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October 7, 2015

The CW Pilots Snap Judgments: Our First Reactions to the New Shows

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jun 14th 2011 12:00PM
The CW's Ringer, The Secret Circle & Hart of DixieWe've seen the network's new fall pilots, and while they're not for review (things often change drastically before the shows are set to premiere), we do want to share our first reactions with you.

This is designed to get you excited for some new shows ... and to warn you to curb your enthusiasm for others. Just keep in mind that we'll have full reviews of the final pilots closer to airdate in the fall. For now, here are our snap judgments of all of The CW's new shows for the 2011-2012 TV season.

There are only three new scripted shows (read up and watch previews here) but plenty of varying opinions from Mo Ryan, Maggie Furlong, Jean Bentley, Chris Harnick and Laura Prudom.

Here's how we're breaking these down:
Watch It - awesome show, can't wait for more
Skip It - it's either horrible or just totally not their thing
DVR It - there's potential, will give it a second chance

FALL 2011

[Get the synopsis & watch a preview here]
Ryan: DVR It
My excitement at seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar on TV again slowly drained away during this rather plodding pilot, but I'll hope for improvements.

Furlong: Watch It
There are so many mirrors in this pilot, but luckily that doesn't reflect (get it?) too poorly on anything but the props department. What stands out here is the mysterious story and, yes, the lovely and talented SMG x2.

Bentley: Watch It
One show, twice the Sarah Michelle Gellar. What more could you ask for?! It might be too mature for the typical CW viewer, but I hope it helps the network branch out more.

Harnick: Watch It
I'd be watching it solely for Sarah Michelle Gellar, so thank goodness this pilot has an intriguing plot. "You have the wrong girl!"

Prudom: Watch It
It's hard to predict where this enigmatic mystery series will go next, and that's part of its charm -- it feels much smarter and slicker than a lot of the CW's frothy teen fare, and with a cast as talented as this one, I'll follow 'Ringer' wherever it leads me.

'The Secret Circle'
[Get the synopsis & watch a preview here]
Ryan: DVR It
It's good companion for 'The Vampire Diaries' and a good lead performance from Britt Robertson.

Furlong: Watch It
I got completely sucked in to this pilot, and am totally entranced with the cast, the history of the circle and having Britt Robertson (Lux!) back on my TV.

Bentley: Watch It
It's not action-packed -- it essentially sets the story up for the season to come. I trust Kevin Williamson, so I'm sure the excitement will ramp up more. Plus, the 'Vampire Diaries' pilot was kind of terrible and look at it now! 'Secret Circle' shows plenty of promise.

Harnick: Skip It
Not totally sold on the premise, but I bet I would've loved this show when I was in junior high.

Prudom: Watch It
For those who love 'The Vampire Diaries,' 'TSC' will be right up your alley. There's plenty of spooky intrigue and a hot young cast (some of whom are trying a little too hard, but I'll give them a couple of episodes to tone it down), though it's more reminiscent of 'The Craft' than 'Charmed.'

'Hart of Dixie'
[Get the synopsis & watch a preview here]
Ryan: Skip It
A by-the-numbers fish-out-of-water story and though I like Rachel Bilson, I'm not sure she has the range for it.

Furlong: Skip It
They've packed this cast with charming southern characters and even more charming actors, but I just don't care. I thought I might, I tried but I don't.

Bentley: Watch It
Completely charming in that old school WB kind of way. Basically, Summer Roberts moves to Everwood, if Everwood were in the South instead of Colorado.

Harnick: DVR It
Rachel Bilson will forever have a place in my heart thanks to 'The OC,' and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this pilot. Not sure how regularly I'll keep up with the show, but it's on my radar.

Prudom: Watch It
The concept of anything vaguely medical on the CW sounded like an instant turn-off for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how much this breezy, Southern drama charmed me. 'HoD' has drawn well-deserved comparisons to the wholesome WB series of old, and it left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes me eager to settle in for more.

Read our pilot snap judgments for ABC, Fox and CBS here, and keep up with all things Fall TV at aoltv.com

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I love the CW. I am very excited about the secret circle. i am already a big TVD fan. I cant get enough of Ian (Damon) from the vampire dairies. I also cant wait for FX to start its new season of sons of anarchy written by kurt sutter from the sheild.

July 03 2011 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I always find it very odd when new programs come on that don't showcase not a single minority! I'm just not interested in it at all from the start!

June 21 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm surprised "The CW" is still in existence. I would've suspected this network to have folded some time ago, yet it's still running and making new shows apparently. I won't be watching any of them. I think this network has failed to catch on and truly take hold like FOX has since it launched. "The CW" might as well make the move to cable as it pretty much already has the lower ratings and viewing audience of a cable channel.

June 21 2011 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Problem with opinions is they are not always right. I will watch Ringer like so many others because of SMG, she will always be Buffy to me, so I will give it a chance, as I will The Secret Circle for Britt. For those who pan the shows, lucky for you there are two choices, turn the channel or turn off the television, yea, like that would ever happen, so, stick to the first one and find something else.

June 14 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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