Add The CW to the list of networks doing early housekeeping before next week's Upfronts.
On Thursday (May 8) morning, one week before it will announce its full schedule to advertisers, The CW four new series pickups for next season, renewed three established series and, in the process, confirmed that three bubble shows will not be returning next year.
Let's take things step-by-step:
The four new dramas that will be part of The CW's schedule at some point next year are comic adaptations “The Flash” and “iZombie,” plus the soap “Jane the Virgin” and pre-Apocalyptic thriller “The Messengers.”
The three dramas newly renewed for next season are freshman success “The 100,” dramedy “Hart of Dixie” and unintentional dramedy “Beauty and the Beast.”
And that, in turn, means that “Star-Crossed,” “The Carrie Diaries” and “The Tomorrow People” will not be back next season. It also means that “Supernatural: Bloodlines” will not be going to series, though the network is open to the possibility of future “Supernatural” spinoffs.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's take the new shows one-by-one:
“The Flash” was always considered a near inevitability to earn a fall spot and after introducing the Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) character in fall episodes of “Arrow,” we'll see if The CW just puts the DC adaptation at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and keeps things simple. Created by Andrew Kreisberg and with a pilot from David Nutter, “The Flash” co-stars Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes and Candice Patton and will feature TV's original Flash John Wesley Shipp in a guest role.
Also hailing from DC Comics is “iZombie,” which focuses on a med student who becomes a zombie and takes a job at the coroner's office where she gets access to both delicious brains and also to crimes to solve. Rose McIver plays the main character and is supported by Robert Buckley, Rahul Kohli, Nora Dunn, David Anders and Alexandra Krosney in the pilot from Diane Ruggiero and Rob Thomas.
“Jane the Virgin” is based on a Venezuelan telenovela about a religious young woman who is accidentally artificially inseminated. Don't you hate it when that happens? Gina Rodriguez stars in the Jennie Snyder Urman-written pilot, which was helmed by “Reign” director Brad Silberling.
And, honestly, I really can't explain the plot of “The Messengers,” but it involves a group of strangers who are killed by a mysterious electric pulse and then return as angels warning of the coming apocalypse. Are they pretty angels? Seems like a safe bet. The ensemble includes Shantel VanSanten, Craig Frank, Sofia Black-D'Elia and more. Eoghan O'Donnell created the pilot, which was directed by Stephen Williams.
On the renewal front, The CW declined to give episode counts for the returning dramas that join “Arrow,” “Reign,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” and “Supernatural” with places somewhere in the network's 2014-2015 lineup.
The least surprising of the renewals was certainly “The 100,” which premiered to better-than-CW-average reviews in March and managed the rare feat of outdrawing “Arrow” in its first week. While the overall viewer number has declined, “The 100” has held onto most of its “Arrow” demo lead-in and has picked up predictably strong DVR traction in Live+7 figures. Through its first five episode, “The 100” averaged a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 and just under 3.1 million viewers in Live+7 figures. That's an easy renewal.
“Hart of Dixie” probably wasn't quite as easy a renewal, but with three seasons of service and respectable recent numbers in a tight Friday position, the Rachel Bilson series was always fairly secure.
As for “Beauty and the Beast”? Well, with live averages of 802,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating, your guess is frankly as good as mine. Yes, the show has a passionate fanbase, but “The Tomorrow People” also seemed to be getting vocal support and reliably outperformed “Beauty and the Beast” on Mondays at 9. In fact, even “The Carrie Diaries” averaged more Live+Same Day viewers than “Beauty” in a tougher Friday slot. And “Star-Crossed”? Yup. Also more Live+Same Day viewers than “Beauty and the Beast,” though DVR figures put “Beauty” ahead of “Star-Crossed” and “Carrie Diaries.”
“Beauty and the Beast” returns to finish its second season starting on June 2.
The CW orders many fewer pilots than most of the other networks and “Identity” is the only non-spinoff drama not going to series.
Excited about the pickups? Thrilled about the renewals? Angry about any of the cancellations?