Although network upfronts are still nearly three months away, The CW renewed the vast majority of its schedule on Tuesday (Feb. 24) afternoon.
The CW announced that “Gossip Girl,” One Tree Hill,” “90210,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Smallville” and “Supernatural” will all be back for Fall 2009.
“As we continue to build The CW Network as a destination for young women, these six shows have clearly contributed to strengthening our schedule and our brand identity,” CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff says in a statement. “By securing these signature hits for next season, we’re furthering our commitment to deliver high-quality, original programming to our viewers, advertisers and affiliates.”
The pick-ups ensure a second season for “90210,” a third for “Gossip Girl,” a fifth for “Supernatural,” a seventh for “One Tree Hill,” a ninth for “Smallville” and a 13th and 14th cycle for “America’s Next Top Model.”
The six renewed shows are also The CW’s highest rated, the centerpieces of the netlet’s attempts to more carefully brand itself for young female viewers after jettisoning the network’s most-watched show, “WWE Smackdown,” last spring.
The only real suspense had surrounded the renewal of “Smallville,” which was predicated on the return of star Tom Welling. “America’s Next Top Model” will begin casting on Cycle 13 — featuring only models 5’7″ or shorter — next week and a backdoor pilot for a “Gossip Girl” spinoff will air in May. While “90210” has seen its ratings tumble in recent weeks, the reboot has still given The CW double-digit demo growth on Tuesday nights.
So where does this pack of renewals leave The CW with development season and upfronts ahead?
After the renewals, the only shows in limbo are “Privileged,” which has its season finale on Tuesday, “Reaper,” which returns for its second season next Tuesday (March 3), and ratings-starved Friday night comedies “The Game” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”
[The CW’s release also made no mention of the future for Sunday night repeats of “Jericho” or “13 – Fear Is Real,” which has been drawing hundreds of thousands of viewers on Fridays.]
Fans of those bubble shows will have to wait until The CW has seen its pilot options, though the “Gossip Girl” spinoff and a reboot of “Melrose Place” are rumored
to be early favorites for the fall schedule, while the Kevin Williamson-penned “Vampire Diaries” would also seem to be a logical fit.
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