Upfronts: Musings on the CW’s schedule

This week is one of the most exciting and hectic times for the television industry and those of us who like to pontificate about it — upfronts! All week the broadcast networks will be announcing their fall schedules for advertisers, which means all sorts of stories about pick-ups, cancellations and armchair quarterbacking from people like me in response to the new schedules. So I’ll be chiming in every day with my thoughts on new schedules. Obviously I haven’t seen any of the new series and I won’t pretend as if I know anything outside of the small tidbits of information gathered from press releases. But I still have something to say, damnit!

Last and certainly least, the CW!

The CW does what it does, so the slight changes and few new series make for little excitement. And with only five days to schedule for, there certainly isn’t a whole lot to talk about anyway. But let’s do so for just a few moments.

MONDAY
8:00-9:00 PM 90210
9:00-10:00 PM Gossip Girl

Thoughts: The network tried to build 90210 on another night away from Gossip Girl, but the ratings were never there. So now they’re on the same night, creating a nice block of bitchiness.

TUESDAY
8:00-9:00 PM One Tree Hill
9:00-10:00 PM Life Unexpected

Thoughts: The CW’s two bubble series end up paired with one another on Tuesday night. One Tree Hill just won’t die, but it continuously gets steady CW-level ratings, so I guess it makes sense for the network to bring it back. The better news is that Life Unexpected is back for a second season and is freed from the difficulties of Monday. Interestingly, both of these series supposedly only have 13 episode orders and there aren’t any specific series mentioned for midseason, which makes absolutely no sense. What if something fails?

WEDNESDAY
8:00-9:00 PM America’s Next Top Model
9:00-10:00 PM Hellcats

Thoughts: Top Model won’t die either, so yay! It is paired with the television version of “Bring It On” in Hellcats, which is executive produced by Smallville‘s Tom Welling. So there’s that. The clips look surprisingly solid, though.

THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 PM The Vampire Diaries
9:00-10:00 PM Nikita

Thoughts: Though the network likes to pretend that Gossip Girl and 90210 are the capstone programs, the numbers — and reviews — indicate that it is Vampire Diaries that the biggest. Thus, it makes sense that the CW is using it as a lead-in for its most promising newbie in the remake Nikita starring Maggie Q. It actually looks more serious and also kind of good — which means no one in the network’s target demographic will watch it.

FRIDAY
8:00-9:00 PM Smallville
9:00-10:00 PM Supernatural

Thoughts: Supernatural gets bumped from the post-Diaries Thursday slot, which might seem disappointing. However, moving to Fridays isn’t a bad move whatsoever, as it gets to reunite with its former night parter Smallville, which is officially ending at 10 seasons. Hopefully Supernatural ends this season as well, creating a nice block of Friday dramas that appeal to a very specific audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if ratings for both up-tick a little bit since the two series are back together.

MIDSEASON: Like I said, there is nothing specific on the slate, which is beyond odd. Though the CW rarely cancels series because all its products get around the same amount of viewers, it’s really dangerous not to hedge — especially when the network had a few compelling pilots in the works. Oh well, I have to remember — It’s the CW.

Other schedule analysis

NBC

FOX

ABC

CBS

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