The CW: Making Noise With Dramas'Reign,' 'Tomorrow People' to get network’s top launch pads 5/20/2013 12:01:00 AM Eastern
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CW: Making Noise With Dramas
Launching Original Half-Hour Comedies
Beefing Up Content Collection
We Welcome the Competition
Expanding Its Hispanic Footprint
Batting 1,000 on Original Content
Bringing 'The X Factor,' 'Bridge' to Hispanic Viewers
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STRATEGY: Continue broadening 18-to-34 viewer
base with noisy new dramas and again launch the fall season in October to avoid
the clutter and reduce repeats.
The CW will shake up its primetime lineup next season, making changes on all
five nights of its schedule and premiering three new dramas: The Vampire
Diaries spinoff The Originals, sci-fi series The Tomorrow People
and Reign, about a young Mary Queen of Scots.
The high-concept entries are part of The CW's evolution from a network that
used to be stocked with high school soaps starring young, beautiful people (the
beautiful people are still there), a move based on the success of this season's
comic book-inspired Arrow, a breakout freshman hit.
"You have to make noise," CW president Mark Pedowitz said at a press conference
following the network's upfront presentation on May 16. "It's very hard these
days to make noise with smaller, softer shows."
Reign will get the network's top launch pad out of The Vampires
Diaries on Thursday to capitalize on the heavy female skew of both shows. The
Tomorrow People will premiere out of Arrow, making Wednesday a "family
night," Pedowitz joked, because the stars of each series are cousins Stephen
and Robbie Amell.
The Originals will anchor Tuesdays, a scheduling decision made because "we
believe that those characters are well known," Pedowitz said. Originals will
be followed by Supernatural, shifted up from Wednesdays. Pedowitz hopes
the franchise can bring more viewers to the night where Ringer, Cult and
Emily Owens, M.D. have failed in recent seasons.
Hart of Dixie will also move up a night to Monday to lead into sophomore
Beauty and the Beast, while Sex and the City prequel The
Carrie Diaries relocates to Friday, paired with America's Next Top Model.
The network also announced that this will be the final season of Nikita,
which gets an abbreviated sixepisode order to wrap up its story, with a
premiere targeted for late fall.
The CW will again launch its fall season in October, as it did last year to
avoid the crush of September premiere week and keep more originals on the
schedule through midseason.
"It worked for us," Pedowitz said. "It allowed us to market shows away from
everybody. It makes our schedule tighter, and we need to do that."
For midseason, the network has two more sci-fi projects -- Star-Crossed
and The 100 -- as well as a new reality series from TMZ called Famous
in 12, which tasks one family with achieving celebrity in 12 weeks.
Though The CW picked up five new dramas for next season, Pedowitz reiterated
that he is interested in adding comedy to the network if he thinks it can find
"That's one of the strategies in bringing back Whose Line Is It Anyway?,"
he said of the show, set to debut July 16. "If Whose Line works, we will
de!nitely go back to the sitcom genre."
For now, The CW is experimenting with short-form comedy series on its digital
studio, which is meant to act as an incubator for such material. At its
upfront, the network announced it is renaming the studio CW Seed and opening up
its sub-site on CWTV.com
for viewer feedback and more social engagement.