NEW YORK — CW will use its biggest hit, “The Vampire Diaries,” to launch this fall its first crunchy-gravel period drama. And the network’s most successful freshman drama, “Arrow,” will be used to launch a series about teens who have supernatural powers.
“The Vampire Diaries” spinoff, “The Originals,” will not be paired with the mothership show on Thursday nights, as you might expect. Instead, “The Originals” will kick off CW’s Tuesday nights and be paired with those still-kicking demon-hunting brothers of “Supernatural.”
When “The Vampire Diaries” — broadcast TV’s No. 1-ranked scripted show in terms of social media — launched four year ago, it, too, was paired with “Supernatural,” CW President Mark Pedowitz reminded advertisers at the network’s new-season presentation Thursday, which rounded out the Broadcast Upfront Week presentations.
Also announced Thursday by the CW:
●“Hart of Dixie” will move to Mondays, as will the “Beauty and the Beast” reboot.
●“The Carrie Diaries” — the “Sex and the City” prequel — has survived, thanks in large measure to its mobile audience, but the show moves to Friday nights at 8.
● “The Carrie Diaries” will be followed Fridays by the return of “America’s Next Top Model,” which hopes to get a jump-start next season by featuring chicks and guys competing together under a new title: “ANTM: Guys & Girls.”
●And that crunchy-gravel drama, “Reign,” will get the “Vampire Diaries” lead-in because “Vampire Diaries” is the CW’s most-viewed series among young chicks.
The bodice-ripping “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 circa-1500-speak for “posse”— to marry the French king’s hot son, Prince Francis. Francis, however, has a “history” with a lady of the court — a fact that was hardly worth mentioning in those days, but one that 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 home town, 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 (that they no doubt wore home), poor Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary in “Reign,” had to walk onstage in some number from the 16th-century season of “Say Yes to the Dress.” She looked very uncomfortable.
“Such a pretty dress,” quipped Pedowitz.
Also new for the fall — airing Wednesdays after “Arrow” — will be “The Tomorrow People.” The show will feature a genetically advanced race of young, pretty people who represent the next stop in human evolution, having such talents as telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication. To protect the Old School Human Race — or at least the auto industry, Verizon, AT&T, etc. — these Tomorrow People are being hunted for extermination by evil paramilitary scientists known as the Ultra.
And, not coincidentally, while Stephen Amell stars as the DC Comics archer on “Arrow,” “The Tomorrow People” stars the actor’s even better-looking younger cousin, Robbie Amell.
A picture of young Stephen holding baby Robbie was shown on-screen at the presentation. Advertisers were smitten. Stephen reminded them that he and Robbie are Canadian.
On the CW’s bench: a sci-fi update of the Romeo and Juliet story called “Star-Crossed,” about a crazy-in-love teenage girl and teenage 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 media scrum that followed CW’s presentation, Pedowitz said he hasn’t given up on a series about the DC Comics character, Wonder Woman, although the first stab at such a series went kaput. A new writer has been brought in.
“We’re waiting for the script,” said Pedowitz, adding: “We do not want to produce something that does not work for the character — it’s the trickiest of DC characters.”
During the scrum, one reporter asked Pedowitz whether he longed 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,” said Pedowitz, 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.” The show is named after 100 juvenile delinquents who are sent to Earth — like canaries in a coal mine — to see whether the planet is inhabitable, 97 years after a nuclear war ravaged the joint. That 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!”
Then there’s poor “Nikita,” which — alas — will be taken out after a six-episode run, 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.
If Tyra Banks has been the face of reality TV all these years on CW, the new face is Harvey Levin, star of “Famous in 12.”
One lucky, fame-seeking family will be shipped to Los Angeles to see whether it can become the next Kardashians in just 12 weeks. The brood will 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 Levin’s in charge here.
And 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. CW plans to use the show as a launchpad for getting back into the comedy business, Pedowitz told reporters after the presentation.
For the latest news from Broadcast Upfront Week, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.