Beverly Hills, Calif. — A few years ago, The CW made a push to broaden its appeal among adults and to bring men back to the network.
“We plan to stay with this strategy,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz during the network’s TCA summer press tour executive session Tuesday. “It all hinges on having quality programming.”
The 2014-15 season, which he called “pivotal” for the network, saw freshman The Flash become the most watched and highest-rated show in network history and rookie Jane the Virgin receive critical acclaim, a Golden Globe and a Peabody award.
“We’ve spent a number of years now building up programming inventory,” Pedowitz said. “It’s important for us to have as much original programming out there.”
“You really have to have a show that will break out of the pack.”
CW is planning to give those two shows, along with midseason hit iZombie, a significant marketing push, something the net has not done before for returning shows.
Pedowitz said he was “disappointed” that Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, the Golden Globe Award winner for Best Actress, did not receive an Emmy nomination. “We are going to have to earn it,” he said.
Jane will be paired on Mondays this fall with new comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. “It creates a fun comedy night with two strong female lead characters,” Pedowitz said.
The network has bonafide hits with The Flash and Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow set to air next year; however, parent network CBS landed fellow DC comics show Supergirl. Pedowitz said last summer, before Flash had aired, The CW had no intention of doing another DC show. “You take your time. Sometimes you lose great projects,” he said. “We have no intention at this point of putting anything else (from DC) out there.”
As for a crossover between Supergirl and Arrow or Flash, Pedowitz reiterated that the nets will cross-promote the shows together, but he will leave anything else to executive producer Greg Berlanti.
Pedowtzi also hinted that production arm CW Seed could have an online streaming service in the future. “We’re beginning to look down that line,” Pedowitz said. “We’re seeing great tracking on it. CW Seed’s purpose of incubating comedy is slowly working. We’re going to get there slowly but surely, but it takes time.”
He also spoke about a number of other series, present and future:
— The CW is developing a series based on the hit film The Notebook, which Pedowitz expects will make some noise. He added that while the pilot is not done, the show will be set after World War II and will probably not feature the older couple from the movie. “But things change,” he said.
— The network announced the renewal of Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
— Britney Spears will guest star on Jane the Virgin this season. Pedowtiz said that they had heard it was one of her favorite shows, so the creator and studio contacted her.
— Matt Ryan, star of the late NBC series Constantine, will appear as John Constantine in an episode of Arrow. Although Constantine aired on NBC, both shows are from Warner Bros., allowing the crossover to work. “It’s a great one-shot episode,” Pedowitz said.
— Supernatural is still going strong entering its 11th season. Pedowitz said if “the numbers hold” and the main players keep wanting to do the show, it will continue. “They bring refreshed enthusiasm to it each week,” he said. “How they do it year in and year out is great.”
— Dates, the scripted British comedy The CW aired this summer, did not receive great traction. “One of the best things about the summer is you can take shows,” he said. Pedowitz, who praised the format and setup of the series, said the network is developing an Americanized version of it.