Freshman network The CW, whose ratings remain in the neighborhood of predecessors UPN and The WB, plans a trio of additions to its programming strategy to entice new viewers.
The network plans a comedy pilot, an awards show and an online stream of The CW’s highest-rated series, “America’s Next Top Model.” The moves come as The CW continues to compete for viewers in a ferociously competitive broadcast environment.
The pilot is “Eight Days a Week,” about four ambitious 20-somethings, laboring for top New York executives, who realize they should work together to succeed. The pilot is produced by former “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes along with Todd Milliner, and produced by their company Hazy Mills for CBS Paramount.
The awards show is the Brick Awards, which honors 12 young leaders involved in community service. The awards, sponsored by GM and Pepsi, represent the first awards show ordered specifically for The CW. (Earlier this season, the network aired the Family Television Awards, a holdover from The WB.)
“It’s a pleasure to broadcast a show that will shine the spotlight on this extraordinary group of young people,” said Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment for The CW. “Important achievements like these are to be celebrated and applauded, and this show is a great way to accomplish that.”
The awards will air April 12.
Online streaming is planned for “America’s Next Top Model,” whose eighth cycle premiered last week. “Model” will be added to the roster of CW shows available online. New episodes will be available the morning after each new show airs, free of charge and with limited commercial interruptions.
Last week’s “Top Model” premiere garnered a 2.5 rating among adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen, tying the record-high September premiere and setting records for the show in several demographics.
Season-to-date, the network has stayed roughly even with UPN and The WB, from whose merger it was formed.
Like other networks, The CW has taken a hit since the start of the new year due to “American Idol” and popular awards shows and sporting events, its season-to-date average dropping 7 percent.