Rose Parade

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Programming The CW

Updated: Because it's 13 hours of primetime, not 23. Also to add a few more midseason shows.

The CW will have 13 hours of primetime programming. They have an opportunity to pull from the best of both lineups, hopefully creating a channel superior to both WB and UPN. Now that the initial shock of the merger announcement has worn off, everyone is playing “let’s program the new network”. My turn! On the 1-hour side, we already know “Seventh Heaven” isn’t coming back. There’s been talk of a spinoff, but nothing solid and the merger probably isn’t going to help. “Gilmore Girls” (the highest rated show on either net), “Smallville” (currently celebrating its 100th episode), and “America’s Next Top Model” are the slam-dunks. “Veronica Mars” should make the cut, at least for another season. It can only benefit from the publicity generated by being part of the new net and deservedly so. “Pepper Dennis”, "The Bedford Diaries", "Get This Party Started", "Misconceptions" and "Modern Men" are coming up midseason. We’ll have to wait and see on those. “Charmed” is kind of long in the tooth and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it end. “South Beach” and “Related” just need to die. Lose the Friday night wrestling, because, well, it’s wrestling. And dump “Beauty and the Geek” because I hate reality programming and the premise is just painful. Could go either way: “Supernatural”, “One Tree Hill” and “Everwood”. On the sitcom side, “Blue Collar TV” and “Everybody Loves Chris” are shoo-ins and “Reba” is probably safe. “Living with Fran” and “Girlfriends” may be dependent on the number of half-hour timeslots available. The following shows don’t exist in my world and are expendable: “What I Like About You”, “One on One”, “All of Us”, “Half & Half”, “Love, Inc.”, and “Cuts”. “Eve” isn’t hacking it in the ratings and I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about “Twins”, so lose those as well. At this point I’m beginning to think Les Moonves has the coolest job in the world. I could totally do this for a living. Of course, I also thought “Book of Daniel” sounded like a great idea. Another big factor is the slate of pilots both networks have going, many of which have some big names attached and most of which sound better than the current lineup. I’m not sure if the CW honchos will prefer to keep a lot of the existing shows versus launching with a bunch of new faces. How that works out could make or break a few of the current shows. Among the Fall 2006 hopefuls (note – some of these have been greenlit while others are still in development): “Aquaman”, from the creators of “Smallville” is one of the higher profile pilots of the year and is pretty much assured a spot. An untitled project from Steven Bochco about two young Hollywood homicide detectives. He’s Steven Bochco. This show is coming to a CW affiliate near you. “Palm Springs” from Kevin Williamson (creator of “Dawson’s Creek”), a mystery focusing on teens living in a gated community. Again, go with the proven guy. “Cult”, a thriller about the investigation of deaths that may be related to a spooky TV show. This one comes from Rockne O’Bannon, creator of “Farscape” and writer of the recent miniseries “The Triangle”. “My Dog Sparky” is a comedy that looks at family life from the perspective of both the family and their dog. Ellen DeGeneres and Vance DeGeneres are responsible for this one. Nick Lachey has an untitled pilot in which he is to star as a famous baseball player adjusting to life as a newlywed. Heh. This could pull in viewers who like their celebrities manufactured and pointless, and apparently there are a lot of them out there. If I was running the network I would greenlight this based on the gossip factor alone. Sad but true. And many, many more. If some of their pilots are as good as they sound, the CW could really launch in style.