By rights, The CW should be one of the hugest success stories on TV. This is, after all, the heyday of the Twilight books and movie(s), whose moody, romantic vampires have bewitched the young women in precisely The CW’s demographic.
The CW–in its previous incarnations of The WB and UPN–was doing spooky-romantic before spooky-romantic was cool. Or, when it was also cool, but cool in a different and smaller way, with shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, now, Supernatural.
The Gossip Girl network presented its fall schedule to advertisers Thursday morning, making a few tweaks including the addition of The Vampire Diaries, executive produced by Kevin Williamson–who put The WB on the map with Dawson’s Creek back in 1997, when you couldn’t type on your phone and most televisions doubled as butter churns.
Introducing the new shows, entertainment president Dawn Ostroff said Thw CW offered three core strengths: (1) it’s a destination for young women, (2) its dedicated fans love to talk, tweet and text about their favorite CW shows and (3) it offers “culturaly current” programming its audience doesn’t want to miss. Which is basically just (1) and (2) repeated, but who’s counting?
Brief descriptions of the trailers screened, and the CW’s release and schedule–Reaper, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game and Privileged are gone–after the jump:
MELROSE PLACE: A remake of the Fox 90210 spinoff for twentysomethings, but one that skips right past the early earnestness of the original and gets straight to the cheeseball sex-and-murder stuff. It’s now not a dumpy apartment complex but “the most scandalous address in Hollywood.” People “do blow,” get offered money for sex, and Laura Leighton returns as crazy Sydney!
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: In this series, based on a book series, a centuries-old vampire enrolls in a high school and finds various excuses to take off and put on his shirt. He reins in his bloodlust and develops a thing for a girl whose parents have died in a car crash; but his unreformed brother, played by Lost’s Ian Somerhalder, is a different story–and thirsty. The clip shows high and mostly comber melodrama, but Somerhalder shows promise as a villain.
THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE: Ashton Kutcher stops tweeting long enough to develop another series, this one a drama about fashion models. The O.C.’s Mischa Barton is in it, so expect the skinniness to be authentic, even if the acting isn’t!
PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED (midseason): Further proving that all TV mothers of teenagers got pregnant at age 18, Shiri Appleby (who looks about 22 herself) plays a radio host whose long-lost 15-year-old daughter turns up on her doorstep. This throws her together with the biological dad and creating problems with her current boyfriend. Comparisons to Gilmore Girls probably unavoidable.
And that concludes 2009’s Upfront Week. Please enjoy the CW’s programming announcement press release, below. I’m going to go soak my typing fingers.
THE CW ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE
FOR 2009-2010 SEASON
A NEW SEASON OF TV TO TALK ABOUT
LAUNCHES IN THE FALL WITH RETURNING HITS
“GOSSIP GIRL,” “90210” AND “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL,”
ALONG WITH HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW SERIES
“MELROSE PLACE,” “THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE” AND
“THE VAMPIRE DIARIES”
Monday Night Stays Strong with Winning Team of Hit Dramas
“Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill”
“90210” Returns for a Second Season in The Zip,
Followed By New Updated Version of Iconic Drama
On Wednesdays, “America’s Next Top Model” Leads Into
New Fashion-Fueled Drama “The Beautiful Life”
From Producer Ashton Kutcher
New Drama “The Vampire Diaries” From
Producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek”) and Julie Plec (“Kyle XY”)
Teams with “Supernatural”
For a Spine-Tingling Thursday Lineup
Fan-Favorite “Smallville” Moves to Friday Night,
Followed by an Encore of “America’s Next Top Model”
New Drama Premieres Midseason:
“Parental Discretion Advised”
May 21, 2009 (New York, New York) ─ The CW Network unveiled the schedule for its 2009-2010 season today at a presentation for advertisers, affiliates and national media in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The announcement was made by Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW.
