The CW President Mark Pedowitz has met with the Television Critics Association press tour a few times now, but Sunday (January 13) morning marks the first time he’s come before us with that most elusive of TV programming unicorns — a bona fide hit.
How will the fall success of “Arrow” impact The CW in the present and what will it mean for future development, including the network’s “Wonder Woman” prequel and more?
Click through for the full TCA press tour live-blog:
8:55 a.m. Thanks to “The Carrie Diaries,” we were treated to an ’80s themed breakfast, including bacon and eggs, which I do totally remember from the ’80s. We also have cans of Tab and packets of Pop Rocks at our seats along with a card telling us not to mix them. The ballroom soundtrack, disappointingly, isn’t ’80s-inspired at all.
9:09 p.m. The CW’s Paul Hewitt says this is the first Winter TCA executive session for The CW since 2007. That’s kinda crazy.
9:10 a.m. Our first question is about the midseason drama “Cult,” which has been in development for a long time. Pedowitz says he walked into the development office, asked for the piece of material they wished they’d moved forward with and he was given “Cult.”
9:11 a.m. How did “Carrie Diaries” come about? The book was being tracked by Pedowitz’s predecessors. “We thought it was a great take on what happened as an origination story in terms of Carrie Bradshaw,” he says.
9:12 a.m. How did the Originals-centric “Vampire Diaries” backdoor pilot come about? They met with WBTV and with Julie Plec. “We’re basically going to go and focus on the Original family,” he says.
9:12 a.m. Question about “Oh Sit,” “Breaking Pointe” and The CW’s reality strategy? Last summer was The CW’s first summer with original programming and the network wants more. He praises the digital presence for “Breaking Pointe” and he says that “Oh Sit” is “just a fun show.” “The Hunt” and “Perfect Score” are also coming for summer.
9:14 a.m. A new script for “The Selection” just came in and it’s still in contention.
9:14 a.m. Why didn’t The CW show more patience with “Emily Owens MD”? “We’re very proud of the show,” Pedowitz insists. “We felt that the episodes were so well done and how the 13 episodes laid out that we were going to air the show,” he says.
9:15 a.m. “Hopefully some of his siblings will come along,” Pedowitz says of Klaus and the Originals in the “Vampire Diaries” spinoff.
9:16 a.m. Why does The CW think audiences will respond to a show set in 1984? The strategy is to broaden out the 18-34 demo, but the reason “Carrie Diaries” is set in that year is just because of Carrie Bradshaw’s origin.
9:17 a.m. “I hope that ‘The Carrie Diaries’ runs as long as ‘Gossip Girl’ ran,” says Pedowitz, who calls it “a bi-modal” show. He figures it should get audiences of multiple ages.
9:18 a.m. First question about the Wonder Woman project. They’re casting now, but they haven’t seen a script yet. Pedowitz hasn’t seen David E. Kelley’s pilot, but he wants to make it clear that Kelley is welcome at The CW whenever he wants to do a show for them.
9:19 a.m. “L.A. Complex” question! Pedowitz says he was a fan of the show. He say they tried to work with the producers to try to find a way to pick up the show without its Canadian broadcaster. But it wasn’t able to come together.
9:19 a.m. “In terms of other DC characters, we will explore other DC characters,”
9:20 a.m. “Nothing’s been announced yet. No determination’s been made,” Pedowitz says of a ninth season of “Supernatural.”
9:21 a.m. Pedowitz says “At this time we are not planning to do anything with ‘Battle Royale.” He says they only had a phone call.
9:21 a.m. “We’re very pleased in terms of where it’s going creatively,” Pedowitz says of “Beauty and the Beast.” While he compares the show’s ratings to numbers for “The Secret Circle,” he says that the show has potential for growth and he thinks it has a future.
9:23 a.m. Pedowitz says that between CWTV.com and Hulu, they’re up twice. “We look at everything again as one piece, not just overnight viewing.”
9:24 a.m. “Nothing occurred. There was nothing to talk about,” Pedowitz says of “Battle Royale.”
9:25 a.m. Why isn’t Carrie Bradshaw more “normal” or “average” looking? “We cast the best actor,” Pedowitz says.
9:26 a.m. “Nielsen needs to technologically catch up,” Pedowitz says, emphasizing that ratings simply doesn’t catch the 18-34 demo. “Hopefully they will catch up. Hopefully they will increase the sample,” he says. Pedowitz notes, however, that The CW has done a better job of monetizing online than anybody else.
9:27 a.m. “It’s performing on-par to our expectations. I’m a fan of the show. I like the show,” Pedowitz says of “Nikita.” “It’s one of our fun shows,” Pedowitz says of “Hart of Dixie” and he’s pleased with the creative direction.
9:28 a.m. “At the moment, Phoebe will be coming on-board for the spin-off,” Pedowitz says of Phoebe Tonkin and the “Vampire Diaries” project. He says specifically that the network hasn’t considered Tonkin for the Wonder Woman pilot. Boo!
9:28 a.m. “We run a full ad-load with the fast-forward disabled,” Pedowitz says of how The CW has monetized streaming better than other networks.
9:29 a.m. What is the role of web shows like “Stupid Hype” in the network’s model? “We’re doing an animated one called ‘Gallery Mallory,'” Pedowitz says. They’re also moving forward on another project with Wilson Bethel.
9:30 a.m. Another 1984 question. Pedowitz compares it to “The Wonder Years,” saying they hope to capitalize on nostalgia. “There’s also the simplicity of 1984,” he notes, saying that it was a simpler world in some way. “It’s just a different frame of reference.”
9:32 a.m. Are there worries about doing a show in 1984, with fewer options for product placement? “The high tech piece will be a little bit harder to do,” Pedowitz says. He argues, though, that cosmetics and cars were still there then.
9:33 a.m. Pedowitz now views “Top Model” as programming for late summer and early fall. They’re doing a cycle with men now, as was previously announced. “It’s a very strong show as a utility player for us,” he says.
9:33 a.m. Now a question about the higher-than-expected median age for The CW… He says that the strategy has always been to broaden out. Pedowitz says that “Emily Owens” skewed old and that led to some bump in the network’s median age. “We know the 18-34s are watching. Traditional medias skew a little bit older,” he notes correctly.
9:35 a.m. With “Cult,” has Pedowitz ever wondered/worried about some of the things his passionate fans are up to? “Based on the emails I get from many viewers? Yes,” he cracks.
9:35 a.m. What are network expectations for “90210”? No determination has been made for next season. He says, however, that he wants to give fans a satisfactory conclusions for as many shows as possible and that fans “deserve that sort of a gift.”
That’s all, folks…