The CW is working to broaden its audience beyond its former teen-girl centric demographic, according to network president Mark Pedowitz.
“We set out, as much as we’re proud of Gossip Girl, to forget the perception that we’re the teenage girl network,” Pedowitz said Friday during his executive session at the TCA summer press tour Friday. “We knew that when we lost Smallville a number of years back, we lost men.” Pedowitz cited Arrow as a show that has helped bring male viewers back to the network. “This year, we hope with The Flash and Jane the Virgin,” the network’s two new fall shows, that the CW can continue to broaden the audience.
Pedowitz also pointed to Jane, an hour-long dramedy, as an example of programming that can help “balance” the network.
“We now know as we go forward that we don’t slip completely down the genre hole so we don’t get seen completely as the genre network as opposed to a broadcast network,” Pedowitz said. “There’s a balance.”
Jane also features a largely Latina cast, including lead Gina Rodriguez. A day after CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler defended her network’s record for onscreen diversity, Pedowitz said that diversity continues to be a priority for The CW.
“Diversity, since I’ve been at this networks and in my past career has always been top priority,” Pedowitz said, adding, “it’s important in front of the camera, and it’s also important behind the camera.”
Other highlights from the session included:
--On Monday, the CW premiered two new half-hour comedies, Backpackers and Seed, each drawing a 0.2 rating, each following an episode of improv-comedy showcase Whose Line is it Anyway? “I wasn’t as successful this past Monday as I’d hoped to be launching Backpackers and Seed behind Whose Line,” Pedowitz said, who added that he would continue to try to use Whose Line, which was renewed Friday for another 24-episode cycle, to help launch comedy and alternative programming
--Pedowitz said of Nielsen’s ratings system, “Since it is the currency that we have to use, we have to put a level of faith that their methodology is correct.” He added, “I only wish that Nielsen had a bigger sample.”
--“That’s a question for Time Warner,” Pedowitz said when asked about reports that 21st Century Fox is interested in buying the CW co-parent. “Right now all I’m focused on is the fall schedule, and what will be will be as time goes forward.”