“In just three years, The CW has become TV to talk about, with culturally current, quality programming,” said Ostroff. “Next fall, we will have great flow from Monday through Friday, starting with the Monday pairing of ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘One Tree Hill,’ which made The CW one of the top destinations for young women this season. Tuesday night gives us a perfect match with ‘90210’ and ‘Melrose Place.’ And what could be better than our Wednesday night shows from Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher – the all-model lineup of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘The Beautiful Life.’ On Thursdays, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ taps into the continuing fascination young women have with all things vampire, and makes the perfect lead-in for ‘Supernatural,’ which is coming off its strongest year ever. Moving ‘Smallville’ to Fridays gives us a major player with a loyal fan base to kick off the night. Top all that off with our heartwarming and humorous midseason drama ‘Parental Discretion Advised,’ from writer/producer Liz Tigelaar, and we have a full slate of great programming to keep our viewers watching, chatting, texting and tweeting all next season.”
On Monday, the powerhouse combination of GOSSIP GIRL and ONE TREE HILL will remain in place. Last fall, this winning team made The CW the Number One network with women, and sent Monday night ratings up 118 percent in women 18-34. GOSSIP GIRL, which continues to be one of the most talked-about shows on television, will return to its 8:00-9:00 p.m. slot, followed by ONE TREE HILL from 9:00-10:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, 90210 returns for its sophomore season in the 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot. Last season, 90210 gave The CW its highest-rated series premiere ever and improved the 8:00 p.m. time period by 35 percent in women 18-34. The highly anticipated, updated version of the 1990s monster-hit drama MELROSE PLACE will premiere in the 9:00-10:00 p.m. timeslot. The new MELROSE PLACE features a dynamic ensemble of up-and-coming stars, along with two original cast members reprising the roles they made famous: Laura Leighton as Sydney Andrews and Thomas Calabro as Dr. Michael Mancini. MELROSE PLACE promises to deliver all the backstabbing and sizzle of the original series. And, as they did once before, 90210 and MELROSE PLACE will combine for a great night of television.
On Wednesday, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL returns in its successful 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot, followed by the glamorous new drama THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE. Last season, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL ranked second in its time period with young women. Tyra Banks is one of the few women who is seen regularly on both daytime and primetime television. Beginning this fall, The CW’s daytime block will feature two hours of THE TYRA BANKS SHOW, with an encore episode from 3:00-4:00 p.m. and an original episode from 4:00-5:00 p.m. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and THE TYRA BANKS SHOW provide perfect symmetry and a natural fit for The CW brand by targeting the same audience in both primetime and daytime.
New drama THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE joins TOP MODEL on Wednesdays. From producers Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg, Karey Burke, Mike Kelley and Carol Barbee, the fashion-based series gives viewers an exciting, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the cutthroat world of a group of young, beautiful and very sexy models living together in a models’ residence in New York City. The show features a stunning ensemble cast, featuring Sara Paxton (“Last House on the Left”), Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”) and supermodel Elle Macpherson (“Friends”). Together, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE will be television’s most fashionable night.
Thursdays go Goth with the new teaming of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES from 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by SUPERNATURAL in the 9:00-10:00 p.m. hour. Based on the best-selling series of books, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, and battling to control the fate of an entire town. Starring Nina Dobrev (“DeGrassi: The Next Generation”), Paul Wesley (“Mad Men”), Ian Somerhalder (“Lost”) and Steven R. McQueen (“Everwood”), THE VAMPIRE DIARIES makes the perfect new lead-in to SUPERNATURAL. Last season, SUPERNATURAL’s Winchester brothers gave the network ratings growth across key young demos, despite the highly competitive timeslot.
Big changes are in store on Fridays when SMALLVILLE relocates to the 8:00-9:00 p.m. hour, bringing young viewers from Thursday into Friday nights. With non-stop action and classic DC Comics characters from Lois Lane to Doomsday, SMALLVILLE continues to give loyal viewers the stories and characters they love.
The heartwarming and humorous drama PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED will premiere midseason. From writer/producer Liz Tigelaar, (“Brothers and Sisters”), PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED is the story of a young girl who finds her biological parents and how that discovery changes all their lives. The show stars Britt Robertson (“Swingtown”), Kristoffer Polaha (“Mad Men”), Shiri Appleby (“E.R.”) and Kerr Smith (“Eli Stone”).
Following is The CW’s 2009-2010 primetime schedule, a night-by-night breakdown and accompanying details on all the programs.
