Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Upfront Questions, The CW

Last year, I did a series of "Upfront Questions" posts during the pre-upfront week, and I used those questions plus the revealed schedules for "Upfront Answers" during upfront week. I liked that format, so I'm gonna try generally the same thing this year.

This network's upfront happens just one week from today!

Other Upfront Questions: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | The CW | General

For another reference, see the April CW True Power Rankings.


2011-12 Schedule
8:00 - Gossip Girl
9:00 - Hart of Dixie

Question: How aggressive is the CW on the toughest night?

It's easy to say the CW should just overhaul everything, but since they don't have unlimited promotional dollars, they have to choose their battles. Personally, Monday night is not a battle I'd choose for this network. Too much competition. I would like to see returning shows like 90210 and Hart of Dixie scheduled here, with perhaps the last Gossip Girl season rotating in at midseason. I have a feeling they may not be able to resist a Hart pairing with fellow medical newbie First Cut, though.


2011-12 Schedule 
8:00 - 90210
9:00 - Ringer / The LA Complex

Question: How aggressive is the CW on the easiest night?

Tuesday is the battle I would choose, because the big four combined are so weak here. I staunchly believe that the CW should put two promising, buzzworthy, new shows that have built-in audiences together and try to make a mark. My picks for this night have been Arrow and The Selection, although there seems to be some real hesitation about even picking up The Selection. Ultimately, it's probably not worth the effort trying to come up with what the second new show would be, since the CW will probably just throw on like 90210 and some random new show like they did last year.


2011-12 Schedule
8:00 - H8R / One Tree Hill
9:00 - America's Next Top Model / Remodeled

Question: How does the CW react to the Top Model disaster?

Only about four years ago, Top Model was getting numbers that would comfortably get it renewed on the big four today. Now, it's getting numbers that don't really even warrant renewal on the CW, and this will be the third straight cycle that's down by 35%+ year-to-year! It's renewed for one more cycle, but I believe it should be the last one. I'm also not totally sold it should even stay on Wednesday, although if it really is just one more cycle, they may bite the bullet and air it here.


2011-12 Schedule
8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - The Secret Circle

Question: Where does the CDub now go with its only legitimate lead-in?

I'm starting to believe that the CW is actually better off putting new shows at 8/7c; I think the local programming options may be better lead-ins than most shows the CW puts on in primetime. Of course, there's one exception: TVD. The show has led into a new show each of the last two years and not created a really legit success yet, but it's not like they're in a position to just give up. I think Beauty and the Beast looks like a pretty compatible pairing here.


2011-12 Schedule 
8:00 - Nikita
9:00 - Supernatural

Question: How to fill out the tenth hour?

Whatever joins Supernatural on Friday is really filling the last timeslot on the network. I could see Nikita here. I could see The Secret Circle here. I also wonder if there's a chance they get super creative and move Top Model over to this evening for its last hurrah. I would not put a new show on this night.


Spot said...

I've seen a lot of people suggesting Arrow for Fridays because of its apparent compatibility with Supernatural, but that seems like such a waste to me. Cult might be a good partner for Arrow, but if that's only coming in at midseason, what do you do for the fall?

I really like the idea of moving Top Model to Fridays.

Spot said...

Agreed, CW should put those dying shows (renewed only because they can't afford zillion new shows) at Monday 8PM / 9PM and Friday 8PM. Let Gossip Girl, 90120 and (if renewed) Hart of Dixie and/or The Secret Circle die peacefully there.

CW should deal with Monday and Friday 12 months from now. First they should try to stabilize Tue to Thu, with ANTM and The Vampire Diaries keeping their slots and throwing in 4 fresh shows there. Hale Mary ... but what other option they have? Surely no safe one, Pedowitz must call something unorthodox.

Supernatural stays at Friday 9PM, even CW brass isn't so stupid to mess with just about only thing working (relatively) good. I don't see campy Arrow as good fit with Supernatural ... more dark Cult, yes. But it's a moot point, with so many glaring holes across the schedule, putting anything with even remote chance for success at Friday 8PM would be turrible waste of resources.

Spot said...

Canceled only Ringer and The Secret Circle, 5 new dramas with 6 renewed. Sad part being: except for The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, other 4 renewals are dead shows walking, 5 if we include unscripted ANTM.
Probable schedule:

8PM Gossip Girl (midseason: ***NEW*** First Cut) - 9PM Hart of Dixie
8PM 90210 - 9PM ***NEW*** The Carrie's Diaries
8PM ***NEW*** Arrow - 9PM America's Next Top Model (midseason: ***NEW*** Cult)
8PM The Vampire Diaries - 9PM ***NEW*** Beauty and The Beast
8PM Nikita - 9PM Supernatural

One can't make contender out of dead last team over one season ... but I expected more from Pedowitz.
The Selection pilot seems to be dead, it's one of two things that seemed to have hit potential. Perhaps something went terribly wrong with the pilot, script looked promising.
Arrow now looks like only show that could emerge as (relative) hit. The Carrie's Diaries teenage soap is so destined to bomb, Beauty and The Beast could be solid procedural, but not a game changer.
First Cut is not only too derivative, but is probably going to be scheduled against Pretty Little Liars ... massacre.
Cult could shake things up, but more likely is too convoluted for general public, and especially those tuning in CW.
Almost not watched Nikita remains on Friday - at first sight eyebrows raising decision - but it really doesn't matter, anything they'd put there would get sub 0.5 ratings, so CW put there show with some outside chance for syndication.
Gossip Girl, same viewership as Nikita while not having Friday factor - :shakes his head in disbelief:

New coach is better than former lady coach ... but not good enough. I know it's not easy, but when the going gets tough ...
I think CW contracts with affiliate are up in summer 2016. I see new cable network in fall 2016 ... or earlier.

Spot said...

Am I the only one who thinks that The CW is crazy for not even trying with comedy at all? The sad part is that even if they wanted to, most of the spots have been taken. Otherwise, I don't think that it's a happy accident how the shows matched up. I give CW's production department enough credit to see what's working and gear towards it.

Spot said...

Pedowitz once said he wants comedy back, but it was too late to develop it for season 2012-13 already.
They certainly have space on schedule, Nikita and Hart of Dixie are dead shows walking.

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