EXCLUSIVE: A little over a month after Nina Dobrev left her long-time agency Innovative Artists, The Vampire Diaries star has signed with CAA. The Bulgarian-born Canadian actress co-starred on the popular Canadian teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation before getting her big Hollywood break when she landed the lead on the CW’s Vampire Diaries. Dobrev will next be seen in the Lionsgate/Summit feature The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. She is managed by Cynthia Pett-Dante, Aleen Keshishian, and Scott Wexler at Brillstein Entertainment Partners and additionally repped by attorneys Gretchen Rush and Stephen Warren.
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, starring Kristin Kreuk, is one of five new scripted series the CW has picked up for next season — the most in the network’s six-year history. Among those is Arrow, based on DC’s Green Arrow character, which, like Vampire Diaries, is a genre show but skews a lot more male. That makes Beauty & The Beast, a cop procedural set against a love story between Catherine/Beauty (Kreuk) and Vincent/Beast (Jay Ryan), a more suitable companion to the vampire love saga.
Related: CW Picks Up ‘Carrie Diaries’, ‘Arrow’, ‘Cult’, ‘Beauty And The Beast’, ‘First Cut’ To Series
Speaking of female-centered new CW series, the network has the Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries on tap. The series shares a lot of its DNA with CW veteran Gossip Girl — both are about high-school fashionistas in New York, just living in different time periods, and both are produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Because of the similarities, with Gossip Girl ending its run with a 11-episode final season, it is logical for The Carrie Diaries, already hailed as its successor, to also succeed Gossip Girl on the schedule when it goes off the air. (Though how funny would it … Read More »
The CW today gave early renewals to its three strongest scripted series: flagship The Vampire Diaries, veteran Supernatural and 90210. The Vampire Diaries will return for its its fourth season, 90210 for its fifth and Supernatural for its eighth. There are no surprises in the pickups as all three had been certain to return. Of the network’s bubble shows – Gossip Girl, Nikita, The Secret Circle, Ringer and Hart Of Dixie – the bets are on Gossip Girl, Hart Of Dixie and possibly Nikita coming back. Gossip Girl is a big DVR gainer and has been a signature show for the CW that could go well together with Carrie Diaries, Hart Of Dixie has been very strong in online viewing, and Nikita is a big international seller for the CW’s sister studio Warner Bros TV. Further complicating things for Ringer, which already had little chance of continuing with its low ratings and dense-bordering-on-confusing storylines, is the fact that star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays two roles on the show, is pregnant. (Unless both twin sisters fell pregnant at the same time.) Word is the CW will also pick up as many as 5-6 new series, with Arrow, The Carrie Diaries, Beauty & The Beast, First Cut, Cult and the Hunger Games-esque The Selection considered frontrunners. The network is said to be looking to have a lot more originals on the air throughout a season next season.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW and Warner Bros TV kept the search for the male lead in their buzzed-about new pilot Cult in-house. Matt Davis, co-star of the hit CW/WBTV series The Vampire Diaries, is set to star opposite Jessica Lucas in the pilot, which WBTV co-produces with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire. Written by Rockne O’Bannon, Cult centers on Skye (Lucas), an inquisitive young production assistant on a wildly popular television show called Cult. After a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, she joins Jeff (Davis), a journalist blogger whose brother was among those gone missing, in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program in real life. In addition to starring in Cult, Davis will be available to make guest appearances in future seasons of Vampire Diaries, where he plays high school history teacher/vampire hunter Alaric Saltzman, though he will no longer be a regular. He is with Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment.
ABC and the CW returned to originals last night with CBS, NBC and Fox sticking to reruns. The premiere of ABC’s Winter Wipeout (2.8/8 among adults 18-49) was down 26% from its January 2011 premiere but up from the special Wipeout airing in November, which drew a 1.9. Wipeout marked a significant improvement for ABC in the Thursday 8 PM slot vs. fall occupant Charlie’s Angels and posted a season high in the hour among adults 18-49. It also may have helped Grey’s Anatomy (4.5/11), which returned up 10% from its most recent original two months ago. The gains extended to 10 PM, where Grey’s spinoff Private Practice (2.8/7) was up 8% from its last original in November. ABC (3.3/9, 9.5 million viewers) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers with its best numbers in 15 weeks. The CW’s Thursday dramas also came back after a two-month hiatus last night. Both The Vampire Diaries (1.4/4) and The Secret Circle (0.8/2) were even with their last originals November 10.
The CW has set return dates for its original series, which will go on hiatus next month. The network will roll out its lineup on January 5 with the Thursday duo of The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. The final 13-episode season of One Tree Hill will launch on January 11 and will run on Wednesdays in tandem with new reality series Remodeled, which will serve as a bridge between the two cycles of America’s Next Top Model. Because Remodeled‘s order is shorter than that of OTH, the final episodes of OTH are expected to air with Top Model, whose midseason premiere date will be announced early next year. Here is a list of the CW’s midseason premiere dates: Read More »
UPDATE, 11:10 AM: This deal’s more lucrative than it initially seemed. Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker figures it could be worth as much as $1B for CW. While she acknowledges that “the accounting is somewhat complex,” she says that CBS — which co-owns CW with Time Warner — might see an additional 5 cents a share annually. Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett says it could contribute 2 cents a share to Time Warner. “The money-losing CW may also retain a minority of the Netflix fee, helping reduce its losses,” he adds. The deal’s so valuable because CW’s young-skewing shows fit well with the audience that streams shows on demand from Netflix. What’s more, Netflix’s payments escalate for long-running series.
Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum won’t comment on the financials but says the terms “won’t be repeated” because “other networks don’t own (as much of) their own content.” This isn’t an exclusive deal in the traditional sense — the shows can appear elsewhere – but Netflix has a narrow right to show entire seasons on-demand from previous years. (Others can license select episodes.) “We know from Day 1 that the syndication on-demand window has been sold, but we also have the ability to sell linear rights down the road,” Rosenblum says. CW shows also may continue to run on Netflix even if the deal isn’t renewed; the online service has the right to keep offering series that begin while it’s in force.
PREVIOUS, 7:55 AM: This one follows the usual pattern: Nothing current — just previous seasons of CW series. And it’s not exclusive. Producers can continue to sell their shows in syndication and to other digital services. No mention of how much Netflix will pay for the programming. Here’s the release:
October 13, 2011 — CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television Group announced today a licensing agreement with Netflix [Nasdaq: NFLX] allowing U.S. members of Netflix to instantly watch previous seasons of scripted series that air on The CW from its current schedule through the 2014-15 season.
Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
According to executive producer Kevin Williamson, there won’t be any guest crossover, or story crossover, between the CW’s The Vampire Diaries and the network’s new series The Secret Circle, making its debut Sept. 15. Even though both series are based on supernatural book series by the same teen-appeal author, L.J. Smith, Williamson told a TCA audience today that an effort is being made to keep the shows separate. The witch mythology of Secret Circle and the vampire-werewolf-occasional witch mythology of Vampire Diaries, he said, just don’t mix. “I don’t think you’ll see that crossover,” he said. “That would kind of limit us. We want to create our own story.” Read More »
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 »