TCA: CW's Pedowitz on Series' Renewal Chances, Pilots in Contention
Net president weighs in on future of 'Beauty,' 'Supernatural,' more
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/13/2013 1:39:44 PMComplete Coverage: TCA Winter Press Tour 2013
Pasadena, Calif. -- In The CW's first executive session at the winter Television Critics Association press tour since 2007, CW president Mark Pedowitz took his time on the stage to weigh in on the renewal chances of some of the network's series as well as talk about projects n contention for pilot orders.
Pedowitz said The CW plans to pick up seven or eight pilots this season, on par with the eight it picked up last year.
As for how the network's fall has gone, Pedwitz was asked to respond to a somewhat derisive comment made by NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt last week that pointed out The CW's median age this season is 41, far outside the network's target 18-34 demo.
"The strategy was to broaden out the 18-34. I'd like to thank Bob Greenblatt for giving us a shout out for doing that," Pedowitz said. "We did not anticipate that Emily Owens would skew as old as it did and the fact that we're not tracking on-air for Arrow a younger audience. "
On the net's reality strategy
The CW renewed two of last summer's reality series - Breaking Pointe and Oh Sit! despite tepid overnight ratings, which Pedowitz credited to wanting to fill the schedule during the summer months.
"I said many times that we wanted to have more original programming so the strategy goes to that," he said.
Pedowitz also pointed to Breaking Pointe's large digital streaming presence, and felt that Oh Sit deserved a chance to build an audience. He said the network will have announcements in the next couple of weeks about additional reality series for summer.
On series' renewal chances
Supernatural: Pedowitz pointed to the fact that Supernatural has gained viewers in its eighth season by airing after Arrow, which is encouraging for its chances for a ninth season. "I think creatively the show's in a good place and there's always a good chance of that."
Beauty and the Beast: "We're very pleased in terms of where it's going creatively," Pedowitz said, of the rookie series noting that the series is on par with where The Secret Circle was in the timeslot in the fourth quarter last year. Asked why Pedowitz was confident in Beauty given that Secret Circle was canceled after one season he said, "I believe the show has more growth potential in it," especially given the series' central love story.
Hart of Dixie: Pedowitz praised Hart of Dixie for "stand[ing] out there on a tough Tuesday night" (the net failed to pick up a back order of its fellow Tuesday show, Emily Owens, M.D.) and noted its strong performance on DVR and VOD.
Nikita: Pedowitz said the third season drama has actually been doing better on Fridays since moving to 8 p.m. than it was at 9 p.m. "It's on par with our expectations."
The Carrie Diaries: The CW's Sex and the City prequel series doesn't premiere until Monday, but Pedowitz sees it as being able to fill the void left by Gossip Girl. "It's two different shows. I hope that The Carrie Diaries runs as long as Gossip Girl ran," he said. "We also believe it's a coming of age story which is timeless."
On its pilots in contention
The Selection, the Hunger Games-style project that was passed on last season and redeveloped, is still in contention for a pilot pick-up. "The script just came in, it's very well done."
Pedowitz is still waiting to see the script for The CW's Wonder Woman project titled Amazon, but he doesn't feel it will tread on the ground of David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman script that was in development at NBC. "It's an origination story in the sense that Smallville was an origination story," he said. "I don't believe that was David's original premise."
News broke last week that The CW is planning a Vampire Diaries spinoff based on the Original family, which will air as a back-door pilot during TVD this season. "I'm a big believer if you have something that's working find a way to get it on the air, this is a good way to get a pilot done," Pedowitz said.
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