After having its first real hit — Arrow — in several seasons, the CW is doing something interesting with these pick-ups: It’s going back to the teen audience. And it seems to be putting its eggs in the Hunger Games-y science fiction basket as well.
On its new fall schedule — included at the bottom of this post — Tuesday through Thursday nights will each feature a new drama; The 100 and Star-Crossed are being held until midseason. The Originals, the spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, is being pitted against ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays: genre show v. genre show. Hmm.
In the news for the CW’s returning shows, The Carrie Diaries, which had been a bubble show, is moving to Fridays; Beauty and the Beast, which had the Vampire Diaries lead-in this season is moving to Mondays at 9; Hart of Dixie is on Mondays at 8. It’s a lot of change. For the second season in a row, the CW will wait until October to bring out its new shows to avoid being crushed by the bigger networks in September. (It worked well enough with Arrow.) Oh, and Nikita will get a six-episode send-off sometime during the season.
CW president Mark Pedowitz has sought to bring stability to the network since he took it over in 2011. It may seem strange, but the CW often just does not have enough shows to fill its hours.
3. The Originals (Tuesdays at 8 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Daniella Pineda, Leah Pipes, and Danielle Campbell
Who made it?: Julie Plec (the woman behind The Vampire Diaries), Leslie Morgenstein, and Gina Girolamo.
What’s it about?: It’s the spin-off of The Vampire Diaries! Klaus moves to New Orleans.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: I feel like The Vampire Diaries is so well-done. Long before there were critics’ essays about how Homeland and Scandal were disrupting traditional TV arc structure, The Vampire Diaries had already been doing total insanity once a week for several seasons. What I mean is: Julie Plec, from all appearances and accounts, is an extremely competent, inventive showrunner. The show looks to be good. The time slot against S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC? That will be a challenge at first.
5. Tomorrow People (Wednesdays at 9 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Peyton List, Luke Mitchell, Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino, Madeleine Mantock
Who made it?: Phil Klemmer, Greg Berlanti (Arrow, many others), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, plus The Originals!), Danny Cannon
What’s it about?: This show is based on a 1970s British kids’ show, The Tomorrow People, that has a cult following. It’s, as far as I can tell, about young people with powers. I generally like a Berlanti show, I like a Plec show — I’ll probably like a Berlanti and Plec show! We’ll see.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: This show looked better than I thought it might based on the potentially hokey premise (don’t ask where I draw the line: I have no idea). Robbie Amell is the cousin of Stephen Amell of Arrow, who is a star-in-the-making, and the CW is already promoting that. And Arrow will be its lead-in.
7. Reign (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
Who’s in it?: Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, Celina Sinden, Torrance Coombs, Jenessa Grant, Anna Popplewell, Megan Follows, Rossif Sutherland, and Caitlin Stasey
Who made it?: Stephanie Sengupta, Laurie McCarthy
What’s it about?: Mary Queen of Scots at age 15!
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: Because life is interesting, Reign is apparently one of the hot pilots of the new season — people who have seen it say it’s really good. Can’t wait. Oh, and PS: I called this show original-looking on Twitter, and some people countered that it looks like The Tudors (or Borgias) meets Gossip Girl. But you guys? THAT IS NOT A THING. I stand by my assertion.
9. The 100: Midseason, Not Yet Scheduled
Who’s in it?: Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Eli Goree, Henry Ian Cusick, Marie Avgeropoulos, Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Kelly Hu, Thomas McDonell, Christopher Larkin
Who made it?: Jason Rothenberg, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo, Matt Miller
What’s it about?: As with Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, this show is based on a book series — in this case, a forthcoming one — by the packager Alloy. Ninety-seven years after a nuclear war, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent from a spaceship to Earth to explore whether it’s inhabitable.
Now that we’ve seen the trailer: And here, the CW’s little winning streak ends (with me, anyway). Maybe I’ll be surprised.
11. Star-Crossed: Midseason, Not Yet Scheduled
Who’s in it?: Aimee Teegarden, Matt Lanter, Malese Jow, Titus Makin Jr., Grey Damon, Natalie Hall, Chelsea Gilligan, and Greg Finley
Who made it?: Meredith Averill, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Richard Shepard, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst, Daniel Gutman
What’s it about?: A human girl and an alien boy fall in love in high school. Also? Something about aliens and internment camps. OK!
Now that we’ve seen the trailer. I’m pretty sure about this one, though: dreadful-looking. Like, laughably bad, possibly. Aimee Teegarden, whatever happens, you will always have played Julie Taylor!
13. Fall Schedule
8:00-9:00 p.m. HART OF DIXIE
9:00-10:00 p.m. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
8:00-9:00 p.m. THE ORIGINALS
9:00-10:00 p.m. SUPERNATURAL
8:00-9:00 p.m. ARROW
9:00-10:00 p.m. THE TOMORROW PEOPLE
8:00-9:00 p.m. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
9:00-10:00 p.m. REIGN
8:00-9:00 p.m. THE CARRIE DIARIES
9:00-10:00 p.m. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL