This will be our first executive panel with Mark Pedowitz at the head of The CW. We’re accustomed to a certain brand of non-answers after years with Dawn Ostroff at the podium. Will Thursday (August 4) morning’s Television Critics Association press tour panel be any different?
9:55 a.m. The CW press site doesn’t have any pictures of Mark Pedowitz. I’m using Rachel Bilson instead. I hope nobody minds.
10:02 a.m. Pedowitz hits the stage to the dulcet tones of “Forever Young.” As was announced yesterday, “Gossip Girl” and “90210” have had their runs extended by two episodes to 24, while “Nikita” and “Supernatural” have added an episode apiece for 23-episode seasons. Poor “One Tree Hill” remains a 13-episode run.
10:04 a.m. “I try to get into my 26-year-old niece’s head,” Pedowitz says of how he gets into the mindset of the CW audience.
10:06 a.m. Are they looking at this as the last “Supernatural” season? “It is not intended to be the last season. We’ll see where the ratings go,” Pedowitz says, hoping that “Supernatural” will just continue to run. Why is it so popular? “It’s not about the demon-of-the-week. It’s about the love of two brothers.”
10:08 a.m. They wanted more episodes of “The Vampire Diaries,” but the production team didn’t feel it would be possible, so “The Vampire Diaries” will still be 22 episodes.
10:07 a.m. “I’m grateful that CBS did not have a lot of holes to fill,” Pedowitz says of the addition of “Ringer” to The CW’s slate. There won’t be any drop in budget on the series in its new home.
10:08 a.m. Pedowitz says that The CW will continue to have high-concept serials, while looking for more close-ended shows as well. They’ll also continue to use reality.
10:09 a.m. They have “Remodeled” and “The Frame” for midseason on the reality front.
10:09 a.m. What’s expected from “The Vampire Diaries”? Pedowitz gives a canned answer, but implies we should ask Kevin Williamson during the “Secret Circle” panel.
10:11 a.m. How has Pedowitz caught up on his network’s programming? He’s watched all of “Nikita.” He’s still in the first season of “Vampire Diaries.” “It’s amazing what you can get done while you’re working out,” he jokes. He’s not joining all of these shows fresh, though. He’s sampled “Gossip Girl” and “Top Model.” But now he can’t just sample. “I have to immerse myself, like a foreign language,” Pedowitz says.
10:12 a.m. “The Frame” is going to be like “Big Brother.” The audience will give the houseguests commands. It’s a competition show, eight weeks and 16 episodes. He compares it to “The Truman Show,” rather than “Big Brother.”
10:14 a.m. “I would love to say that was our strategy, but we lucked out,” Pedowitz says when asked if the addition of Bilson and Sarah Michelle Gellar meant The CW was targeting actors already beloved to the netlet’s demo.
10:14 a.m. “We are opening ourselves up to looking at comedy this year,” Pedowitz says. He references “Apartment 23,” “2 Broke Girls” and “The New Girl” as comedies on other networks which might have worked on The CW.
10:15 a.m. What’s the future of “Gossip Girl”? “We hope that Blake and the whole cast stay together as long as possible,” Pedowitz says.
10:16 a.m. They’re approaching “One Tree Hill” as the Final 13, but adds “you never want to say never.” James Lafferty is signed on for multiple “OTH” episodes, but Pedowitz doesn’t know the exact number.
10:16 a.m. “We are looking next year to do superheroes if the right superhero comes to be,” Pedowitz says of the netlet’s future with DC Comics.
10:17 a.m. Why is Pedowitz considered to be “one of the good guys” in the industry? “Out of all the questions one could prep for…” He thinks over it and says that it’s about integrity and consistency. He calls himself “tough but fair” and says he’s true to his word. “It’s very difficult to talk about yourself,” he concludes.
10:18 a.m. Will Pedowitz’s administration be doing any reboots? “I do believe in remakes. I believe a new twist on a great idea can work,” Pedowitz says, references “Battlestar Galactica” and “90210” as good reboots.
10:21 a.m. Not surprisingly, Mark Pedowitz is convinced that Britt Robertson of “The Secret Circle” is a star.
10:20 a.m. Previously, Pedowitz listed huge Facebook numbers for his shows, numbers that have no correlation to the traditionally reported ratings for those shows. Pedowitz says that the way The CW views success is “along with other measurement” beyond just traditional ratings. “We do know we’re being viewed and we’re frustrated by the measurement of the Nielsen system,” Pedowitz says.
10:22 a.m. “Ringer” is an exception. It may skew older than The CW’s traditionally targeted demo of women 18-34. Pedowitz suggests “Hart of Dixie” is another show that may reach a wider audience.
10:24 a.m. The CW’s “Gaga by Gaultier” special was made for French TV and has already aired on French TV. It will air on Monday, September 12.
10:25 a.m. What does Pedowitz think about The CW’s tendency to take long midseason breaks for shows? “We need more original programming. We have more original programming heading into this season. It’s our intention to try to avoid that,” Pedowitz says.