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TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz “Just Happy To Have Viewers”, Talks ‘Beauty’ Reprieve, ‘Star-Crossed’, ‘Tomorrow People’ & ‘Carrie Diaries’ Cancellation, DC Plans, Diversity

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 10:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz “Just Happy To Have Viewers”, Talks ‘Beauty’ Reprieve, ‘Star-Crossed’, ‘Tomorrow People’ & ‘Carrie Diaries’ Cancellation, DC Plans, DiversityThe CW president Mark Pedowitz likes to set the tone for his TCA executive session with a music theme that plays while he is walking out. Today it was a Buena Vista Social Club tune in honor of the network’s new dramedy Jane The Virgin. Expectations are high for the charming comedic soap in the mold of Ugly Betty, which also put the CW on the list of networks with high marks on diversity this season. A couple of years ago, touting Beauty And The Beast‘s Kristin Kreuk as Asian American was the best Pedowitz could come up with when pressed on the whiteness of the network’s new series. Now, the network has a Latino family show. “I believe shows need to reflect what America looks like,” he said today.

CW logoPedowitz was asked to lay out the distinction between BeautyAnd The Beast, which was renewed, and fellow bubble series Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries and The Tomorrow People that wasn’t. “Beauty And The Beast has a very engaged fan base, and it is a very profitable show,” Pedowitz said of the remake, which is a big international seller for sister studio CBS TV Studios. As for those that didn’t make the cut, Pedowitz admitted to having received 90 boxes of pasta from angry fans of cancelled alien romance Star-Crossed. Read More »

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CW’s Pre-Upfront Meet The Press: Mark Pedowitz Talks Accidental Artificial Inseminated Virgins, ‘Flash,’ And High Octane TV

Upfronts2014_badge__140505214755 The CW logoCW chief Mark Pedowitz got on the phone this morning to talk to press tour reporters about his new schedule, which has just two new series for fall: Jane The Virgin –  engaged virgin (Gina Rodriguez) gets artificially inseminated by accident at medical clinic — is  paired with returning vampire/werewolf/witch drama The Originals on Mondays. And  The Flash guy acquires super-fast powers after run-in with cutting edge particle accelerator — is paired with 10th season of Supernatural on Tuesdays. Arrow, meanwhile, is back on Wednesdays, with post-apocalyptic drama The 100, The Vampire Diaries segues into crunchy gravel drama Reign on Thursdays, and improv comedy Whose Line Is It Anyway leads into America’s Next Top Model on Fridays.) Two new dramas are on the midseason bench: iZombie — pretty med student turned into a zombie when zombie feeding frenzy breaks out at a party — and The Messengers — scientist’s heart stops in New Mexico desert when mysterious objects falls to earth and explodes, linking her with four strangers. Also back in ’15: returning Hart Of Dixie and fantasy Beauty And The Beast.

Here’s how it went…

8:30 AM ET: “We had a really good year this year,” Pedowitz said by way of warming up the crowd.  It’s CW’s most watched season in three years. The network will finish the season up in total viewers, up in 18-49, steady in 18-34 and with its highest concentration of young men yet. The crop of new series joining the slate will advance his goal for “more inclusive programming.”

Related: CW 2014 Fall Schedule: Few Changes, ‘The Flash’ Paired With ‘Supernatural’

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TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz Touts Pilot Model Success, “Bullish” On ‘Reign’ & ‘Flash’

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 3:52pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

TCA Like Nina Tassler, who runs sibling network CBS, the CW President Mark Pedowitz too plans to stick with the traditional pilots season despite Fox’s decision to abandon the model, announced by chairman Kevin Reilly on Monday. “We do not do that many pilots,” he noted. Indeed, the biggest complaint about pilot season has been the pressure to cast and produce so many pilots in so little time, chasing the same talent. The CW makes about eight pilots, about a third of the number most of the Big 4 networks, and the network doesn’t go for the same actors as its shows cw11feature younger characters mostly cast with up-and-coming actors. Pedowitz also talked up the CW’s high pilot-to-series ratio, which is closer to a cable network than a broadcaster. In moving away from pilot season, Reilly said he was hoping to improve the network’s batting average, with fewer pilots and most of them going to series. In the CW’s two development seasons under Pedowitz, the network made eight pilots each year, with four of them going to series in 2012 and five in 2013, a very high percentage for a broadcaster. “For us it’s a very efficient system, and you learn things that you would never have seen otherwise,” Pedowitz said. “We are perfectly happy with the traditional system but wish Kevin well.”

