If you’ve recently realized that your guilty television pleasures run to shows such as Supernatural, Nikita and The Vampire Diaries, then congratulations: You’re a fan of the CW network. And thanks to a new deal announced yesterday, it’s going to be easier than ever to catch up with your favorite shows starting later this month, when they show up on Netflix Instant.
Netflix has licensed scripted shows running on the CW in a four-year deal that extends four years after each show ends its original broadcast run (if 90210 gets cancelled this year, Netflix has it for another four years; if it continues until 2015, Netflix can stream it until 2019). It’s a deal that may be worth as much as $1 billion to the network, reports Deadline.
Previous seasons of the shows will be added to Netflix in stages; The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Nikita will debut October 15, with Supernatural and 90210 being added at some point in January. Episodes currently airing will be added next fall, and shows debuting on air in the future will make their Netflix bow after what’s being called “a commensurate window” of time.
“This is a forward-thinking agreement for a network whose programming occupies a unique space in the content marketplace,” President & CEO of CW parent company CBS, Leslie Moonves, is quoted as saying in the official announcement, adding “It is a model that opens a new door for The CW programming to expand its audience reach through the terrific Netflix service, and creates a brand-new window for CBS and Warner Bros. to be paid for the content we supply the network.”
That last line is perhaps the most telling: Moonves has previously been very skeptical of adding CBS-owned content to either Hulu or Netflix without appropriate remuneration. This may signal a change of heart—or, perhaps, simply a raise in the amount being offered to content providers.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.