This is the fun time of year for TV bloggers. Okay, perhaps just Sablegreen and myself. Aside from the fact that we’re on the cusp of shows coming across the latter (and usually most explosive if not head-scratching) parts of their seasons, it’s when TV ratings aficionados like to do a “death watch” so to speak on shows that just aren’t living up to potential while trying to understand what pilots will be the second coming of “The Vampire Diaries.”
We do take a vested interest in The CW! Call it being a glutton for punishment. Or maybe it’s easier because they only program ten hours a week and have no half hour long shows. It’s primarily though because our top show Supernatural is on it.
The scorecard is very easy so far. One show has been renewed for the fall, America’s Next Top Model. So that leaves nine slots available, at least for fall.
Up first, Sablegreen’s analysis. The next page, my analysis. Who will be right? Probably neither of us, except for the perception that this network is sinking faster than the Titanic. If anything, it’s a fun time killer while The CW currently reruns most of its prime slots and won’t have upfronts into May.
Before we start, let’s take a quick look at the pilots ordered by The CW. There are 8 of them, more than any other year. A big thanks to Sablegreen who put this list together.
Stephen Amell (Hung) stars as DC superhero Green Arrow in this modern retelling of the legendary archer’s adventures. Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters’) and Marc Guggenheim will executive-produce with TVD Andrew Kreisberg. Katie Cassidy (Gossip Girl, SPN Harper’s Island) is to star as the Black Canary. Willa Holland, David Ramsey, Colin Donnell and Susanna Thompson will also star. Berlanti, Guggenheim, and Kreisberg penned the pilot, which “Smallville” vet David Nutter directed.
After a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, an inquisitive, young female production assistant Skye, played by Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place) on a wildly popular television show called Cult joins a journalist blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. Rockne O’Bannon (Farscape) will write and executive-produce alongside Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Len Goldstein. Robert Knepper (Prison Break, Heroes) will co-star playing actor Roger Reeves. Off-screen Roger is an affable, working actor; on screen he portrays the charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm on the show-within-a-show. Billy is a charismatic madman who commands his own cult of followers willing to do anything Billy asks of them — including kidnapping and murder. Alona Tal (SPN) will also star. The project is from Warner Bros TV and Fake Empire.
Little history of the series. “Cult” was first ordered years ago by WB and then stopped production when WB and UPN merged to become the CW. One of the first things the new CW management, i.e. Dawn Ostroff, did when they started making programming was to dumped “Cult.”Dawn Ostroff, has now been replaced by former ABC exec Mark Pedowitz. And the first scripted pilot order he ordered was, you guessed it, “Cult.” Sure does seem like the rumors that Mark P. wants to eliminate all things of Dawn Ostroff is true!
Mark Pedowitz and Warner Bros TV also have a special attachment for each other so; I’m guessing this is a good for the 2012-2013 series. It’s sure one I like.
The series is a “dramedy” about a group of new doctors who discover that, sadly and comically, life in the hospital is no different than high school. Jennie Snyder Urman (Gilmore Girls’) will write and executive-produce with Dan Jinks (Pushing Daisies’). Michael Rady (Melrose) plays Micah, the resident who oversees the new gang of medical interns and Kelly McCreary (White Collar) will star in the role of Tyra.
The show is based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass. It is best described as “The Bachelorette” meets “The Hunger Games” and it is an ‘epic romance set 300 years in the future.’ Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights, 90210) has been cast in the lead role as “America,” The character, “a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition”, is set to become queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads. The story follows her search for a husband, but America finds herself in love with a young man of a lower class than her own, who goes by the name of Aspen. Elizabeth Craft (TVD) and Sarah Fain will write and executive-produce.
“The Carrie Diaries”
The series is based on the novel by Candace Bushnell about a younger Carrie Bradshaw stepping into the limelight as she comes of age in the ’80s, and begins asking her first questions about love, sex, friendship and family while exploring the worlds of high school and Manhattan. Bushnell will executive-produce alongside Gossip Girl duo Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Amy Harris (Sex and the City) will write. Stefania Owen will co-star.
“Beauty and the Beast”
Loosely based on the 1987 CBS series about an ADA and a noble man-beast who make a connection. The updated love story includes a procedural twist. Jennifer Levin (Felicity) and Sherri Cooper (Brother & Sisters’) will write and executive-produce. Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) will star as the Beauty. Austin Basis will also star.
In this time-travel musical based on the Israeli series “Danny Hollywood”, a documentary filmmaker travels back to the 1990s, where she meets and falls in love with the rock star who is the subject of her film. When she unexpectedly returns to the present, she must find her way back to the past to reunite with him and prevent his untimely death. Mark Harmon (NCIS) executive-produces with Kim and Eric Tannenbaum. Bert Royal (Easy A) wrote the script.
The new and returning staff at a historic New England summer resort attends to the needs of the guests while navigating their own friendships, rivalries and romances. J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alcatraz) and Bryan Burk will executive-produce. Mark Schwahn (One Tree Hill) wrote the script.
