Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Upfronts: CW Fall Schedule

Monday

8:00 - Gossip Girl (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Hart of Dixie (NEW)

With any luck at all, this will be Gossip Girl's final season. It continues to air on one of the most competitive nights for television, and its storylines and characters are a shadow of what they once were. CW has decided to pair the new Southern charmer Hart of Dixie, since it is produced by the same team that does Gossip Girl. I don't think I'll ever buy Rachel Bilson as a serious doctor, but then again this is the CW; realism isn't exactly their forte. And who knows, it may take off with the younger female viewers.

Tuesday

8:00 - 90210 (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Ringer (NEW)

And this will probably be 90210's final season as well. It will be up against Glee, which I'm sure shares a good deal of its target audience. I don't see it lasting past May 2012. But then we get the new Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle Ringer at 9:00. I'm so excited to see what this show is all about, and I'm so glad the CW gave it a good slot. They could have easily paired it up with Nikita on Fridays, but clearly they want this series to work; it is, after all, probably their highest-buzzed pilot. I don't know how much of a lead-in 90210 will provide, but hopefully it can find some audience on its own.

Wednesday

8:00 - H8R (NEW)
9:00 - American's Next Top Model (New Timeslot)

I don't really understand why the CW would move ANTM back an hour and put a new reality pilot out in front against The X Factor and Survivor, but whatever. I'm actually really interested in H8R, which will pair a regular person up with a celebrity they hate, giving the celebrity a chance to win the person over. But I suppose you fight fire with fire, and it's easier to compete with reality juggernauts with your own reality programming.

Thursday

8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - The Secret Circle (NEW)

This was a no brainer. Just like Mondays are Schwartz-Savage night, Thursdays are now Williamson night. The new pilot from the creator/producer of The Vampire Diaries, about a group of teen witches in New Salem, gets the prime slot on the CW's schedule. This was easy to call since the two shows have much in common, including source material from the same author. Hopefully The Secret Circle will be the hit the CW needs.

Friday

8:00 - Nikita (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Supernatural

Again, no surprise here. Both shows skew male, so it makes sense to pair them together. Supernatural did surprisingly well on Fridays this past season leading out of Smallville, another male-skewing show. Hopefully Nikita can not only help it to hang on but can also build a new audience of its own. Its first season was very well-done, and it deserves to be seen.

Midseason

At the season break, fans of long-running soap One Tree Hill will receive a farewell ninth season of 13 episodes. Joining the veteran drama are two reality series, The Frame and Re-Modeled. The former puts ten teams of two people in one small space each, where they must live together and have their every move recorded, while also competing in challenges and head-to-head competitions. The latter will see the development of a new network of many small modeling agencies, allowing models to take control of their careers.

This is a very satisfying schedule, on the whole. It doesn't make much sense to have flailing shows lead-in to new ones, but I don't think the CW will hold that against newcomers Hart of Dixie and Ringer. As much complaining as there has been this morning about this schedule, it makes sense. 90210 won't provide a strong lead-in, but you're throwing a low-rated show up against Glee rather than a new one. Nikita may pair better with Ringer, but then would you want to launch a new show on Friday? Or have Nikita go up against stronger competition than it will get from the 8:00 Friday slot? No, this schedule is nicely done in that sense.

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