THE CW’s 2009-2010 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
8:00-9:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL
9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL
8:00-9:00 PM 90210
9:00-10:00 PM MELROSE PLACE (New Series)
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL
9:00-10:00 PM THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (New Series)
8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL
8:00-9:00 PM SMALLVILLE (New night)
8:00-9:00 P.M. “GOSSIP GIRL”
Returning for its third season, GOSSIP GIRL is a one-hour drama based on an exclusive group of privileged teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side whose lives revolve around the blog of the all-knowing albeit ultra-secretive Gossip Girl. No one knows Gossip Girl’s identity, but everyone in this exclusive and complicated vicious circle relies on her website and text messages for the latest scoop. The series stars Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen, Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf, Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald, Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey, Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass, Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams, Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen and Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey. Filmed in New York and based on the popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, GOSSIP GIRL is from Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “The O.C.”), Stephanie Savage (“The O.C.”), Bob Levy (“Privileged”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Privileged”), John Stephens (“Gilmore Girls,” “The O.C.”), and co-executive producer Joshua Safran.
9:00-10:00 P.M. “ONE TREE HILL”
In season seven of ONE TREE HILL our beloved characters learn the struggle to live an exceptional life doesn’t end once you’ve achieved your dreams. Whether they found true love, answered a call to greatness, or sought redemption for sins of the past, nothing that’s come before compares to the challenges our characters now face to keep their dreams alive, their friendships intact and their lives full in the place they call home. ONE TREE HILL was created by Mark Schwahn and is executive produced by Schwahn, Joe Davola, Greg Prange, Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. ONE TREE HILL is a Mastermind Laboratories and Tollin/Robbins Production in association with Warner Bros. Television.
8:00-9:00 P.M. “90210”
The second season of “90210” focuses on the West Beverly group as they begin their all-important Junior year. They’ll go through all the ordinary teenage struggles and triumphs – crushes, sexual discovery, academic pressure, evolving friendships, shunning and isolation, love and relationships, family issues, SATs, STDs, a desire to fit in, a desire to stand out, fear and humiliation, joy and exultation – but they’ll do so in the extraordinary world of LA – a world of movie stars and overnight success, glamour and glitz, surfing and sunshine; a city where the American dream is writ large in the Hills and yet failure could come around any corner of the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. We’ll follow Naomi, the well-meaning, but delightfully narcissistic rich girl with a heart of cubic zirconium; Adrianna, the gifted, artistic drama queen whose personal life is as dramatic as any role she could hope to play; Silver, the outspoken free spirit who marches to the beat of her own drum machine; Annie, the good girl from Kansas who has gotten a bit lost in the land of Oz; Dixon, her charming, good-natured brother who adapts easily to any challenging situation and yet is still struggling to find his own voice; Navid, whose geeky charm makes all the Blaze girls swoon; and Liam, the troubled New York transplant who abhors the decadent materialistic world of Beverly Hills. These stories could only happen in LA…and only on “90210.” The series stars Rob Estes as Harry Wilson, Lori Loughlin as Debbie Wilson, Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson, Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson, AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark, Ryan Eggold as Ryan Matthews, Jessica Stroup as Silver, Michael Steger as Navid Shirazi, Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan and Matt Lanter as Liam Court. 90210 is produced by CBS Television Studios with executive producer Rebecca Sinclair.
9:00-10:00 P.M. “MELROSE PLACE” (New Series)
In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, the original “Melrose Place”) is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos, “Shark”). Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, the original “Melrose Place”). Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, “Supernatural”), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career. Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield, “All My Children”). After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie’s sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding
Sydney since she began drinking again. The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady, “Swingtown”), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), a first-grade teacher. The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, “7th Heaven”), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way. An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (“Smallville”). Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) is the director and executive producer of the pilot.
8:00-9:00 P.M. “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL”
Returning with its thirteenth and fourteenth cycles, the runaway runway hit series stars Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Daniel Soiseth (“Hell’s Kitchen”). The reality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.
