Upfront Central

Upfronts 2013: CW Makes Changes on Five Nights

New dramas 'Reign,' 'Tomorrow People' to get net's top launch pads 5/16/2013 09:00:00 AM Eastern

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2013

VIDEO: CW Pilot Trailers and Clips

Updated: 12:59 p.m. ET

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 its 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, which was a breakout freshman
hit.

"You have to
make noise," CW president Mark Pedowitz said at a press conference following
the network's upfront presentation. "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 while 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; it will be followed by Supernatural,
shifted up from Wednesdays. He 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 six-episode 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 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 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 an audience.

"That's one of
the strategies in bringing back Whose
Line Is It Anyway
," he said, which debuts July 16. "If Whose Line works, we will definitely go back to sitcom genre."

For now, 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 was renaming the studio CW Seed and opening up its sub-site on
CWTV.com for viewer feedback and more social engagement.

THE CW's 2013-2014 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

MONDAY

8 p.m. Hart of Dixie (New Night)
9 p.m. Beauty and the Beast (New Night)

TUESDAY

8 p.m. The Originals (New Series)
9 p.m. Supernatural (New Night)

WEDNESDAY

8 p.m. Arrow
9 p.m. The Tomorrow People (New Series)

THURSDAY

8 p.m. The Vampire Diaries
9 p.m. Reign (New Series)

FRIDAY

8 p.m. The Carrie Diaries (New Night)
9 p.m. America's Next Top Model

September
October

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