The CW Not Picking Up Critics Choice Awards Option, Open To Sharing Show With Partner

The CW Not Picking Up Critics Choice Awards Option, Open To Sharing Show With Partner

EXCLUSIVE: The 2025 Critics Choice Awards will not be airing exclusively on the CW. The broadcast network has opted not to renew the awards show’s current option for next year, sources tell Deadline. However, it is still possible to see the ceremony on the CW in 2025 as the network is looking for a path to continue to carry it, shared with another network or a streamer, I hear. There was a similar arrangement for the 2022 Critics Choice Awards, simulcast on the CW and TBS.

The Critics Choice Association, run by President Joey Berlin, is said to already be in conversations with potential new broadcast partners.

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After bouncing around various networks from 2001-2016 with stints on E!, the WB, VH1, the CW and A&E, the Critics Choice Awards returned to the CW in 2017 and had aired on the network ever since.

The news comes a couple of months after the 2024 Critics Choice Awards telecast on the CW rebounded a bit, up 14% from the record low 2023 viewership to just over 1 million viewers. In adults 18-49, this year’s ceremony, which faced a NFL Wild Card matchup, was up 50% vs. 2023.

Sharing the license fee with another platform would allow the CW to continue as the show’s longtime home at these linear audience levels while also complying with the now-independent network’s drive to trim costs in a push toward profitability.

The Critics Choice Awards is an outlier on the CW, the only non-sports live event on the network, which has been bulking up its live sports offerings since its October 2022 acquisition by Nexstar. Ahead of the CW’s 2023 upfront presentation, the network’s President of Entertainment Brad Schwartz praised the awards telecast.

“Creatively that show is something we’re very proud of,” he said, highlighting its star-studded guest list and Chelsea Handler’s performance as host. “We are really proud to be a part of it, and we’re excited to keep going.”

He did admit that live entertainment was not an area the network was dedicating resources to.

“We’re looking at lots of different live events, and I think we will do a few more like them. But, as we re-imagine and reinvent the CW, we need to focus more of our money on things that can bring people back week after week, things that can bring people back season after season,” he said. “And so, scripted and unscripted series is more where we should be placing our bets. Having said that, it is wonderful for us to be in the middle of the entertainment industry and host this amazing Critics Choice Awards.”