Mark Pedowitz has only been president of CW since late April, but he’s already turned the network on its head, announcing at Summer TV Press Tour 2011 that the ratings-hungry net is getting back into the comedy business, and is on the prowl for closed-ended — aka non-serialized — drama series.
“We are opening ourselves up to look at comedies this year,” Pedowitz told open-mouthed TV critics.
“We feel there are comedies out there in particular…that would have worked well on the CW. He cited three new sitcoms for fall -- CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” ABC’s “Apartment 23,” and Fox’s “New Girl” as sitcoms that would have been a good fit for his network.
Additionally, he said, “We will look to get high concept serialized shows...but at the same time we are going to have a deep focus to find that good, great closed-ended show that has that CW feel to it. We need those shows. It will help our repeats,” he explained simply.
The network has stalled every season when its series take long breaks from original episodes, he said, stating the obvious. To help fix that, he’s also ordered two more episodes of ‘Gossip Girl,” two more of “90210,” one more “Nikita,” and one more “Supernatural,” for the coming season, which takes their episode orders to 24, 24, 23, and 23, respectively.
And, add CW to the list of networks looking to put timeslot-gobbling competition reality series on its primetime slate. Among the CW midseason projects: competition reality series “The Frame,” which Pedowitz described as part “The Truman Show,” part “Big Brother.”
In “The Frame,” two people have to live together 24/7 for eight weeks and can’t get out of the frame, while the audience gives them commands. Like other competition shows “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars” etc, “The Frame” will air two nights a week.
But what critics most wanted to discuss with the silver-haired Pedowitz, in his first Press Tour appearance as president of CW, is how a 50-something guy divines what an 18-34 year old chick – the network’s target audience – is looking for on TV.
Affable Pedowitz responded, “I try to get into my 26-year old nieces head to get a good sense of where she’s going and how she’s feeling.”
“And how’s that?” one critic asked, sensing a hole in his argument.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever met in my entire life,’ Pedowitz joked.
“Can I follow on that?” asked another male critic.
“My niece?” Pedowitz asked.
The room laughed. And, he was in. Hazing over.