It’s not a secret that “Hart of Dixie” is on life support. The show has returned to the CW for Season 4, but it isn’t pulling in great numbers on Friday nights. However, the CW may realize that the series' dedicated fan base would follow the show to a summer timeslot. A move to summer could mean a “Hart of Dixie” Season 5 renewal.
While last season of "Hart of Dixie" averaged just under a million viewers, this season is averaging a little over a million viewers. Still, an extra 500,000 pairs of eyes isn’t going to save “Hart of Dixie” from being canceled, at least not in the regular schedule. The CW could very well decide to move it to the summer, much like “Beauty and the Beast,” Zap2It suggests. We looked at the evidence, and it actually seems like a pretty good argument can be made for a "Hart of Dixie" renewal if it moved to mid-year.
The network recently renewed “Beauty and the Beast” for Season 4 ahead of its Season 3 premiere. When rumors first surfaced of its possible renewal, fans initially held their excitement. After all, the show had very low ratings. The Season 2 finale had even been written to function as a series finale, if necessary. With only 763,000 viewers tuning in for the finale, the CW still brought it back for a short third season. Fans thought that the low numbers and small episode order meant that Season 3 would be the “Beauty and the Beast” swan song. Yet, it seems the network is willing to accept lower ratings on summer programming.
Renewing “Beauty and the Beast” before Season 3 even premieres seems to indicate that the CW is looking for more shows to air during the summer months. The Beasties who are dedicated to “BATB” will follow it no matter what timeslot it’s in, and moving an established show to a different time of year might be easier than trying to launch a brand new one.
The network could easily follow the same path for “Hart of Dixie.” While the show’s ratings have declined since its premiere in 2011, they have stayed relatively steady over Season 4 on Friday nights. There are clearly fans that still wants to watch Zoe (Rachel Bilson) and Wade's (Wilson Bethel) romance play out on screen.
The CW has not made a decision regarding the future of “Dixie.” Actors have voiced concerns that they won’t return for Season 5, and creator Leila Gerstein seemed to echo that worry when she recently spoke about the “Hart of Dixie” Season 4 finale.
“I will say that there is a lot of closure in the season finale and there is a definite feeling of celebration at the end of the season,” Gerstein told E! Online. “But there are also certainly doors left open for the future!”
That sounds a lot like what the “Beauty and the Beast” writers did for the Season 2 finale. Fans will just have to wait and see if “Hart of Dixie” is lucky enough to have the same fate.
“Hart of Dixie” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST on the CW. "Beauty and the Beast” Season 3 premieres Thursday, May 21, at 8 p.m. EST on the CW. Do you think “Hart of Dixie” could move to the summer schedule? Sound off in the comments section below!