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CW Unveils its Schedule to Yawns

With little fanfare, netlet the CW unveiled its schedule yesterday to advertisers and press in New York. (An LA-based presentation is set for Thursday.) The reason behind the lack of trumpets was that the CW only had three drama pilots in contention for a fall berth and most of its programs would be returning for the 2008-o9 season anyway.

It was hardly a surprise or shock to anyone that the CW picked up its two rich teen dramas, 90210, the Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off (originally written by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas) and Surviving the Filthy Rich (formerly known as How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls), which like its predecessor Gossip Girl is based on a series of young adult novels from Alloy.

So how does the schedule look for the second year of the CW, scheduled to kick off a little earlier than expected, on September 1st? Let's take a look.

CW PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR 08-09


MONDAY
8 pm: Gossip Girl
9 pm: One Tree Hill

TUESDAY
8 pm: 90210
9 pm: Surviving the Filthy Rich

WEDNESDAY
8 pm: America's Next Top Model
9 pm: Stylista

THURSDAY
8 pm: Smallville (Midseason: Reaper)
9 pm: Supernatural

FRIDAY
8 pm: Everybody Hates Chris
8:30 pm: The Game
9 pm: America's Next Top Model (repeats)

SUNDAY
TBA - Network has leased the Sunday programming real estate to Media Rights Capital, which will announce its programming at a later date, which may include comedies Surviving Suburbia and Book of Murphy and dramas I.M. Valentine Investigation and FAT City: Fugitive Apprehension Team. (Yes, those are, um, actual titles under discussion.)

New Series:
90210, Surviving the Filthy Rich, Stylista

Returning Series:
Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, America's Next Top Model, Smallville, Supernatural, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, Reaper (midseason)

Canceled Series:
Life is Wild, Aliens in America, Beauty and the Geek, Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants, CW Now, Girlfriends, Online Nation, Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious

Reactions:
Um, not many. It's pretty much what everyone in the industry had worked out on paper ahead of the upfront. I think it's risky to launch two new scripted series together on a new night, but ABC managed to do just that with three dramas this past season to much success. Seems like CW is looking towards massive brand identification as well as focusing on its core teen female audience with things like 90210 and Surviving the Filthy Rich. And I can't say I am surprised about the last-minute renewal for Reaper, which will fill in for Smallville once the latter wraps its series run later this year.

As for the deal with MRC to outsource its Sunday night, it smacks of desperation to me and it is never a good idea to give up your programming real estate to a third party like that, especially as the series under discussion seem like those that may have appeared on the first year of the WB. (Ouch.) Dawn Ostroff has once again to have quite a lot of work on her hands.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC; 8-10 pm); America's Next Top Model (CW); Wife Swap (ABC); 'Til Death/Back to You (FOX)

9 pm:
Criminal Minds (CBS); Farmer Wants a Wife (CW); Supernanny (ABC); American Idol (FOX)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: America's Next Top Model.

On tonight's episode ("And the Winner is..."), Cycle Nine winner Saleisha Stowers flies into Rome to spend some time with the contestants during their Cover Girl commercial and print ad shoot; one of the girls fails to deliver the goods and is sent packing, while the final two face of on the runway in a once-in-a-lifetime fashion event.

9 pm: MI-5 on BBC America.

If you missed MI-5 (aka Spooks) when it aired on A&E a few years back, you can catch it tonight on BBC America. On tonight's installment ("The Suffering of Strangers"), the gripping third season finale, Danny and Fiona are taken hostage by a ruthless terrorist who demands that the British government withdraw from Iraq or they will execute one of their prisoners, leaving Adam with a moral dilemma.

10 pm: Top Chef on Bravo.

On tonight's episode ("Serve and Protect"), the chefs are tasked with reformulating the humble salad and then must trim calories and fat with a reinvention of a classic entree. Oh, and former cheftestant Sam stops by as well.

Comments

The CineManiac said…
Beauty & the Geek Canceled!!!!! Say it ain't so. I know you didn't enjoy this season, but after the horrendous beauty vs geek it got back to its old self and I still loved it.
I'm sad to see it go.
Anonymous said…
For the love of all things holy, why is One Tree Hill still on the air? At least they're getting rid of Pussycat Dolls but it's of little comfort for the network that's bringing back Reaper.
Anonymous said…
FAT City? I need to move to Hollywood, just to sell the studios some of my ideas for titles!!
Anonymous said…
Jace:
I'm so disappointed (not to mention, surprised) that Ostroff has decided to pattern the new line-up around Gossip Girls, which isn't a ratings hit even by the CW's much reduced standards. I think it is a huge mistake to keep focusing on the 'mean, rich girl' shows as opposed to the more successful family oriented shows which have a much broader appeal like Gilmore Girls and Seventh Heaven and to a lesser extent Veronica Mars and Everwood. These types of shows seem to do well enough on ABC Family and they continue to have a strong line-up from what I've seen. Do you think ABC Family (with its popular tv movies, Kyle XY and Greek) could become the new leader in teen-targeted programming?

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