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James Hibberd

CW Panel

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.


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Comments (7)

Myke Perrey:

I was in promotions for a WB station for many years. Part of the CW's problem is that it's not The WB. Michigan J Frog had high recognition value...almost equal to the NBC Peacock. You saw the Frog...you knew it was The WB. A lot of people still don't know what The CW is...though many people I encounter think it means "Country & Western." Having good freshman shows will help them...but I know more than one CW affiliate that wonders if they wouldn't have been better off going independent.


Ms Ostroff's results shouldn't surprise the Execs at CW.
My company's attempts to present programming ideas was met with an arroagant and dismissive response saying that she would only look at submissions from show runners or agents. No exceptions.

That really got results...Pussy Cat Dolls!


If the CW wants to move forward and generate more viewers it needs to actively promote its best show. Supernatural is not only the best show on the CW, but quite possibly the best show on TV.

It is expertly crafted and everyone who samples it comes away impressed with the quality and depth of each and every episode. The problem comes from how few viewers actually know about this amazing show.

CW, let's get the word out. Promote your up and coming stars Jensen and Jared. Don't let a good thing be lost in the shuffle. Supernatural has all the intense fan support you could possibly ask for, the creative team is determined to bring us the best show possible, and the critics consistently tout it as a quality show. Now we are only waiting for the big push from the network.

Everyone involved with this show is immensely talented and deserves to be recognised for that talent and the excellant show they put out week after week.

Watch Supernatural and be amazed!

William Robinson:

After reading this, you DON'T have to wonder why they would cancel a GREAT show like Veronica Mars !! DOPES !!


I haven't watched a show on the CW since they decided against picking up Everwood.

Quality programming just didn't seem to be their desire.

William Robinson:

Does anyone ever wonder if the network execs read, or heed, these comments ?


Bottom line: you need to spend $ to make $.
The network needs to spend money in (at least) the top 20 markets to be successful with their branding efforts. Promote your stars!!!! Put your new "Fall '07" stars on major TV talk shows...get them on mag covers that your target audience (median age of 32) will read. Get the buzz going from the Network! Do not expect the affiliates to do all the work and spend all the money. Affiliates have a lot of other, expensive things to worry about like NEWS and SYNDICATION and SALES COMMITMENTS (not only prime time) to promote and sell. Oh, and one more thing...DROP the "The" in "TheCW"! It beckons back to the days of a tiny little network that used a cartoon frog for a "team mascot" and eventually folded. The WB is gone. Michigan J. is gone. So should be the little "The". It's time to grow up and play with the big boys.

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