TCA: CW Open to Developing Comedy - Broadcasting & Cable

TCA: CW Open to Developing Comedy

New president says network will branch out beyond serialized dramas
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Complete Coverage: 2011 TCA Summer Press Tour

CW President Mark Pedowitz said his network, known mostly for serialized dramas, is opening itself up to look at comedies this year.

In his first appearance on stage at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills Thursday, the new network chief noted that rookie comedies like CBS' 2 Broke Girls, ABC's Apartment 23 and Fox's New Girl would have been a good fit on The CW.

"If it's the right thing, we'll look to develop it," Pedowitz said.

The network under former entertainment president Dawn Ostroff had previously closed itself off to developing half-hour comedies, preferring to stick with its traditional one-hour teen soaps. But Pedowitz was careful to say that any steps into the genre now would come slowly, and didn't put any timetable for getting a comedy on the air.

"We'll move very slowly, we'll do it very smartly, we'll take baby steps before we're even crawling or walking," he told a group of reporters after the TCA panel. "We're going to do it very selectively."

The CW, which is jointly owned by CBS and Warner Bros., does have the benefit of those parent companies' studios, which produce a lot of comedies.

"We have a good shot at finding something that actually works," Pedowitz said.

In addition to considering comedies, Pedowitz said The CW will be looking for closed-ended dramas that will improve repeatability, which has been a problem for the network's schedule full of serialized dramas.

"We do have to find a way to find that high concept, CW-type closed-ended show," he said. "We do need to be able to repeat better than we have been."

Pedowitz also repeated what he said at The CW's upfront in May of his desire to close the long gaps of repeats the network usually runs during the winter months.  The CW already has two reality entries, Remodeled and The Frame scheduled for midseason, as well as the final 13-episode season of One Tree Hill. The Frame will run twice a week and Remodeled will be used to give America's Next Top Model a break.

"We're looking to have more original programming," Pedowitz said. "We'll do what we need to do to make sure we do not have those dark periods."

He said The CW is also already in the planning stages to hopefully get some originals on the network next summer, whether scripted or reality series.

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