CBS’ Nina Tassler: “Pilot Season Is Not Perfect But Works For Us”
Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work
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TCA: The CW Orders Barbershop and Magic Competitions, Holy Grail Event Series

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 1:35pm PST

TCA The CW came to TCA this morning to announce it had bought a barbershop competition series hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, a magician reality series hosted by Penn & Teller, and a four-hour event series about the Holy Grail.

Cedric the EntertainerBarber Battle visits different barbershops across the country in each of its 10 episodes.  The most talented barbers will compete to showcase their artistry — from portraits to landmarks to ballparks — on someone’’s head.  Judges, locations and contestants will be announced later. Cedric exec produces along with Mark Efman (“Charlemagne & Friends,” “A&E Biographies”).

Penn and TellerOn each of the nine episodes of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick. Anyone who succeeds in fooling Penn & Teller wins the right to perform with them at their show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A live studio audience and viewers watch along with Penn & Teller as they try to figure out the secrets. Penn & Teller see the trick only once and have to try to work it out immediately. British television and radio personality Jonathan Ross (“Friday Night With Jonathan Ross”) serves as host.  Penn & Teller: Fool Us is created and produced by 117 Productions and September Films (part of DCD Media) for ITV, with executive producers Peter Adam Golden and Andrew Golder, David Green and Peter Davey. Read More »

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TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz On The Network’s Viability & Introducing Scripted Comedies

By | Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 10:01am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Speaking at CBS’ TCA presentation yesterday, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves was asked about the sustainability of the CW as a business given its low ratings. “The CW as an entity may lose some money,” Moonves acknowledged. “However, CW is owned by two companies that produce the shows. The shows bring us more revenue than the losses do. So it’s still valuable, and there’s still a marketplace for it.” The revenue Moonves was referring to comes from the monster deal Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studios have with Netflix for the streaming rights of its older CW series. The CW itself gets an extra (albeit smaller) revenue stream from Hulu, which airs recent episodes of the CW’s current series. Asked for comment at the CW’s executive session today, the network’s president Mark Pedowitz was careful in his response. “I pay particular attention to Leslie’s comments,” he quipped. “Our parent company is very happy. Within the ecosystem of the entire company, it is a profitable venture. We are a platform.” He later was asked whether the CW could survive should the Netflix deal go away. ”I believe we can survive in some form,” he said, noting that for online viewing “serialized programming is a necessity; that’s where it thrives.”

Related:Read More »

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CW Expands Streaming To Apple TV And Renames Digital Studio

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 10:32am PDT

Like most other broadcasters this upfront week, CW execs today urged advertisers to consider the network’s involvement with digital platforms — and announced that its streamed shows, now available on Windows and Xbox, will also work with Apple TV. “This year we’re reaching more viewers on more platforms,” CW President Mark Pedowitz said during the CW presentation. With more than 20% of the network’s audience coming from digital sources, CW “will continue to make it as easy for you [to advertise] on every platform we’re on now and in the future.” He also announced that his CWD digital studio, which produces original videos for the Web, will be renamed CW Seed. “If the CW is what’s now, then CW Seed is what’s next,” he says. It will offer “new ways to connect to our viewers…It is about continuing our momentum.” After the presentation, Pedowitz said that the television network has cut some deals with advertisers based on the number of viewers who see an ad up to seven days after it airs, as opposed to the conventional three days. Some broadcasters would like to shift to a 7-day standard as DVR usage grows. Pedowitz calls it ”a good opportunity for some advertisers” that don’t have time-sensitive messages.

Related: CW New Series First Looks: Video

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CW’s Mark Pedowitz On ‘Selection’, ‘Battle Royale’ Development Plans, Digital Route With Comedy, Shorter Drama Orders: TCA

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 11:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The CW remains high on the concept of young people battling each other. The network last season developed the Hunger Games-esque The Selection, an adaptation of Kiera Cass’ book. The project went to pilot but didn’t make the cut to series. “I’m a big believer (in the concept)”, the CW’s president Mark Pedowitz said during the CW’s TCA executive session. “The producers did a very good job, but it wasn’t where we wanted to be tone-wise, we wanted it to have a Hunger Games/Game Of Thrones-type tone.” Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, who wrote the original pilot, are back rewriting it.
Mark Pedowitz CW TCA
While Selection is still in the works, the CW also is looking to put a development a series version of the 2000 cult Japanese movie Battle Royale, Pedowitz confirmed, stressing that talks are very preliminary. The film is about a group of school children sent to an island where, on the government’s orders, they must kill each other until one remains. Asked about the rationale behind going after such a violent premise involving school-age kids shooting and killing other kids, especially in the current environment, Pedowitz said that “we’re not planning anything that we cannot get on the air; we won’t go in that direction.”

After the session, Pedowitz noted that his team is in conversation with Warner Bros TV about more projects based on DC properties to join new drama Arrow. “Even if Arrow does not work — and I hope it does work for a lot of reasons — we plan to continue developing comic characters,” he said.

Related: CW’s Liberal ‘Arrow’ Hero Targets “Wealthy And Corrupt”: TCA

The CW continues to be interested in bringing back comedy series to the network, but the plan is being put on the back burner until “we stabilize the schedule,” Pedowitz said. Last season, the network developed eight half-hour scripts. It held onto two of them — an adaptation of the 2009 British comedy FM and the Craig Zadan- and Neil Meron-produced Swordfighting – for midseason consideration. Now Pedowitz said there will be no movement on the comedy front until after the CW fall lineup premieres but the network will continue to selectively buy comedy pitches. He also said that, instead of going down the traditional pilot route,we may do it through digital,” testing comedies online before making a decision whether to migrate them to TV.

Doing yet another postmortem on cancelled Sarah Michelle Gellar drama Ringer, Pedowitz noted that “22 episodes a season may be too many” for a heavily serialized drama, with six or 13 probably more manageable. (New CW serialized drama Cult will run a 13-episode first season.) Pedowitz also repeated his statement from the upfront that the CW has invited Gellar to come back to the network as an actress or producer.

Pedowitz was asked about the CW’s ratings woes (the network recently earned a 0.0 overnight rating for a repeat of 90210). He reiterated that overnight ratings have little meaning for the network. “We look at it through an aggregation, (including digital platforms)”, he said. “We can measure who’s watching us on digital, but it does not count with the Nielsen ratings.” Read More »

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The CW Sets October Fall Premiere Dates

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 11:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CW Fall 2012 ScheduleAs it promised at its upfront presentation in May, the CW will premiere its fall lineup in October, starting the Tuesday after the official premiere week. The network will roll out its fall schedule over two weeks, from October 2 through October 19. When the CW made the original announcement, the network’s president Mark Pedowitz explained the decision with the desire to wait until viewers have sampled the new offerings on the other broadcast networks. But that probably won’t be the case exactly as NBC and Fox both unveiled staggered fall launches that span from mid- August-mid September to mid-late October. (CBS, which usually sticks to the premiere week tradition, is yet to announce its fall launch dates.)  Here is is the CW’s fall premiere schedule:

Related: TV Teasers: New CW Series ‘Beauty & The Beast’, ‘Arrow’ And ‘Emily Owens MD’


8-9 PM  HART OF DIXIE (Season Premiere)


9-10 PM  SUPERNATURAL (Season Premiere) Read More »

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CW Upfront Presentation: Live Blog

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 8:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

With a new management regime and new upfront venue at New York City Center, the CW symbolically opened its presentation with “Let it Roll (Good Times)”, a new song by Flo Rida who did a medley to kick off the proceedings. ”This is a transformative year for the CW with bigger and bolder programming,” said Mark Pedowitz, in his first solo upfront appearance as the CW president following his first development season at the network.

CW Upfront 2012Pedowitz called Mamie Gummer as the star of new Grey’s Anatomy-esque medical drama Emily Owens, MD “catching a lightning in a bottle.” Gummer made a great impression by being the only star of a CW show paraded onstage who didn’t stick to the bland Teleprompter-generated lines but opted for a heart-felt, quirky speech about how feels about the show that channeled her famous mom, Meryl Streep.

Related: CW First Look Teasers: 2012-13 New Shows

Next, Pedowitz is walking through the CW’s fall schedule. Announcing the final season of Gossip Girl, “the show that put the CW on the map” airing on Monday after 90210, the fiftysomething president thanked Gossip Girl producers “for many years of OMFG storytelling,” eliciting chuckles from the audience.

Related: The CW Eyes ‘The Selection’, Two Comedies For Midseason

Some of his other labels got a similar reaction:

Tuesday: “Doctor-doctor night” (Hart Of Dixie, Emily Owens, MD)

Wednesday: “A superhero … Read More »

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The CW’s 2012-13 Schedule: ‘Supernatural’ To Wednesday, ‘Top Model’ To Friday, Fall Launch Pushed To October

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 6:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The CW is adding five new drama series for 50 extra original hours to its 2012-13 primetime schedule. The network has always tried to avoid the mayhem of broadcast premiere week in late September, but that has mostly included premiering shows earlier, something that contributed to the network’s woes of having to air long stretches of repeats during the season. This time, in what network president Mark Pedowitz calls a “transformative season” for the CW, the network will “strategically” roll out its fall lineup in early October. It hopes to keep the lights on until then with the CW’s first-ever summer schedule featuring a slew of originals.

Related: CW Upfront Presentation: Live Blog

The CW is introducing three of its five new dramas – Arrow, Beauty And The Beast and Emily Owens, MD (formerly First Cut) — in the fall. The other two – Cult, which always was envisioned to have cable-type shorter seasons, and The Carrie Diaries — are joining in midseason.

The CW is making a lot of scheduling moves. After two seasons on Friday, most recently pitted against similarly male-skewing sci-fi-tinged Fringe and Grimm, Supernatural is moving to Wednesday paired with new drama Arrow. Supernatural has performed best when airing behind the Smallville, so putting it behind another series based on a DC character seems promising for the sci-fi veteran, which has not had a suitable, male-appeal companion since the departure of Smallville.

After eight seasons on Wednesday going back to its days on UPN, veteran reality series America’s Next Top Model is moving to Friday. That also appears logical given the franchise’s ratings erosion this season. Top Model is paired with Nikita, which is getting the lead-in support it was lacking this season.

Reuniting on Mondays are 90210 and Gossip Girl in its final 11-season season. It will be succeed in midseason by The Carrie Diaries. Hart Of Dixie, which launched behind Gossip Girl this season, is taking over 90210‘s Tuesday 8 PM anchor position, paired with another medical drama with a female lead, newbie Emily Owens, MD.

Related: ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Eyes CW’s Post-’Vampire Diaries’ Slot

Flagship drama The Vampire Diaries is being used as a launching pad for another series about an unconventional love story, Beauty And the Beast, a reboot of the 1980s series.



8:00-9:00 PM            90210 (New Night)

9:00-10:00 PM         GOSSIP GIRL (New Time)
THE CARRIE DIARIES premieres January, 2013


8:00-9:00 PM          HART OF DIXIE (New Night)

9:00-10:00 PM        EMILY OWENS, M.D. (New Series)

Read More »

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The CW Teams With J.J. Abrams & ‘OTH’ Creator Mark Schwahn For Hotel Drama

By | Wednesday December 7, 2011 @ 11:16am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: J.J. Abrams is headed to the CW. In his first stint at the 5-year-old network, the top writer-producer-director has teamed up with Mark Schwahn, creator/executive producer/showrunner of the CW’s long-running drama One Tree Hill. The power pair has sold a hotel drama to the CW, which will instantly become one of the the network’s highest-profile projects this development season. Schwahn will write the show, tentatively titled Maine, which is set at an inn in Maine and revolves around the staff and the inn’s guests. Abrams and Schwahn will executive produce with Bryan Burk for Warner Bros TV, Abrams’ studio-based Bad Robot and Schwahn’s Mastermind Laboratories. In scope, the character-based drama, which has received a script commitment, harkens to Schwahn’s OTH, which will end its nine-year run early next year, and Abrams’ Felicity. This also marks a homecoming of sorts for Abrams, who started his TV career on the CW predecessor the WB with Felicity. For Schwahn, the project stems from a script deal with WBTV. Read More »

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The CW’s Marketing Chief Rick Haskins Stays, Gets Expanded Responsibilities

By | Wednesday November 30, 2011 @ 11:30am PST
Nellie Andreeva

The CW’s new head of marketing is… Rick Haskins. The network’s outgoing marketing chief has agreed to stay on in a new, expended role. Haskins, whose full title was EVP Digital, New Technologies, Marketing and Brand Strategy, has been upped to EVP, Marketing and Digital Programs, a new position in which he will continue to report to the CW president Mark Pedowitz.

In his new role, Haskins will continue to spearhead all aspects of the network’s marketing and digital initiatives, as he has done since the network’s inception. Additionally, he  will oversee the development and production of original digital entertainment content for The CW’s online, mobile and social media platforms. The CW has created some original content for online and social media in the past, but that will now become a big concerted effort that will include both digital extensions of the network’s series and new standalone programming. Haskins is opening the doors for pitches and is casting a wide net for longform or shortform, scripted or unscripted, weekly or even daily programs. The CW just received a cash infusion through its deals with Netflix and Hulu, with portion of the money earmarked for boosting the network’s development funds. Some of the projects will likely be produced in conjunction with Studio 2.0, the digital division of the CW corporate sibling and major supplier Warner Bros. TV. “We are looking for new talent, people who have had a passion project that would be better suited as a digital, not TV program,” Haskins said. Still, some of the shows that start online could transition to TV. Read More »

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CW Gives Full-Season Orders To ‘Hart Of Dixie’ & ‘Secret Circle’, Goes 3-For-3

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 3:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CW Gives Sarah Michelle Gellar Drama ‘Ringer’ Full-Season Order

In one fell swoop, The CW has given full-season orders to all of its three freshmen series. Following the pickup of Ringer earlier today, the network also has given back-nine orders to fellow rookies Hart Of Dixie and The Secret Circle. None of the three have been breakout hits for the CW, but network president Mark Pedowitz indicated that it was less the series’ ratings performance and more their long-term potential that drove the pickup decision. “We believe in the creative strength of these dramas, and by giving them back nine orders we can give our audience the chance to enjoy complete seasons of all three of them,” he said. “With compelling storylines, engaging characters and tremendous buzz, we firmly believe that Hart Of Dixie, Ringer and The Secret Circle can become signature series for The CW, the kind of top-notch shows that are synonymous with our brand.” The CW had been in bad shape in the ratings, down 36% in adults 18-39 to a 0.7 in the Live+Same Day numbers for premiere week. But when the Live+7 numbers for the season’s opening week came out yesterday, the network shot up 43% to a 1.0 to erase the declines and then some. Read More »

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HRTS: Broadcast Network Chiefs Reflect On ‘Crazy’ Pitch Season

Nellie Andreeva

We are at the tail end of a TV selling season that saw more bidding wars and production and put pilot commitments than I can remember, and that isn’t lost on the broadcast entertainment presidents. Survivor‘s Jeff Probst opened the discussion at the annual Hollywood Radio & Television Society network chiefs luncheon today by sharing that during his lunch with the executives before they took the stage, everyone was complaining about how crazy and out of whack this pitch season has been. Fox’s Kevin Reilly, who spoke his mind more than anyone else on the panel, quickly jumped in. “(NBC) got cash, (ABC) got competitive against that cash, and we took the bait,” is how Reilly summed up this year’s marketplace. “We all think we were played a little bit. Agents are doing very well this year as a result.” Reilly’s counterparts mostly agreed, though their responses were more measured. “It’s been very, very frantic this year,” CBS’ Nina Tassler said. She blamed media coverage for the increased intensity of the pitch season. “Every single thing that happens is now being reported, from a pitch to speculation on the terms of a deal, and that does absolutely impact the business.” Added NBC’s Jennifer Salke: “I get the email about a media inquiry while the producer is still in the parking lot. That adds to the frenzy.” But it wasn’t all bad this buying season, ABC’s Paul Lee said. “There was also a rush of new energy, with a lot of new people and new ideas; there was lot of ambition in the projects coming in,” he said. Read More »

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CW’s Head Of Business Affairs To Exit

By | Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 12:38am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: CW’s head of business affairs Rich Vokulich is exiting the broadcast network after four years. He is expected to leave this week. It is unclear whether Vokulich will be replaced. CW’s new president Mark Pedowitz, who took over in May, has the reputation of one of the top business affairs executives in the TV industry. He started his career in business affairs, raising to head of business affairs for ABC and its sister studio before taking over ABC Studios as president. Additionally, CW’s COO John Maatta, to whom Vokulich reported, also has a legal background. Before joining CW in 2007 in his current position, Vokulich served as an executive consultant for CBS TV Studios (the CBS Par Network TV) and EVP at Fox TV Studios from 1999-2005. This is the second CW department head to depart this year following the April decision by marketing topper Rick Haskins not to renew his contract in May. However, Haskins back then agreed to stay on until August to help with the fall launch and now has extended his stay by a couple more months while Pedowitz searches for his replacement.