9:00-10:00 P.M. “THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE” (New Series)
The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition. Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left”), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line”), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy. When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen (appearing in a cameo role), she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja (Mischa Barton, “The O.C.”). Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel. While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by agent Simon Lockridge (newcomer Dusan Dukic) of the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson, “Friends”). At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera. That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”), Egan (Jordan Woolley, “As The World Turns”), Issac (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical 2”) and the current alpha-male-model known as Kai (Nico Tortorella, “Twelve”). At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career. However, after an ugly scene with Simon, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame. THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE is from Katalyst Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Ashton Kutcher & Jason Goldberg (“True Beauty,” “Punk’d”), Karey Burke (“True Beauty”), Mike Kelley (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”) and Carol Barbee (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”). Christian Duguay (“Coco Chanel”) directed the pilot.
8:00-9:00 P.M. “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES” (New Series)
Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, “DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, “Everwood”) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives. Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world. As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, “Army Wives”). Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, “Lost”) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality. Now these two vampire brothers ─ one good, one evil ─ are at war for Elena’s soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is from Alloy Entertainment and Bonanza Productions Inc in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer”), Julie Plec (“Kyle XY,” “Wasteland”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”) and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”). Marcos Siega (“Dexter”) directed the pilot.
9:00-10:00 P.M “SUPERNATURAL”
Returning for its fifth season, this haunting series follows Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers bound by tragedy and blood to their dangerous, other-worldly mission. This past season, Dean was rescued from Hell by the angel Castiel, who told Dean he was meant to avert the impending Apocalypse, as well as Lucifer rising from Hell. As the brothers were caught up in the epic battle between angels and demons, Sam and Dean found their relationship was strained almost to the breaking point until ultimately, both brothers were betrayed. Now, in season five, they must battle the Devil himself. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Misha Collins as Castiel). SUPERNATURAL is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision, with executive producers McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The O.C.”), Eric Kripke (“Boogeyman”) and Robert Singer (“Midnight Caller”).
8:00-9:00 P.M. “SMALLVILLE”
Returning for its ninth season, last season SMALLVILLE was filled with twists and surprises, starting with the disappearance of Lex Luthor. However, someone quickly arrived to take his place – the enticing Tess Mercer. As Tess maneuvered her way through town, she flirted with her old flame Oliver Queen, discovered Clark’s true identity and unleashed a new world of danger. As if that hurdle wasn’t enough for Clark, he also met his greatest match – Doomsday. SMALLVILLE explored the origins of Doomsday, revealing a sympathetic guy named Davis Bloome, who battled an inner demon – the Doomsday character fans have loved to hate for years. When Clark wasn’t busy battling the beast, he was knee-deep in work at the Daily Planet. Last season threw Clark and Lois Lane together – literally across the desk from each other. As Clark’s persona as the cub Planet reporter emerged, so did his feelings for Lois, the fated love of his life. The series stars Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan, Erica Durance as Lois Lane, Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen and Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer. Reinterpreting the Superman mythology from its roots, SMALLVILLE was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”), based on the DC Comics characters. Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson serve as executive producers, along with James Marshall, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. SUPERMAN was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
9:00-10:00 P.M. “AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL”
“PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED” (New Series)
After spending all of her 15 years bouncing from one foster family to another in Portland, Oregon, Lux (Britt Robertson, “Swingtown”) has decided it’s time to take control of her life and become an emancipated minor. Her journey through the legal maze leads Lux to her biological father, 30-something Nate “Baze” Bazile (Kristoffer Polaha, “Mad Men”), who owns a bar, lives like an aging frat-boy with two slacker roommates, and is astonished to learn that he has a teenage daughter. Lux is equally astonished when Baze reveals that her mother is Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby, “E.R.”), a star on the local “Morning Madness” radio show, along with her on-air partner and real-life boyfriend, Ryan Thomas (Kerr Smith, “Eli Stone”). Lux has been listening to Cate’s voice on the radio as long as she can remember, so she feels an instant connection with the mom she’s never met. Baze takes Lux to meet Cate, who is shocked and saddened to learn that Lux has grown up in foster care, but thrilled to finally meet her beautiful daughter. When a judge decides that Lux isn’t ready for emancipation and unexpectedly grants temporary joint custody to Baze and Cate, they agree to try to get past the awkwardness and make a belated attempt to give Lux the family she deserves. PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED is produced by Mojo Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Liz Tigelaar (“Brothers and Sisters,” “What About Brian”) and Gary Fleder (“October Road”). Gary Fleder directed the pilot.