Upfronts 2011: CW Adds Four New Series to Fall Primetime Schedule
Network will use established series to launch freshmen dramas
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/19/2011 9:00:59 AMClick here for complete coverage of the 2011 upfronts
The CW ordered four new series for the fall TV season -- three dramas and one reality show -- and scheduled returning One Tree Hill and two more alternative series for midseason, according to the schedule network executives announced May 19.
The schedule reflects new CW President Mark Pedowitz's priority to feature more original programming season-long. All three new dramas will air at 9 to benefit from the lead-out of an established series. Gossip Girl moves back an hour on Mondays to launch Hart of Dixie, 90210 shifts up at night to lead into Ringer on Tuesdays, and The Secret Circle will follow The CW's highest-rated series, The Vampire Diaries, on Thursdays.
The common themes in a couple of the new series lent well to the piggyback scheduling. Medical dramedy Hart of Dixie is from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, executive producers of Gossip Girl. The series stars Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) as a fish-out-of-water New York doctor who inherits a small medical practice in Alabama.
Secret Circle is also a perfect companion to Vampire Diaries -- both are based on book series by L.J. Smith and executive produced by Kevin Williamson. Secret Circle is about a girl who moves to a new town after the death of her mother and discovers she's part of a coven of powerful witches.
In a big get for The CW, Sarah Michelle Gellar will return to series television in Ringer, about a woman on the run who assumes the identity of her wealthy identical twin sister. Gellar starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer for seven seasons on The CW's predecessor networks, The WB and UPN. Ringer was originally developed for CBS, which owns half of The CW.
Action thriller Nikita will move to Fridays for its second season as the lead-in to Supernatural.
Wednesday becomes a reality block with new reality series H8R hosted by Mario Lopez, in which celebrities will try to win over their civilian "haters," paired with the all-star edition of America's Next Top Model. Two new reality entries will premiere in midseason, -- Re-Modeled, which follows modeling industry vet Paul Fischer as he seeks to give small agencies more leverage through a new venture called The Network; and The Frame, where 10 teams of two will live in a single room for up to eight weeks and face challenges and eliminations.
Also in midseason, One Tree Hill return for its ninth and final season. CW execs are looking to get some of the original cast members that have since left the series -- like Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton -- to return for some of the remaining 13 episodes.
THE CW's 2011-2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE (New shows in CAPS)
8 pm Gossip Girl
9 pm HART OF DIXIE
8 pm 90210
9 pm RINGER
8 pm H8R
9 pm America's Next Top Model
8 pm The Vampire Diaries
9 pm THE SECRET CIRCLE
8 pm Nikita
9 pm Supernatural
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