July 20, 2007 10:59 AM
Critics can be excused for feeling déjà vu during The CW’s TCA executive session. The network has largely been in a programming holding pattern since president Dawn Ostroff’s last TCA session in January.
This summer the network has dropped almost completely off the map with repeats and the low-rated “Hidden Palms.” So for reporters who were at TCA in January and at The CW’s New York upfront, many of the talking points and clips are highly familiar.
Fortunately, The CW has spent its idle hours focusing on developing strong shows for fall. That The CW has surprisingly strong pilots has now become critic doctrine. “Gossip Girl,” “Reaper” and “Aliens in America” are frequently ranked among the top contenders for fall (“Life Is Wild,” not so much).
Ostroff announces the network has extended its deal with Tyra Banks for its top-rated “America’s Next Top” model until the 2009-10 season. In the spring cycle, the show will relocate back to New York after several years in Los Angeles. She also announces the addition of Laura Vandervoot as Supergirl in “Smallville.”
Critics laugh when Ostroff notes that “Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll” winner Asia Nitollano has decided to pursue a solo career rather than joining the group.
“Wasn’t [the show] pointless then?” asks a critic.
“There’s no guarantee for how this will turn out,” Ostroff says. “The participants get exposure. At the end of the day, you can’t make anybody do anything, but you can give them the opportunity.”
One critic asks how Ostroff feels about The CW receiving only one Emmy nomination.
“Obviously we respect our peers tremendously,” she says. “I think it’s a shame Lauren Graham and ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ were never nominated. … For the [18- to 34-year-old] audience that we’re trying to track, the Emmy nominations honestly would not make a big difference in terms of viewers.”
As for the light summer schedule, Ostroff says the network is trying to focus on having more original programming year-round, though she seemed to stop short of committing to fewer repeats.