And just like we predicted a month ago, the CW has renewed all of its existing series. The last to get the nod today are The Carrie Diaries and Nikita. The network is not confirming the sizes of the pickups, but Carrie’s is automatically a 13-episode order as it is a midseason show, and I hear Nikita will return for a six-episode cycle. I had heard that could be the final chapter for Nikita, though if the limited event series format works, the CW may leave the door open to additional installments. The network had been looking to break into the limited series format for the last couple of seasons. Carrie Diaries and Nikita join previously renewed Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hart Of Dixie and Beauty And The Beast.
The CW‘s midseason drama The Carrie Diaries wraps its 13-episode freshman season tonight. With its pedigree as an offshoot from one of most recognizable media franchises of the last 20 years, Sex And The City, it was expected to be a slam-dunk. Instead, Carrie Diaries started slow and is finishing its run on the bubble. But while its TV ratings alone would’ve likely pushed the series toward cancellation, Carrie Diaries‘ very strong online play including on Hulu is making the renewal a possibility. What’s more, besides the three shows the CW already cancelled this season — veteran 90210 and freshmen Emily Owens MD and Cult — there is a chance that the CW returns all of its other series including Hart Of Dixie, Nikita, Beauty And The Beast and Carrie Diaries in some shape or form, including limited runs. (The CW’s strongest series, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and veteran Supernatural, were already renewed in February.)
More than other networks’ series, the online performance of CW shows, most of which are serialized, plays an important part in the net’s renewal decisions. After all, episode streaming provides a key revenue stream for the CW. In addition to commercial-loaded play on the the network’s website, the CW’s current series are available on Hulu under a five-year, $75-million deal, while previous seasons of CW shows are on Netflix as part of the eye-popping four-year, $1 billion pact the two companies inked in late 2011. The Netflix deal in particular represents an incentive for the CW to keep shows on the air longer because that raises interest in previous seasons as evident by such current serialized cable series as Breaking Bad, whose older seasons became blockbuster hits on Netflix.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The CW took center stage at TCA in Pasadena this morning with a supersized panel of 9 actors and 4 executive producers representing The Carrie Diaries, the new ensemble Sex And The City prequel that premieres tomorrow night at 8. One obvious question was why this show wound up on CW rather than, say, HBO, the home of its predecessor. “We always felt this was predestined for The CW,” stressed exec producer Josh Schwartz.” Fellow exec producer Amy B. Harris, a Sex And The City staff writing alum who is running Carrie Diaries, related that Warner Bros. originally asked Sex showrunner Michael Patrick King if he was interested in turning writer Candace Bushnell’s book into a series, but he was busy with CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and suggested they approach Harris. “It just felt right in every way for The CW to be the perfect home for it”, she said. It gave us the chance to tell fun, provocative high school stories.” In other words, HBO perhaps would have proved too niche-y and limiting for the soapier series the producers had in mind.
EXCLUSIVE: Taryn Manning (Hawaii Five-0) has been cast in a major 9-episode arc on Orange Is The New Black, Netflix’s new 13-episode hourlong series from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. It centers on Piper (Taylor Schilling), an engaged Brooklynite whose decade-old relationship with a drug-runner (Laura Prepon) in college results in her arrest and multi-year detention in a federal penitentiary. Manning will play inmate Tiffany Doggett, a wild child from Waynesboro, Virginia. Better known as “Pennsatucky” for her Appalachian way of speaking, she’s a born-again Evangelical with underlying anger issues who doesn’t mix well with others. Manning, repped by APA and manager Oren Segal, also recurred on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy.
At its upfront in May, the CW announced that The Carrie Diaries will succeed departing Gossip Girl in the Monday 9 PM slot in midseason. Now the network has tweaked its plans, setting the Sex And The City prequel series for a January 14 premiere at 8 PM. The newbie will swap slots with veteran 90210, which will slide to 9 PM. I hear that the rationale behind the decision is that, like fall breakout Arrow, Carrie Diaries will be supported by a big marketing push, which may make it a better 8 PM anchor just like Arrow is on Wednesdays, lifting veteran Supernatural with it. A sneak peak from The Carrie Diaries will be featured during the December 17 two-hour series finale of Gossip Girl.
The CW will formally announce the rest of its midseason schedule at a later date, but the majority of its lineup is expected to return to originals the week of January 14.
I hear Beauty & The Beast, the CW‘s reboot of the 1980s series, is likely to snag the network’s marquee launching pad behind The Vampire Diaries on Thursday in the fall. The series, …
The CW has made five new drama series pickups, with all early standouts making the cut. That includes the Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries, the Green Arrow-themed Arrow, the contemporary reboot of the 1980s series Beauty and the Beast, mystery Cult and medical drama First Cut starring Mamie Gummer.
Picking up five new scripted series is a record for the CW which, under new topper Mark Pedowitz, has vowed to increase the amount of originals on the air at any time, avoiding long spells of repeats. The CW also has been planning to employ the cable model of shorter seasons with some of its series, including Cult, which had been envisioned from the get-go as doing 13 episodes a season. There had been speculation that the CW would pick up as many as 5-6 of its eight pilots to series. The sixth drama pilot that had been in serious contention but did not get a nod today was the book adaptation The Selection whose chances were boosted by its similarities to the blockbuster Hunger Games movie franchise. Were those similarities too close for comfort?
The large number of new series pickups does not bode well for the CW many bubble series but a couple, like Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and maybe Nikita, would likely make the cut. Studio-wise, three of the five new CW series, Carrie Diaries, Arrow and Cult, hail from Warner Bros. TV, the other two from CBS TV Studios. Two of the series are co-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s WBTV-based Fake Empire, while Arrow is with Berlanti Prods.
(RE-POSTED FROM FRIDAY): Back by popular demand: Deadline’s Pilot Buzz lists. We’re earlier than normal this year while pilots have generally been late, with only a handful of them having cuts by now and the vast majority still in various stages of production. Therefore, everything on this list has to be taken with a gigantic grain of salt as a lot could change between a table read and a final cut. Take NBC’s comedy pilot SAVE ME for example. After some mixed and even negative chatter early on, mostly related to the tone of the show, originally developed for Showtime, the tide changed completely over the last two days when people saw the completed pilot, which is getting high marks. The list also doesn’t cover every pilot as some of them have not gotten into production yet or feedback has been insufficient:
The network already has one new scripted series on tap for next season, HANNIBAL, which I hear may go for midseason. With the network in such bad shape after years of neglect and bad decisions by previous regimes, NBC seems to have cast a very wide net this season, developing a vast range of projects that are all over the map, making it harder to handicap. On the drama side, mystery MIDNIGHT SUN and the Jekyll & Hyde-esque DO NO HARM are getting some solid early buzz. The Jason Katims/Jason Ritter medical drama COUNTY, which just wrapped, also has been getting positive feedback. Western-esque THE FRONTIER, which is shooting in Australia, is getting notices for its rich look. Comedy-wise, ANIMAL KINGDOM is hot, as is White House family comedy 1600 PENN, despite a last-minute recasting, as well as the Matthew Perry starrer GO ON and Greg Daniels’ FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER. The network also is high on a couple of multi-camera comedies, the untitled KARI LIZER and JIMMY FALLON projects, with TABLE FOR THREE also looking encouraging so far. The Ryan Murphy/Ali Adler blended family comedy THE NEW NORMAL is still shooting but, with the auspices involved, it is considered a strong contender. NBC brass seem to like the SARAH SILVERMAN pilot, which had an early order, but Silverman is considered acquired taste, so a lot will depend on testing.
The KEVIN WILLIAMSON project was very strong at the script stage, got even stronger with the casting of Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and seems to be sailing through production. Meanwhile the untitled KARYN USHER teen-spy drama, which also was an early standout during the script phase, then hit a speed bump in casting the lead, which took a very long time, now appears to be in great shape, with newcomer Saxon Sharbino getting strong reviews. The Williamson and Karyn projects seem to be the top drama contenders at the moment,
Here is the first image of AnnaSophia Robb, star of the CW pilot The Carrie Diaries, as young Carrie Bradshaw. The project, from Warner Bros TV and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire, is based on Candace Bushnell’s novel, a prequel to her best-seller Sex And The City that was adapted into the iconic HBO series. It chronicles Carrie’s (Robb) coming of age in the 1980s when she asks her first questions about love, sex, friendship and family while exploring the worlds of high school and Manhattan. It’s clear she already has her eclectic fashion style and sports her trademark curls too.