautiful, witty and refreshing TV show for The CW. The hit show also earned The CW its first major award when Gina Rodriguez won a 2015 Golden Globe for her role. On the surface the premise and pure nature of being a telenovela seems ridiculous, but the superb writing, extraordinary cast and parody propels Jane the Virgin to a must watch CW show.

4. Gilmore Girls

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in Gilmore Girls. Photo Credit: The WB
Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in Gilmore Girls. Photo Credit: The WB

A universally beloved show, Gilmore Girls continues to pull new and old fans in as they travel back to Stars Hollow again and again. Although the show only had one season on The CW (it’s 7th and arguably worst season), Gilmore Girls still makes the cut for a great CW shows. Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) continue to be the benchmark for mother/daughter relationships on TV and that will never change. With the Netflix revival rapidly approaching it’s no wonder fans can’t stop drinking coffee, talking fast and loving Gilmore Girls.

3. Arrow  and The Flash

Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell in The Flash episode "Legends of Today." Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell in The Flash episode “Legends of Today.” Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Arrow leading into The Flash helped usher in the extreme success of The CW in recent years. Starting with Arrow in 2012 and then leading into The Flash and other DC TV shows, The CW has solidified its rank amongst great TV networks. With Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin leading the charge, these two shows have accomplished so much and continue to help grow The CW. With Arrow approaching its 100th episode and a major four part crossover slated, it’s no wonder The CW is the network for superhero TV and it’s all thanks to Arrow and The Flash.

2.  One Tree Hill

The cast of One Tree Hill. Photo Credit: The WB/The CW
The cast of One Tree Hill. Photo Credit: The WB/The CW

One of the longest and most beloved TV series on The CW, One Tree Hill continues to have a fiercely loyal fanbase and remains a classic CW show. Presented as a teen drama, One Tree Hill evolved into so much more. The hit show gave fans characters like Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush), Haley James Scott (Bethany Joy Lenz), Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton) and of course, The Scott Brothers, Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan (James Lafferty). From poignant episodes like the infamous school shooting to more car crashes than I can count, One Tree Hill remains one of the best teen dramas from The CW.

1. Supernatural

The cast of Supernatural. Photo Credit: The CW
The cast of Supernatural. Photo Credit: The CW

The most successful and devoted TV show in The CW’s ten year history, Supernatural is one of the greatest shows the network has produced. Starting on The WB and making the jump to The CW, Supernatural is the longest running show for either network. Now entering its record breaking 12th season, Supernatural follows The Winchester Brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), who follow in their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings. Over eleven seasons, Supernatural has garnered a devoted and loyal fanbase. Fronted by Ackles and Padalecki, Supernatural remains a huge feat for the network and continues to grow its fandom. As long as the Winchesters want to hop in the car and ride, we’ll be right there with them.

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2 Comments

  1. Arrow post season 2 has no business being on this list. It was once a thing of greatness – now it isn’t even very good at the genre it aspires to be (soap opera.)

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