Sunday, May 13, 2012

Playing Programmer 2012: The CW

It's the time of the year when the US Broadcast network announce renewals and cancellations along with the new series they will pick up for next season. Next week is what they call the UpFronts which is like the equivalent of the trade shows our local networks do here. It's the time where each network showcases their schedule for the upcoming TV season. Like last year, I will play programmer and try to schedule the networks programming next season. First up is the CW which cancelled two freshman series The Secret Circle and Ringer and renewed everything else plus they picked up 5 new series. This mini-network badly needs a makeover next season as it suffered an all time low in the ratings with only one show they could call a hit (The Vampire Diaries). Here's my schedule, new shows are italicized:



8 PM - Beauty and the Beast
9 PM – Hart of Dixie

Hart of Dixie got a surprise renewal and probably one of the factors that it was renewed that it was actually building up from Gossip Girl this season which suffered its lowest ratings to date. I say that the CW should keep Dixie on the same slot and try out one of their promising pilots at 8 PM. The modern take of the beloved fairy tale has a recognizable TV star on the lead role (Smallville's Kristin Kreuk) and I could see this show appealing to a larger audience and given that it has an established brand already this could be strong enough to lead a night.


8 PM - 90210
9 PM – First Cut

90210 is CW's third highest rated and the show has been shuffling schedules for its entire run and for the previous season it did a solid by CW standard ratings on this timeslot so CW should keep as it is and pair it with their young-skewed medical drama First Cut which feels like a junior version of Grey's Anatomy. I honestly didn't thought that CW would pick this over The Selection (a pilot which has similarities with The Hunger Games in premise) since it doesn't sound that it will be a strong sell for the network but since they picked it up, the pilot must have been good. This is the best slot this show could have with a veteran show support as lead in and not much brutal competition on other networks. And you know it just needs to improve from the disastrous ratings of previous timeslot occupant Ringer to survive. I have a feeling that this show could have the 'Old school WB show" vibe that has been missing since the old network merged with UPN to form CW. This could probably surprise us.


8 PM – America’s Next Top Model
9 PM – The Carrie Diaries

America's Next Top Model bled a lot of viewers this season despite having All Star and British invasion twists for its two cycles but I heard there's going to be a major revamp on the show next season and that change could generate interest from old fans to check this out again so I'm leaving it on the same timeslot. The Carrie Diaries is a prequel to the HBO classic Sex and the City so the show has an established fan base already and I think it will complement ANTM as they might appeal to the same type of audience so pairing it up is a viable option for the network.


8 PM – The Vampire Diaries
9 PM – Arrow

The Vampire Diaries is by far CW's top show so it's absolutely staying on the same slot. CW last year tried to pair the show with The Secret Circle and on paper it would have been a match made in heaven but alas it didn't work and the latter got cancelled. So I thought the CW should just stop thinking of a show that has a similar vibe with TVD and slot a show that has a completey different audience but had a brand and pre-existing fanbase already and that is Arrow is an adaptation of the DC Comics character Green Arrow. The two shows definitely don't go together but since Arrow is CW's biggest bet this season might as well give it the security of a prime slot paired with the strongest show CW has. And as I've mentioned earlier, Arrow has an estbalished brand already and could viewers on its own so this could potentially be a strong night for the CW. And if Arrow does well they could move it to a new timeslot by midseason and give the post-TVD slot to another show.


8 PM – Nikita
9 PM – Supernatural

I was surprised CW renewed Nikita despite low ratings but looks like it's working for them and Supernatural is CW's #2 show despite being on low-rated Friday night so I don't see them changing the schedule next season. I thought of moving Supernatural to a new night to help out the other new shows but CW does not have anything to support their Friday night so might as well leave it as it is and focus on the other nights which has more available viewers.

Midseason: Gossip Girl, Cult

Gossip Girl received an 11-episode final season pick up and just like One Tree Hill's final season they should be aired during midseason when other CW shows are in repeats. Cult has a lot of potential but since it will like it will be heavily serialized, an uninterrupted midseason run is the show's best shot.


Up next: My "schedule" for FOX:)

No comments: