After a year of finding its footing – and helping viewers find it – the CW is looking for its first breakout, network-defining scripted series. And it’s using tried and true reality hits as launching pads for its two brightest teen-targeting prospects.
Gossip Girl, the rich-kids-in-New-York drama from OC creator Josh Schwartz, gets the prime 9 p.m. Wednesday timeslot, following the CW’s biggest current hit, the Tyra Banks-hosted reality show America’s Next Top Model at 8 p.m.
Reaper, the network’s new comedy thriller about the devil’s young bounty hunter, is slated for Tuesdays at 9 p.m., following Beauty and the Geek at 8 p.m. Geek moves from the 8 p.m. Wednesday slot it had shared with Model and assumes the slot of now-defunct Gilmore Girls.
"We know the key to our succeess is developing the next big hit," network president Dawn Ostroff told advertisers at the network's upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden this morning.
The CW’s other two scripted entrants are quirky comedy Aliens in America and family drama Life is Wild.
Aliens, a single-camera show about a Pakistani exchange student and his U.S. host family, joins the Monday night comedy block at 8:30 p.m. after Everybody Hates Chris (which itself should get a boost for its season premiere-show creator Chris Rock guests for the first time ever as the guidance counselor). It will be followed by returning comedies Girlfriends and The Game at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Life, a South African-set show about a family on a wildlife preserve, gets the 8 p.m. Sunday night slot (keeping the family-friendly vibe set by the timeslot's former inhabitant, Seventh Heaven) and a lead-in from two new unscripted shows – entertainment newsmagazine CW Now! and viewer-submitted video show Online Nation at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The network will stick with Top Model repeats Sundays at 9 p.m.
The CW’s Thursdays and Fridays stay the same for the fall with Smallville and Supernatural on the former and Friday Night SmackDown! wrestling fare on the latter.
Midseason will bring a new season of veteran scripted series One Tree Hill, set four years after the last one left off, new reality shows Farmer Wants a Wife and Crowned and a second season of Pussycat Dolls. Midseason possibilities include the comedies Dash 4 Cash and Eight Days a Week.
Cult hit Veronica Mars will not return, and gone after three seasons on UPN and the CW is the Will Smith-produced comedy All of Us.