Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 Upfront Answers, The CW

Last week, I asked "Upfront Questions" to preview each network's fall 2013 schedule. With the schedule now official, here are the "Upfront Answers"!

CW upfront previews: True Power Rankings | Upfront Questions

Other Upfront Answers: NBC | Fox | ABC | CBS | CW


Fall 2013 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM Hart of Dixie (New Night)
9:00-10:00 PM Beauty and the Beast (New Night)

My Question: Does the CW's new direction mean they won't surrender Monday anymore?

No, it does not mean that they will not surrender Monday. (That was a weirdly worded question.) In other words... this remains the CDub's patented Surrender Night, with weakest anchor Hart of Dixie on the night leading into weak sophomore Beauty and the Beast. This night will remain firmly in the "very bad" column, and it will most likely be promoted as such. But there was so little depth that there was no choice beyond spreading themselves even thinner with the big guns.


Fall 2013 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM The Originals (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM Supernatural (New Night)

My Question: Did Hart of Dixie do enough in season two to retain a weeknight anchor role?

Yes! But that's really not what I want to talk about right now...


Fall 2013 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM Arrow
9:00-10:00 PM THE TOMORROW PEOPLE (New Series)

My Question: Across how many nights does the CW stretch its "Big Four"?

The CW wisely expanded their "Big Four" presence to a third night, and they very wisely tried as hard as possible to solidify that third night by putting top newbie The Originals alongside super-reliable Supernatural. While The Originals vs. SHIELD might seem tough, the SHIELD audience is probably much more male. It's a big step toward the CW creating a solid schedule across the board.  They won't get there next season, but they have now given themselves a shot to make real progress.


Fall 2013 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM The Vampire Diaries
9:00-10:00 PM REIGN (New Series)

My Question: The Originals or something more original?

The pairing of The Vampire Diaries and Mary, Queen of Scots drama Reign might actually make a funny kind of sense, as TVD has always been rather rooted in history and largely driven by romances. How much of The Vampire Diaries' success is about the actual genre aspects and how much is about the young adult/romance angles? We'll probably get a real sense of that based on what its audience thinks of Reign.


Fall 2013 Schedule
8:00-9:00 PM The Carrie Diaries (New Night)

My Question: Is the CW on the verge of giving up on another night?

Not quite, although this night seems likely to house its "last" two renewals, The Carrie Diaries and Nikita. In a way, it kind of reminds me of ABC's renewal of Private Practice/Body of Proof last year, in that it felt like they were renewing two very marginal shows to share one slot. If Carrie collapses, Nikita will fill in after Carrie's 13, and then we'll see what happens in the spring. Putting Carrie in the fall at least gives it a chance to beat the odds and get a back nine. If that somehow happens, Nikita most likely takes the Top Model slot.


For the second straight year, the CW did almost exactly what I thought they should do... so I don't have that much to say, really. I didn't trust them to actually pull the trigger on the Originals/Supernatural night, but I'm really glad they did it. It's not impossible they'll end up regretting this; if The Originals disappoints and The Tomorrow People completely flops, they could suddenly be in some trouble on both Tuesday and Wednesday. But this is a leap of faith in the new shows, including anchoring a night with their biggest one, and it's always nice to see that. They should have a solid chance at a third respectable night now.


Spot said...

Best Move: The Originals on Tuesday. Nuff said.

Worst Move: The Hart of Dixie/Beauty and the Beast pairing will get ugly quick. It's not as bad as the Dixie/Cult pairing from this season, but it could be close. I think when Dixie exceeded the network's low expectations, it confounded the executives and led them to not know what to do with it. Meanwhile, BatB's renewal makes me scratch my head even moreso now.

Other thoughts: I'm amazed that in the span of two years, The CW has decided to go from genre to (young) female-focused on Fridays. By keeping Top Model on the night and having a Fall run, it helps to explain why The Carrie Diaries got a second season. The two should pair together well at the very least thematically. Poor Nikita is going to be saddled with an incompatible show yet again if it ends up here.

Spot said...

I don't really get the logic behind BatB's and Carrie's scheduling. It seems so obvious to me that they should be swapped. I get that Carrie was a marginal renewal, but does anyone really think that BatB is going to hold up away from Vampire Diaries?

Spot said...

I like that conventional wisdom had two networks scheduling spin-offs behind their parent shows, but neither move actually happened. Kudos for creative scheduling (or not picking up an apparently crappy show in the first place).

Now, for this schedule in particular, I like that they're not throwing the genre shows on the air all at once. Reign seems like, shall we say, an unusual choice, but at least it will stand out from the pack.

Spot said...

I think The CW wants to avoid the Top Model/Nikita mismatch that plagued Fridays this season. Carrie and Top Model are very "girly" shows while BatB, in theory, is broader yet darker.

The end result, though, moves the mismatched show scheduling from Fridays to Mondays. And it shows that The CW still doesn't really know what to do with Dixie while BatB survived, in part, because as Spot said, "We have to Fill Ten Hours..." Had 90210 not cratered, I think BatB wouldn't have gotten a second season, so I was at least half-right there.

Spot said...

Been thinking about this and I believe I agree with you. Hart and Carrie are probably the best pairing of any of the four Monday/Friday shows, and BatB's relatively older audience may be more likely (albeit still pretty unlikely) to follow it to Friday.

I would guess their logic was just something like "keep the stronger show on the stronger night." Not a huge mistake since both shows are so marginal anyway, but yes, probably a mistake.

Spot said...

Actually, its three networks, with Originals, Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, and Chicago PD.

Spot said...

I like this schedule, despite the fact that I think TCD and B&TB should have been cancelled. The one thing I can't get over is why the HoD/B&tB pairing is on Monday, and the Originals/Supernatural pairing is on Tuesday. Reversing the two would mean one less move (for a sophomore show that hasn't had stability in its entire life) and the scifi night wouldn't have to go against male-skewing line-ups on ABC and CBS. Is there some hidden downside that I'm missing?

Spot said...

I was afraid that The CW would hedge their bets too much and put The Originals behind Vampire Diaries and keep Arrow and Supernatural together.

What was the point of renewing Carrie Diaries when they just threw them on Friday nights?

Spot said...

I think the other show Billie was talking about was NCIS: Red. It might have gotten the Tuesday @ 9 slot after the original or @ 10 after the spin-off, but instead has wafted into the ether.

I always heard that Wonderland was supposed to take up the gap between Once's winter finale and its spring premiere. Few had a problem with that. Most of the commenters I saw were in favor of it. It's the NCIS: LA-style glomming on to the mothership that people didn't want.

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