The Five Spot: Mark Pedowitz - Broadcasting & Cable

The Five Spot: Mark Pedowitz

President, The CW
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Bonus Five
Shows on your DVR?
The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Fear the Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, 48 Hours
All-time top TV show?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek
Books on your nightstand?
Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography
Best recent meal:
Arbour in Pasadena — seared tuna on crispy rice with bok choy
Vacation destination on your bucket list?
Australia and New Zealand

Mark Pedowitz, president, The CW

Mark Pedowitz, president, The CW

Mark Pedowitz took over as president of The CW in 2011, following 19 years at ABC, including five as ABC Studios president. Across his run, The CW has spawned several acclaimed series, including Jane the Virgin, The Flash and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It is hoping for a few more this fall, as All American, Legacies and Charmed prepare to launch.

The network starts programming on Sundays for the first time in a decade. That begins Oct. 14 with Supergirl and Charmed.

Pedowitz spoke with B&C senior content producer Michael Malone about The CW’s new shows, how many more reboots the network might roll out and how much longer viewers will watch commercials. An edited transcript follows.

How does The CW get the word out that it’s on Sundays?
It’s a question probably best suited for [executive VP, marketing and digital programs] Rick Haskins, but I’ll try to take it. It’s an expensive proposition of getting a lot of paid media out there. The good news is the social media reach based on the programming we have enables us to reach people beyond what paid media gives us. It’s a very concentrated effort. That’s why we use Supergirl and Charmed to help launch Sunday nights — properties that have a strong presence enable us to have a conversation with everyone out there. It’s a cross between what our corporate communications group is doing, what Rick is doing in paid media and what everyone’s doing on social media platforms.

Which new show has the best chance to break through?
I think all five have a shot. Legacies lives off the strength of Julie Plec and The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. All American will speak for itself. A terrific job was done by Greg Berlanti and the creative team there. Charmed has the advantage of a name and a good Sundaynight time period.

Midseason, we’re very excited about Roswell and In the Dark, which I think is the most unique thing we’ve done in a long time, since Crazy Ex.

How is Charmed different from the original?
It’s a contemporary take in the hands of [exec producer] Jennie Urman. The three women [leads] will give it their own flavor, given that it’s a multicultural cast. If the fans of the old Charmed give this one a chance, they’ll grow to enjoy it.

When do you see the reboot trend ending?
It’s always been a part of TV production. Twenty five, 30 years ago, reboots came from theatrical films. Good titles can lead to good storytelling. It all depends on the auspices, on how the story is told. You see what Ron Moore did with Battlestar Galactica, changing it to a very different series. Under great hands, you can have some really interesting storytelling. I don’t think it’s ever going to end. There are so many things out there. To have something where people say, ‘I wonder what that looks like, let me give it a try,’ gives you a little bit of a leg up.

In this age of streaming, how much longer will viewers sit through commercials?
A long time. It’s free! CWTV. com has over 40 million downloads of its apps. We have a unique position on OTT platforms. The consumer does not have to pay to download our app. They don’t have to pay for a subscription. So there is an advantage. Are they thrilled to get it with commercials? No. Are they thrilled get it for free? Yes.

Bonus Five
Shows on your DVR?
The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Fear the Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, 48 Hours
All-time top TV show?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek
Books on your nightstand?
Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography
Best recent meal:
Arbour in Pasadena — seared tuna on crispy rice with bok choy
Vacation destination on your bucket list?
Australia and New Zealand

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