Upfronts: CW Shuffles Sked Across the Week to Buoy New Shows
The CW is juggling the pieces of its primetime sked in the coming season, making changes on each of its five nights to improve its standing in the measure that matters most to advertisers: Nielsen ratings.
The netlet has demonstrated traction in the digital realm and has harnessed the power of social media to buoy fan-fave shows including “The Vampire Diaries,” “Arrow” and “Supernatural.” But CW’s old-fashioned linear numbers leave a lot of be desired, and there’s a clear effort to invest in high-concept drama fare that the net hopes will become can’t-miss live viewing for its youthful target aud.
The 2013-14 season is the first time since 2007 that “Gossip Girl” hasn’t been on the sked. Gone also is “90210″ after five seasons. The across-the-board shuffle seems designed to pair new shows with their most compatible returning series.
Monday opens with returning dramedy “Hart of Dixie,” which relocates from Tuesday, followed by the soph season of “Beauty and the Beast.”
This past season, “Beauty” landed the best timeslot CW has to offer, the Thursday 9 p.m. berth behind “Vampire Diaries.” This time around, that Thursday launchpad will be taken over by “Reign,” a costume drama sudser revolving around Mary, Queen of Scots as a young woman in France before her marriage to the Gallic monarch. In a press Q&A after the net’s upfront presentation, CW topper Mark Pedowitz said “Reign” is best suited to have “TVD” as a lead-in because both shows skew female.
Tuesday opens with “Vampire Diaries” spinoff “The Originals,” followed by the enduring “Supernatural,” which moves from Wednesday.
CW’s most promising new show of the past season, “Arrow,” stays put in the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot, followed by frosh fantasy vehicle “The Tomorrow People,” about a group of young adults who are hunted down by a paramilitary org because they represent the next phase of human evolution.
Friday will once again open with “America’s Next Top Model.” CW hopes fashionistas will accessorize at 9 p.m. with season two of “The Carrie Diaries,” which moves from Monday.
CW has two other new scripted dramas in reserve for midseason: “Star-Crossed” and “The 100.” Drama “Nikita” will have a shortened fourth season run of six episodes at some point. Also on the bench in reality skein “Famous in 12″ — in which reps from TMZ guide a family on a quest to gain fame in 12 weeks time.