The CW: Fall 2012
The May Upfronts bring a slew of announcements by the networks. In this installment we focus on the fate of shows you should care about at The CW.
Although it was not officially renewed at the time, the recent announcement of a showrunner shift made it fairly obvious that Supernatural would be returning for at least one more season. Why would you hire someone to take over a show and then not pick it up? What many people (myself included) didn’t realize was that more interesting announcements were on the way. Not only did the show get picked up for an eighth season, but beginning this fall Supernatural will be moving off of Fridays and over to Wednesdays to be paired with freshman show Arrow. Normally shows move to Fridays to die, and even those that manage to survive hardly even make it off of the night (none that I can think of) so this is interesting news for fans like me. In addition to the night shift, was word from CW and stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles that the series might run far into the future. The move off of Fridays and back into the midweek lineup seems to be a vote of confidence in the show on the network’s part, and it seems like neither of of the stars plan to leave before the show’s natural death. For those of you interested in seeing what direction the show takes next season under new leadership, tune in Wednesdays at 9:00 this fall.
The Vampire Diaries is a show whose praises I have sung for quite some time. Sure it is a little teen soapy, but it is also fun, heart wrenching, fast-paced, and unafraid of risk-taking. With the way this most recent season ended (no spoilers) I would have been extremely frustrated had it not returned. Thankfully I’m not alone in my love of the show and the viewership as well as the strong buzz it brings to the network basically guaranteed a renewal. The Vampire Diaries will continue airing on Thursdays at 8:00 when it returns this fall.
There are very few fun action shows on TV these days, which is why I’m glad that Nikita will be returning this fall. When the show returns it will pick back up on its normal night and time, Fridays at 9:00.
Arrow is a show that I have covered several times while it was in development. Now that it has been picked up to series I am interested in seeing if the time I have invested in it at such early stages will pay off. After watching the short preview available from the CW it looks like it just might. The show’s production values look similar to many other CW pilots (not great) but that has not stopped many of those other shows from going on to become favorites of mine. Tonally, the show seems to be what I was hoping for: more Supernatural than Smallville. This looks like an Oliver Queen who can physically handle himself and will likely have to get himself out of some trouble. While I thought Smallville’s depiction of the Emerald Archer was fine, the effects and staging in the few action scenes during the clip (physical training and bow tricks) seem much better. Hopefully Arrow will come out of the gate strong and make Wednesdays on the CW a much watch for genre fans. The show will kick off the night at 8:00 where it will then be followed by Supernatural.
I was considering two shows to spotlight alongside of Arrow, but in the end I decided I only had any real amount of faith in one. Beauty and the Beast ended up winning, and I hope that by the end of the next television season I am not hitting myself over the decision. The CW’s Beauty and the Beast, not to be confused with the ABC project of the same name, stars Kristin Kreuk as the titular Beauty, and Jay Ryan as the Beast. In this version of the story Kruek’s character is a homicide detective who is saved by the Beast on the night her mother is murdered. She later comes across a man named Vincent and learns that he is in fact the same Beast.
After watching the CW’s clip, all I was thinking about how similar it felt to the pilot and first few episodes of The Vampire Diaries. The show seems like it will be dark, bloody, and romantic. Will it be good though? Hopefully this show will find itself and become a good, fun, and exciting watch. In my experience many people who watched Smallville strongly disliked Kruek. Although I think that show created a Lana Lang problem that it never handled properly, I cant find it in myself to blame the actress for any of that. With the focus of the story on her and an entire writer’s room trying to play to her strengths I am hoping that the show will overcome any anti-Kruek biases that do still exist amongst the CW’s viewership. Those willing to give the show a try will be able to find it Thursdays 9:00 this fall after The Vampire Diaries.
For a network currently airing so many shows that I watch on a weekly basis it is nice that they did not cancel any of them. The one show that the CW canceled that is relevant to genre fans is the freshman melodrama Ringer, which starred Buffy’s own Sarah Michelle Gellar. The series won’t be returning for a second season for the network, and with its low ratings (even for the CW) and already storied development history (the CW saved it when it was passed on by CBS) it seems like this one is likely to stay dead.