The Upfronts: CW
by Hemal Jhaveri, posted May 21st 2009 10:33AM
The CW knows what it's good at and they're sticking to it: sex and beauty. After the success of Gossip Girl and 90210, two very buzzed about shows, the CW announced this morning that they're picking up three new dramatic series in the same vein for next fall: Melrose Place, Vampire Diaries and The Beautiful Life. In addition, the network is also dumping any original Sunday night programming. Next season, local affiliate stations will program these slots. They also announced this morning that in addition to renewing hits like Gossip Girl & 90210, the CW is also bringing back Smallville for an
8th season, 9th season but moving the aging drama out of its competitive Thursday night 8PM slot to Friday night at 8. More details after the jump.
Returning: Smallville, Supernatural, Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, America's Next Top Model
Gone: Privileged, Reaper, The Game, Everybody Hates Chris (sorry, left this one out initially)
New: Melrose Place, Vampire Diaries, The Beautiful Life
New Mid-season: Parental Discretion Advised
Melrose Place: The revamped Melrose Place was written by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, both producers over at Smallville. Like it's 1990's counter part, the series will revolve around a group of young hot twenty-somethings who all live in the same LA apartment complex. Apparently, this pilot gets underway with a murder mystery right from the start.
Vampire Diaries: Jumping on the Twilight bandwagon, the CW also picked up this drama written by Kevin Williamson of Dawson's Creek fame. It's almost too fun to imagine this ... teen drama, complete with blood sucking outcasts.
The Beautiful Life: This is like a fictional version of America's Next Model, chronicling the undoubtedly sexy exploits of a group of eager young models in New York. Ashton Kutcher is one of the executive producers behind the show.
8:00-9:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL
9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL
8:00-9:00 PM 90210
9:00-10:00 PM MELROSE PLACE (New Series)
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
9:00-10:00 PM THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (New Series)
8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL
8:00-9:00 PM SMALLVILLE (New night)
Moving Smallville to Friday at 8pm: Smallville has held the Thursday 8pm slot for some time now, but it makes sense to move it to Friday at 8pm, for a couple of reasons. First, the network will pair their new urban myth show, The Vampire Diaries, with their old urban myth show, Supernatural. The genre pairing makes sense on paper, but I'd be interested to see if the new show picks up any of Supernatural's highly committed fans or vice versa ... if any of the new viewers will stick around to tune in to a well established show. Second, moving Smallville may allow the CW to gain some traction in a time slot where they traditionally have had no luck. Haven't really heard any fan rumblings about this move yet, but I can't imagine everyone is happy with the switch.
Pairing 90210 and Melrose Place: "Tuesday night gives us a perfect match with 90210 and Melrose Place," network president Dawn Ostroff said in the press release sent out earlier today. It's like 1994 all over again. This was the original Fox pairing when I was in high school and it's back. Again, here's a move that makes sense on paper but may not translate well with fans.
Canceling The Game and Everybody Hates Chris: The CW is abandoning any vestige of their old UPN identity by axing the only programming that stared an African-American cast. While the network is doing away with comedies in general, still troubling to note that they've taken the only shows with minority leads off the air.