TCA: Pedowitz Says CW May Go Digital-First on Comedies
In his second summer TCA appearance, network chief also weighs in on what went wrong with 'Ringer,' redeveloping 'The Selection'
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/30/2012 2:58:10 PMComplete Coverage: TCA Summer Press Tour 2012
Los Angeles -- As he first did on the TCA press tour stage here last year, CW president Mark Pedowitz reiterated his interest in bringing comedy to the young-skewing network whose bread and butter is dramatic one-hours.
Pedowitz said the network developed eight comedy scripts last year, two of which he is very interested in, though he wants to stabilize the current schedule this fall before he looks at adding a new genre.
"We may end up actually doing them through digital as a way to get them done in the different form," he said. "We are looking at whether they should be single camera or multicamera."
Whenever the CW does move forward with a comedy project, Pedowitz noted it will have a to have a strong female perspective, citing shows like 2 Broke Girls, New Girl and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 as the type of comedies that would work on the CW.
Pedowitz spent a lot of his executive session talking about the importance of the online audience to The CW, citing digital traction as one of the reasons for cancelling Ringer and sticking with The L.A. Coplex, even when the most recent episode of the latter drew just 391,000 linear viewers.
"We are aggregated across the board with a lot of viewers," Pedowitz said. "The digital streaming numbers on our shows combined with Hulu and Netflix and CWTV.com and the app are astronomical. So we look at it vastly different. We can monitor or we can measure who's watching us on digital, but it does not count with the Nielsen ratings. And Nielsen is trying to do the best they can. And us, the networks, the advertisers, the affiliates are all looking for an accurate measurement so that every person is counted who's actually watching the show."
Besides Ringer's weak traction on digital platforms, Pedowitz said the decision to axe the Sarah Michelle Gellar drama was in part becasue of the complexities of the noir drama's serialized stories.
"One of the things you learn about the level of these serialized shows is less may be more," Pedowitz said.
"22 [episodes] might have been too many. So if there's ever a consideration that we do it [again], we'd probably go anywhere between 6 and 13."
The CW's Hunger Games-style pilot The Selection, which is being redeveloped after the network passed on picking it up in May, wasn't initially where the network wanted it to be tone-wise, but Pedowitz says he's a big believer in the show.
"I really wanted a show that had a Game of Thrones/Hunger Games tone, and we hope it's The Selection," he said. "If it's not, then we will look at another arena to go to in terms of that."
In the meantime, the action drama Arrow will be the network's big push for the fall, with the CW hoping it can help drive young men to the channel, as well as funnel new viewers into Supernatural in its eighth season.
"We are in need of having some men come to our network," Pedowitz said. "The loss of Smallville actually had an impact to us."
Though Arrow's comic-book mythology may seem to skew more male, and Beauty and the Beast's love story more female, Pedowitz said he thinks all the networks new series will fit within the CW's target wheelhouse of adults 18-49.
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