If I were a teacher and really grading the networks, The CW would be the network that messes up the curve.
How do you really grade a network that barely registers among the Nielsens?
THE GOOD: In terms of The CW, the launch of "The Vampire Diaries" qualifies as a success, finding a niche audience among the young viewers that advertisers covet. That's the same with most of the shows the CW has kept on the air, ranging from "Gossip Girl" to "90210," "Smallville" to "Supernatural." "Life Unexpected" didn't get great ratings, but got decent enough reviews and numbers to get picked up for another season.
THE BAD: A much-publicized relaunch of "Melrose Place" fizzled. None of the CW shows put up numbers that would register as a blip on any other network, including NBC.
OUTLOOK: The CW is sticking to the market that seems to be working for it, but it's hard to see it ever producing a show that would ever qualify as a mainstream success. But the most popular shows on the network do have a nice group of followers.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Who's one of the hottest stars in Hollywood? Why, it's Betty White, of course. White, who over the past year has starred in one of the top-grossing comedies of 2009 ("The Proposal") to hosting the highest-rated "Saturday Night Live" installment in well over a decade, now joins actresses Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Valerie Bertinelli for "Hot In Cleveland" (TVLand, 10 p.m.) the first sitcom the network has ever produced. White plays the landlady of the three women who realize they have a much better shot with men if they live in Cleveland than L.A.
CBS hosts the special "TV's Greatest Surprises" at 8 p.m., while Fox has two hours of "So You Think You Can Dance." NBC delivers a new "America's Got Talent" at 9 p.m.
At 10 p.m., ABC continues to burn off episodes of "Happy Town."
On cable, there's a new "In Plain Sight" (USA, 10 p.m.)
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