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TV Column
Posted at 03:36 PM ET, 05/16/2013

CW’s new schedule: ‘Vampire Diaries’ spin-off to Tuesdays, network’s first crunchy gravel drama

CW will use its biggest hit, “The Vampire Diaries” to launch its first crunchy-gravel drama on Thursday nights in the fall, while its most successful freshman drama, “Arrow” will be used Wednesdays to launch a new series about teens with supernatural powers.

That means “The Vampire Diaries” spinoff, “The Originals” will not be paired with the mother ship, as you might expect. It will instead kick off CW’s Tuesday night, paired with those still-kicking demon-hunting brothers of “Supernatural.”

When “The Vampire Diaries” — the No. 1 ranked social scripted show on broadcast TV — launched four year ago, it too was paired with “Supernatural,” CW president Mark Pedowitz reminded advertisers at CW’s new-season presentation, rounding out the Broadcast Upfront Week presentations on Thursday.

“Hart of Dixie’s” Dr. Zoe Hart is moved to Monday,” as is CW’s “Beauty and the Beast” reboot.

The “Sex and the City” prequel, “The Carrie Diaries” has survived, thanks in large measure to its mobile audience, but is moved to Fridays at 8, where it will be followed by the return “America’s Next Top Model.” “ANTM” hopes to get a jumpstart next season featuring chicks and guys competing together and known as “ANTM: Guys & Girls.”

“Reign” gets the “The Vampire Diaries” lead-in because “TVD” is the CW’s most viewed series among young chicks.

Bodice-ripper “Reign” will take liberties with the 16th century history of Mary Queen of Scots. As told by CW, Mary arrives in France, with four ladies-in-waiting — that’s 1500’s for “posse”— to marry the French king’s hot son, Prince Francis. Francis, however, has a “history” with a lady of the court which, of course, was hardly worth mentioning back in those days, but looms large, plot-development-wise, in these more prudish times.

Adding to the fun, Mary thinks Francis’s “roguish” illegitimate half-brother, Bash — never thought we’d see “roguish” in a CW announcement — is pretty hot too. Both guys look as though they’ve just emerged from Supercuts. That is, Ye Olde Supercuts, when they visit Mary’s hometown, and Le Supercuts when they’re home, in France.

While other starlets of other new CW shows got to flounce out in sexy little dresses and sexy little high heeled shoes they no doubt wore home, poor Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary in “Reign,” had to walk out on stage in some number from the 16th century season of “Say Yes to the Dress.” She looked very uncomfortable.

“Such a pretty dress,” quipped Pedowitz.

“The Tomorrow People,” on Wednesday, features a genetically advanced race of young, pretty people who represent the next stop in human evolution, having talents like telekinesis, teleportation, and telepathic communication. In order to protect the Old School Human Race — or at least the auto industry, Verizon and AT&T, etc. — these Tomorrow People are being hunted down for extermination by evil paramilitary scientists known as The Ultra.

And, not coincidentally, while “Arrow” stars Stephen Amell, “The Tomorrow People” stars his even better looking younger cousin, Robbie Amell. A picture of young Stephen holding baby Robbie is shown on screen. Advertisers are smitten. Stephen reminds them he and Robbie are Canadian.

On the bench are a sci-fi update of the Romeo and Juliet story called “Star-Crossed,” about a crazy-in love teenaged girl and teenaged alien — you can tell he’s an alien because he has the characteristic black smudge on the right side of his face and neck.

In the press scrum that followed CW’s presentation, Pedowitz said he hasn’t given up on a series about DC comic character Amazon, though the first stab at such a series went kaput. A new writer has been brought in and “We’re waiting for the script,” he said, adding “We do not want to produce something that does not work for the character — it’s the trickiest of DC characters.”

During the press scrum, one reporter asked Pedowitz if he didn’t long for the days when just casting shows with impossibly good looking actors was enough for a CW series, whereas now they have to be impossibly good looking vampires and aliens.

“You have to make noise now. It’s harder to do these days with a smaller, softer show,” he said noting that stories about aliens, vampires and whatnot are the hottest thing in young adult literature right now. “We’re tapping into that,” he said, while assuring the reporter, “everything cycles through.”

Also waiting for a time slot: “The 100,” named after the 100 juvenile delinquents sent down to Earth, like canaries in a coal mine, to see if it’s now inhabitable, 97 years after a nuclear war ravaged the joint. This is important because the space station in which humans have been living since that nuclear disaster, is falling apart.

First words uttered by human beings upon returning to earth:

“We’re back!”

Second words uttered when one of them gets a spear through the neck:

“We are not alone!”

Alas, poor “Nikita” will be taken out, after a six episode run next season, in a yet to be determined time later in the fall. It’s getting a six-episode send-off because this season ended with a cliffhanger and CW wants to give the show’s fans a sense of closure.

And, if Tyra Banks has been the face of reality TV all these years on CW, the new face if Harvey Levin, star of “Famous in 12.”

One lucky fame-seeking family will be shipped to Los Angeles to see if they can become the next Kardashians in just 12 weeks. They’ll be guided by the TMZ machine, with Levin at the helm. Family members will appear on the TMZ television show and on TMZ.com. They will circulate, day to day, at well-known celebrity hangouts. They will have their “unique and varied talents” cultivated, to create a public profile fit for a Kardashian. Bet you never thought you’d see “Kardashian” and “talents” in the same sentence, did you?

“Famous in 12” is exec produced by David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe, whose credits include “The Surreal Life” — but, really, we all know Harvey’s in charge here.

This summer, CW will exhume “Whose Line is It Anyway” — an improv comedy competition series best known these days for its long-ish run on ABC. In success, CW will use it as a launch pad for getting back into the comedy business, Pedowitz told reporters after the presentation.

CW, FALL 2013

new shows in bold

MONDAY

8 p.m. Hart of Dixie*

9 p.m. Beauty and the Beast*

TUESDAY

8 p.m. The Originals

9 p.m. Supernatural*

WEDNESDAY

8 p.m. Arrow

9 p.m. The Tomorrow People

THURSDAY

8 p.m. The Vampire Diaries

9 p.m. Reign

FRIDAY

8 p.m. The Carrie Diaries*

9 p.m. America’s Next Top Model

*moved to a new timeslot

Read more about the 2013 upfronts:

Video: A look at CBS’s new series

Blog: CBS’s 2013-2014 schedule

Video: A look at ABC’s new series

Blog: ABC’s 2013-2014 schedule

Video: A look at Fox’s new series

Blog: Fox’s 2013-2014 schedule

Video: A look at NBC’s new series

Blog: NBC’s 2013-2014 schedule

Blog: Seth Meyers is the big story, but Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon entertain the crowd at NBC upfronts

Blog: CBS, NBC, ABC make decisions on a slew of shows: What’s ordered and what’s gone?

Live chat: Do any of next year’s shows look particularly promising?

By  |  03:36 PM ET, 05/16/2013

Tags:  2013 upfronts, CW upfronts

 
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