Renewed: America’s Next Top Model
Cancelled: One Tree Hill, Remodeled
Rumored 100%: 90210, TVD and Gossip Girl.
Relatively safe: SPN
On the bubble: Hart of Dixie, Nikita, Ringer, and The Secret Circle.
Their fates will likely depend on how many new shows CW picks up. Nikita producers were told they may be given a decision early so they can write a series finale arc in the final episodes.
How many shows CW cancels really depends on how many they can afford to pick up. I read if they picked up 4 or more, WB and CBS would have to put more money into the network and nobody knows if they are willing to do that. If you go by ratings Nikita, Ringer, HoD and GG should go. Of course TVD is going to stay no matter what.
With the CW airing various shows in different time slots, they may be trying to either see if the shows will do better at different times or just try to increase viewers before making their final cuts. Nikita is not being aired except for its own slot so I think it’s a goner, and should have been cancelled last year. Terrible lead in for SPN.
I really can’t see HoD doing any better in any time no matter what, so I’d list that as cancelled too. And moving SPN would be terrible for the show. It can look good on Fridays because the viewing audience is not expected to be good, but would really be bad on any other day unless they put it after TVD again, though it lost viewers in that slot too. Last year I thought it would be good on Tuesdays with TSC as a lead in, but now with just over 1.5mil live, nope…
I don’t know anything about 90210, so if most feel it’s safe than okay. Gossip Girl’s ratings are terrible and the cast has only 1 year left on their contracts and don’t seem interested in continuing after that, but they supposedly have a (relatively) high demo of high-income households who watch the series so CW makes lots of money on ads for the show. With viewers around a million per episode, doesn’t seem like a good place for advertisers to spend their money but I guess they are committed to the series for another year. So it stays.
That leaves TSC, Ringer in question. I think if the CW can only pick up 3 pilots both will stay. If they can pick up 4, Ringer will be cancelled. If they pick up 5, it will be a tossup between TSC and SPN, *if* the CW is hell-bent on keeping GG. SPN does well in its Friday slot and both leads have already agreed to keep going. But there is an age issue for the show, and only having 1.5mil viewers is not good and *live* viewers are the stats that count, not Live+7day. Live+7day shows how much real interest is in the show and that it might be better on another day, but I just think moving SPN would be a bad option. Each new episode will make more revenue for WB in syndication which is a good reason to keep it going least for 1 more year. WB is part owner of CW after all.
TSC is not doing as well as SPN but if it was moved to Friday it wouldn’t matter. Cancelling TSC and keeping GG would be a mistake as TSC is a young show, has cast contracted for years and has better ratings than GG, and, as CW shows go, is not doing too bad. My choice would be to cancel GG, keep TSC and SPN and move both to Fridays.
If Mark P wants to cull Dawn O’s shows, he’ll pick up 5 pilots this year, but a safe bet is he will pick 3.
Canceled: Nikita, Hart of Dixie, and possible Ringer and GG.
Renewed: SPN, TSC, 90210, and possible Ringer and GG
My picks for pilots:
I like “Arrow” and “Cult.” DC comic characters have always done pretty well and I am a fan of the Green Arrow. I think it will get picked up. “Cult” sounds like a weekly murder mystery with a psychotic actor which is intriguing. As it belongs to WB and with the history of it, I suspect it will get picked up too. I’d watch both of them.
“First Cut” sounds like ‘doctor’s go back to high school’ which doesn’t interest me at all. There are so many medical shows that have been on and most are drying up…good example is :House.” Besides the CW just had a medically based series that bombed so this is not high on my list and hopefully not on theirs.
“The Selection” and “The Carrie Diaries” are both aimed at YA and I think would do well. “The Selection” especially seems very similar to TVD and would be a good series to follow it on Thursdays. Also being written and produced by TVD alum Elizabeth Craft won’t hurt its chances either. “The Carrie Diaries” sounds like a good replacement for GG and has the duo Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage from GG to produce.
“Beauty and the Beast” has always been a legendary love story and the series in 1987 with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton was no exception. This rendition is supposed to have a twist, but I just can’t see it being as good as the 1987 version or finding a large audience on the CW. Not one I’d pick.
“Joey Dakota” seems to be a sci-fi version of “Glee” and that might do well on CW. Not one I’d want to see. And “Shelter” sounds like another GG and I just can’t see J.J. Abrams doing something like that well.
So I guess I’d pick up 5: “Arrow”, “Cult”, “The Selection” “The Carrie Diaries,” and “Joey Dakota” in that order.
I’d place the shows as follows.
Monday: 90210, GG or The Carrie Diaries
I’d move 90210 to Mondays to free up Tuesday to be and all action/Sci-fi night.
Tuesday: Arrow, Cult
Wednesday: Ringer or Joey Dakota, ANTM.
Thursday: TVD, The Selection
Friday: TSC, SPN.