Pasadena, Calif. -- The CW is having a better season so far overall -- but not always in the traditional TV sense.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting on Sunday, Mark Pedowitz, president of the CW Network, said overall viewership grew in the fourth quarter of 2012 versus fourth-quarter 2011. But key 18-34 viewers and slightly older 18-49 viewers remained essentially flat.
Pedowitz said the network achieved one of its goals going into this current season -- to broaden the audience beyond young viewers 18-34 -- and in particular, young women viewers who have favored such shows as "Gossip Girl" and "90210." These results are partly due to more male-oriented successful shows, such as rookie drama "Arrow" -- but also because of another new show that in the end didn't do all that well.
"Part of the reason the audience aged somewhat was we did not expect that "Emily Owens" would skew as old as it did, and fact that we're not tracking on air on "Arrow" a younger audience," he said. The network's median age is now 41 years old.
But -- for the CW -- not everything is about traditional TV viewing. CW says it gained in its online viewing as well as video-on-demand airings. "We're up twice -- which means CWTV.com and Hulu. We're up twice the amount."
Pedowitz say 20% of the audience --- the total viewing audience -- is coming from online and streaming and VOD. "We look at everything, again, as one piece, not just overnight viewing."
But problems remain in these research areas. In regard to Nielsen, he says: "Most of the people you talk to in the 18-34 demo, particularly if they're college age -- they do not have TVs. They watch via their laptop or via their tablet or their mobile."
"Nielsen has not yet been able to successfully -- though they're trying with their online campaign ratings -- to capture that and make it part of your overall number in terms of what you give to the advertiser."
He adds: "So we've been able to monetize our online viewing in ways very different than anybody else. Nielsen needs to technologically catch up."