Shouldn’t Gossip Girl (and the CW’s Other Shows) Be Online by Now?

For the last five weeks of its freshman season, the CW discontinued posting its buzzy but largely unwatched series Gossip Girl online, as part of an effort to drum up its oldteevee viewer numbers. We newteevee watchers booed and hissed, hoping the ploy wouldn’t work and set an example for other networks. Ratings stayed low, but the series got renewed, and then over the summer, the CW said it would reverse its policy and post Gossip Girl online when it returned to the air in September.

But…It’s been nearly a week since the series’ sophomore debut, and episode 1 still isn’t online. Standard practice among the TV networks is to post shows online after they air in Hawaii; if not then, sometime soon the next day. A week is pushing it. We have to wonder if the CW is reneging on its reversal.

Furthermore, as far as I can tell, the CW hasn’t posted any episodes from its new season; what seems to be the most recent video in its full episode queue is an episode of Everybody Hates Chris that originally aired in May. Either the guy who loads new videos into the system quit last week, or there’s been an unacknowledged policy reversal. And this at a time when networks across the board are posting more and more of their shows for free, ad-supported streaming online, in some cases before they air on TV.

As for actual broadcast television, interpretations of Gossip Girl‘s season premiere’s ratings were mixed; on the one hand, the episode failed to top last season’s premiere, and it got beat by the CW’s 90210 revival the next night; on the other hand, it apparently did amazingly great with women aged 18 to 34. Meanwhile, Gossip Girl was promptly posted on iTunes after it aired. And nearly a week later, it still occupies the No. 1 slot. (The show has done well all along on iTunes, and probably since people actually pay $1.99 for it there the CW hasn’t messed with that success.) One Tree Hill is at No. 2, while 90210 doesn’t seem to have been posted at all.

We’ve tried to contact the CW’s press department through official means, but that hasn’t worked so far, so maybe blogging will do the trick. Hey CW, whatever happened to posting your shows online?