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CW Revisits Todd Graff’s Dramedy ‘Acting Out’ For Its First Comedy Buy

By | Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 4:09pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after new CW president Mark Pedowitz indicated that the network will be open to comedies this development season, the CW has made its first half-hour buy, Todd Graff’s summer camp comedy Acting Out, executive produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. This is a multicamera half-hour version of the project that CW originally developed as a an hourlong musical dramedy last season when it was described as Glee meets Bad Santa. Acting Out is now being retooled as a workplace comedy with performance pieces. It will explore relationships of counselors and staff of a down-on-its-luck summer camp whose new owner, a young curmudgeon in the vein of Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, runs afoul of the camp’s general manager, a sexy but wound-too-tight former actress. Bandslam writer-director Graff will adapt his original script and executive produce with Goldsmith-Thomas for CBS TV Studios. Goldsmith-Thomas Prods executive Marisa Yeres is also expected to get a producing credit. This is a familiar setting for Graff, who also wrote and directed the 2003 film Camp, about a burnt-out Broadway songwriter who goes to work at a musical camp for young performers. At TCA last week, Pedowitz said the network will develop comedy “very slowly, very smartly — baby steps, selectively.”

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TCA: The CW Open To Comedies, Procedurals, Remakes & Superheroes

Nellie Andreeva

In his TCA debut today, new CW president Mark Pedowitz gave a glimpse at his strategy for the broadcast network. To sum it up, more original programming to bridge the ghastly midseason (and summer) hole on the network’s schedule when it goes into a dormant state with low-rated repeats of its serialized dramas.

In addition to launching more reality shows and boosting the orders of existing series with more episodes for more weeks of originals (CW is adding two episodes each to Gossip Girl and 90210 and one to Supernatural and Nikita this season), the network also hopes to add scripted genres that repeat better than serialized dramas for fall 2012. “We are still looking to do high-concept serialized dramas, but we will have a deeper focus on trying to get a good close-ended show that has a CW feel to it,” Pedowitz said, adding later, “It helps in repeats. We have to be able to repeat better.”

And comedy, the genre which exited CW’s slate a couple of years ago, may be making a comeback. “We are opening ourselves to look at comedies this year,” Pedowitz said. “I think there are some new comedies this fall would’ve worked on the CW: 2 Broke Girls, New Girl and Apartment 23.” After the session, he stressed that the network will develop comedy “very slowly, very smartly — baby steps, selectively.” … Read More »

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CW Orders Additional Episodes Of Four Returning Dramas

By | Wednesday August 3, 2011 @ 1:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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.

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Final Thoughts On The Broadcast Upfronts: Wind Of Change

Nellie Andreeva

Exactly 20 years ago, German rock band Scorpions released Wind of Change, which became an anthem for our generation of young Eastern Europeans going through a dramatic political change: the fall of communism. Coming back from the broadcast upfront presentations in New York last week, I’ve been having a hard time getting the catchy tune out of my head. While less far-reaching and profound, there is a clear sense of changing of the guard and a new direction for the broadcast networks this year. I can’t remember a time where the majority of the networks had new heads at their upfront presentations. Paul Lee took over for Steve McPherson at ABC, Bob Greenblatt for Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad at NBC, and Mark Pedowitz is succeeding Dawn Ostroff at the CW. There is a similar changing of the guard among the top TV producers this year. Upstart Chernin Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, which is re-entering the broadcast arena, topped the pods with the most new series, three each, with another recently launched company, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, scoring two new shows. And in its first season, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein one pilot, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, picked up to pilot, with another, Fox’s Family Album, in serious contention. Meanwhile, such longtime upfront fixtures as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Mark Gordon Co. and Wonderland didn’t land any new series for next season. Read More »

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