The CW. Where the goal is to standout, because they’re lost in the mix bad enough. Oh, I kid. To be honest, it’s been a good year. They are now a two hit network, as opposed to a one hit network. So, will any of these new pilots add to that? Maybe. After all, they really don’t have to try that hard to catch NBC.
Since the entire slate is dramas, that makes categorizing easy!
Frontrunners: The Originals, The Tomorrow People
The backdoor pilot for The Originals was filmed weeks ago, and it’s ready to air as a Vampire Diaries episode this Thurday, April 25th. The CW is doing a ton of promotion, because the brass loves it. It’s going to take a massive public outcry of epic proportions, using the rally cry “Do…not…want!” in order for this not to make the fall schedule. I’m just going off of the scenes between Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah in last week’s episode and I’ve got goosebumps. I really hope The CW is right about this one, because fan expectations right now are super high.
The Tomorrow People is a different story in that the pilot filmed a little late, but early returns from the pilot has everyone super enthusiastic. Those that have seen the script say it’s brilliant, and having Julie Plec and Greg Berlanti tied to the project, two CW superstars on a winning streak, doesn’t hurt!
Strong, but no longer a frontrunner: The Hundred.
As to why this show has supposedly dropped in stock, assuming it has, it’s probably because it was one of the first pilots done and others are coming in. I still think it has a good chance at pickup. The problem is, where does it fit on the schedule? Is it possible that they’re too heavy on supernatural themed pilots? That’s probably where the hang up is right now, and that’s likely always been the hang up.
Remaining strong: Oxygen
This one is in contention for two reasons. It’s good. Two, it’s from CBS Television Studios. It’s all about balance in this half owned Warner Brothers, half owned CBS network, even if the scales are tipping in WB’s favor these days. The three renewed shows were Warner Brothers. The three main frontrunners are Warner Brothers. Three of the four bubble shows are Warner Brothers. See a trend? I do imagine this show will earn a slot somehow just for more balance.
Getting buzz for some strange reason: Reign
I’m really not sure why we’re hearing a lot about this one. I get the network’s desire to go high concept, and thanks to shows like Game of Thrones period pieces are in, but this would be a strange oddball in the already screwy CW lineup. But this is also CBS Television Studios, so it goes back to that balance thing. I still say if this one flies, it’s this season’s Cult and gets shuffled around midseason until it ultimately dies.
I said it here first, it’s dead: The Selection
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If you fail a second time, quit and get drunk. This remade pilot is an improvement over last year, but it still isn’t as good as the pilots listed above. There is mass disappointment with this one, despite the network’s strong desire to make it work. Plus, it’s Warner Brothers, where a pickup of this one would just tip the scales.
No word at all, which is never a good sign: Blink.
This pilot filmed in Vancouver in early March, and not a peep has come back about it. The script was blasted by many to be the weakest of the bunch. Me thinks this is one of the losers for CBS Television Studios.
Too early to tell: Company Town.
The pilot was only shot a few weeks ago, so no doubt it’s still in post production. It’s another CBS Television Studios project, but this is a straight up character drama. Will it fit in this dominant supernatural lineup? That’s a hard one to say. It would add some diversity, but what show would you pair it with? Hart of Dixie is the only one I can think of, and that show is really light compared to the heavy drama this one brings.
The 2013 – 2014 Fantasy Schedule
I was going to wait until the next installment to do this, but hey, it’s The CW, where only 10 hours has to be figured. I’m feeling cheeky. In reviewing this schedule please note, I don’t give a damn about reality. The CW has been using its reality slate for summer and midseason break filler anyway. So you won’t see any reality figured into my static schedule.
Here’s the scorecard:
Renewed: The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural.
On The Bubble: Hart of Dixie, Nikita, Beauty and The Beast, The Carrie Diaries
Gone: 90210, Cult
I’m predicting all of the bubble shows get picked up. Hart of Dixie, Beauty and The Beast, and The Carrie Diaries do very well online, which actually matters for The CW. I say the first two get full season orders, and The Carrie Diaries gets another 13 episode order. Nikita does wonderful internationally, but this will be its last season. I say it’s getting a full season pickup, unlike the rumors of a 13 episode run. More episodes to sell, more money for parent Warner Brothers.
Wednesday night is the only night that’s completely stable. It’s the CW’s number one night. Mondays and Tuesdays are going to carry most of the new programming load. Fridays will likely take on bubble shows with those devoted online bases.
With the limited knowledge we have on pilots right now, I’m working in The Originals, The Tomorrow People, Oxygen, The Hundred, and Reign. I’m not counting out Company Town, it’s just where would that fit in on this schedule? Midseason? I don’t see The CW picking up 6 pilots and all four of its bubble shows, even if they might have the slots.
8 pm – Hart of Dixie
9 pm – Oxygen
8 pm – The Tomorrow People
9 pm – The Hundred (Time slots clearly interchangeable)
8 pm – Arrow
9 pm – Supernatural
8 pm – The Vampire Diaries
9 pm – The Originals
8 pm – Nikita
9 pm – Beauty and The Beast
Midseason: The Carrie Diaries, Reign
Okay fantasy schedulers, your turn! Which pilots do you think or would you like to see make it?