EXCLUSIVE: The CW is looking to beat the midseason rerun blues by supersizing the orders of four returning drama series. The network has picked up two additional episodes each of soaps Gossip Girl and 90210, bringing their orders to 24 episodes, and one additional episode each of veteran Supernatural and sophomore Nikita, which will go up to 23 episodes each. Notably missing is CW’s flagship drama The Vampire Diaries. That stems from the show’s inability to accommodate additional episodes because of its extensive post-production process that leads to longer production times. (Additionally, co-showrunner Kevin Williamson is also shepherding the new CW series The Secret Circle). This is the second time the CW has expanded the seasons of existing series — it ordered additional episodes of Gossip Girls and One Tree Hill a couple of years ago — but it has never done it on such scale, with four series. It is part of new CW president Mark Pedowitz’s plan to bring lull periods of reruns during the season to a minimum. He already ordered three series for midseason at the upfronts: reality series Re-Modeled and The Frame and the final season of veteran One Tree Hill.
The CW today was the first broadcast network to announce its fall premiere dates. The network will launch three nights — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — the week before the Sept. 19 official start of the fall season, Friday during premiere week and Monday’s lineup the week after. With the exception of Friday, which pairs sophomore Nikita and veteran Supernatural, all other nights feature a returning series and a newbie. Here is CW’s premiere schedule: Read More »
Kevin Williamson and the duo of Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage may be getting their own nights on the CW next season. I hear Schwartz and Savage’s veteran Gossip Girl may be paired with a newly picked up series they produce, small-town medical drama Hart of Dixie, written by Leila Gerstein and starring Rachel Bilson. And the newly picked-up young witch tale The Secret Circle, which Williamson co-wrote and is executive producing with Andrew Miller, is rumored to get a lunch behind the CW’s top series The Vampire Diaries, which Williamson also co-created and is executive producing. Freshman Nikita, which ran behind Vampire Diaries this season, is expected to move to Fridays, paired with veteran Supernatural. That would give McG a night on the CW too as he executive produces both shows. I also hear One Tree Hill may be held as a backup.
The CW Network just gave early pickup to almost all of its returning series, including reality veteran America’s Next Top Model, which has been renewed for 2 more cycles, including its first ever All-Star edition in the fall. On the scripted side, picked up for next season are the CW’s flagship series The Vampire Diaries, the Monday duo of 90210 and Gossip Girl and sci-fi veteran Supernatural. The only returning series besides departing Smallville not to get an early renewal is veteran One Tree Hill, which is back on the bubble where it was also last year before snagging a last-minute 13-episode order that was later expanded for a full-season 22-episode pickup. Also missing from the list are the CW’s 2 scripted freshmen, Nikita and Hellcats, which are also very much on the bubble. But, judging by the CW’s renewal patterns in the past, there is a very good chance that 2 of the 3 bubble series will eventually make the cut. All five newly renewed series will return in Fall 2011.
According to the CW, the All-Star Edition of Top Model will “feature the models who became breakout characters and who had the most memorable stories from past cycles.” Additional details about the cast, judges and prizes for the All-Star cycle will be announced later. Now in its second season, Vampire Diaries remains the CW’s most-watched show (4.0 million viewers) and top-rated show among the network’s target audience … Read More »
It was another sad Monday ratings performance for NBC, which hit another season low on the night with all original programming. Chuck (1.3/4) was even with last week, tying its series low. But it also delivered NBC’s highest demo rating last night. The Event (1.1/3) was down 13% from its last original two weeks ago for a series low. And the relaunch of Law & Order: Los Angeles continues to sputter. In its second week since the series’ return last Monday, the Law & Order spinoff drew a 1.1/3, down a steep 27% from the two-hour midseason premiere last week. Such an underwhelming performance bodes well for David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law, which did better in the slot earlier this midseason.
ABC’s Dancing With the Stars performance show (3.9/11) was down 13% from last week to rank as the lowest-rated spring performance telecast ever for the venerable reality franchise. In its special airing after Dancing, a new Cougar Town (2.3/6) was down 15% from its last original Feb. 2. Proving that comedy series do better in a block, even with a weaker lead-in, that last original followed a Modern Family repeat. The first of a slew of specials about the upcoming Royal Wedding, ABC News: William & Catherine: A Modern Fairytale, averaged a 1.7/4 at 10 PM. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 24 vet Mary Lynn Rajskub has landed a guest appearance on Fox’s freshman comedy Raising Hope. The actress/comedian will play the never-before-seen wife of Cousin Mike (Skyler Stone). The twist? Rajskub’s character has three other husbands. The episode is scheduled to air in February.
Fresh off his recurring stint on NBC’s Parenthood (where he played Lauren Graham’s boss and boyfriend), Billy Baldwin is headed back to Gossip Girl to reprise his role as William van der Woodsen, father to Serena (Blake Lively) and Eric (Connor Paolo) and the ex-husband of Lily (Kelly Rutherford). He’s slated to appear in at least two episodes of the CW soap.
Lastly, Persons Unknown lead Jason Wiles is set to guest star on ABC’s Castle this February. He’ll play an old friend of Castle‘s (Nathan Fillion) who becomes a prime suspect in a murder. Michael Ausiello is contributing to Deadline.com as he preps for the launch of TVLine.com, a new TV-centric website from MMC.
EXCLUSIVE: Kaylee Defer is joining the CW series Gossip Girl as a recurring with a series option for next season. Her character which, like most things Gossip Girl, is shrouded in secrecy, is said to be Lily’s (Kelly Rutherford) niece. She will be introduced later this season. Defer, repped by Innovative and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Entertainment, was a regular on the Fox comedy The War at Home and the WB drama The Mountain, which was executive produced by Gossip Girl co-creator Stephanie Savage.
EXCLUSIVE: Gossip Girl firebrand Taylor Momsen will continue to be a scarce presence on the CW soap during the second half of the season. Sources confirm that the increasingly volatile actress — who has appeared in a grand total of three episodes this fall despite being listed as a series regular — will begin an indefinite hiatus following next Monday’s episode. Although reps for The CW and producer Warner Bros. declined to comment, sources confirm that Momsen’s Jenny will be MIA for at least four episodes beginning with the show’s midseason finale on Dec. 6. The news comes as the 17-year-old Pretty Reckless singer’s off-screen antics continue to raise eyebrows. Read More »
The studio’s TV arm has completed its acquisition of one of the UK’s largest independent producers. Warner wanted Shed Media, which makes Supernanny for America, because it wants to expand overseas, replicating the success it has had in America with shows such as The Wire and Gossip Girl – both of which have exported well. Shed will remain an independent producer. Outright Distribution, its TV sales company, will be folded into UK-based Warner Bros International Television Production. But the Outright brand will remain without any job losses.