Many of the season's pilots have just been delivered to the network heads so there is limited word on what worked and what did not. The CW, however, is in such dire straits that it doesn't exactly matter. They're going to need a total overhaul, so I'll start my schedule predictions with them. The others will follow in the coming weeks.
8:00 - Gossip Girl
9:00 - The Carrie Diaries (NEW)
Despite incredibly low ratings, Gossip Girl will be renewed for a sixth (and likely final) season. I would expect the order to be cut to 13 episodes or less, with something new taking over at midseason. The Carrie Diaries is a prequel series to Sex and the City, set in 1980s New York when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school. It seems like more of the same, but with a recognizable brand name it's pretty much a shoo-in.
8:00 - 90210
9:00 - Beauty and the Beast (NEW)
90210 has actually proven itself to be one of the CW's more solid performers. It'll be as good a lead-in as any for a new show; I think it'll be Beauty and the Beast, the network's reworking of the 1980s crime drama starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. This version features Smallville's Kristin Kreuk and has an even more recognizable brand name than The Carrie Diaries; plus early reviews of the script were very positive. I can't see it not going forward.
8:00 - America's Next Top Model
9:00 - The Secret Circle
I don't see the CW canceling all of its freshman dramas, and The Secret Circle has been the best performer of the bunch (though recent weeks have seen it fall to new lows, at the same levels as the other freshman dramas). I think it'll get moved, and this Wednesday slot would be a good place to not debut a new drama (as the competition will be X Factor and Modern Family).
8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - The Selection (NEW)
The network's anchor (and only series to achieve higher than a 1.0 in the ratings) The Vampire Diaries has yet to provide a truly successful lead-in to any new drama. Despite strong ties, The Secret Circle just couldn't retain the audience. But The Selection, with its elements of The Hunger Games and an epic romance, might finally be the one to succeed. The script was received very well by early reviewers and its premise is timely, much like The Vampire Diaries was when Twilight fever hit.
8:00 - Arrow (NEW)
9:00 - Supernatural
Fridays are the unofficial "male" night on the typically female-skewing CW. Fridays also used to be their most successful night all-around when Smallville lead off the evening. So I wouldn't be surprised if another superhero show, Arrow, landed here and was followed by the always-solid Supernatural. I mean, Arrow is going to be picked up; there was too much early buzz and promotion for that not to happen. Friday nights just seem like the best fit for it.
I think Gossip Girl will get a half season and something new will replace it at midseason. My guess is the thriller Cult about a series of deaths on the set of a reality show. I think there could be another midseason pick-up with Joey Dakota, a time-traveling musical drama that received high marks early on. It's a risk, so I think a truncated midseason order to air either during another show's hiatus or if a new series fails is a possibility. There's also the chance that a low-rated drama from this season (Hart of Dixie, Ringer or Nikita) gets a short order and returns at midseason, or pushes a new drama back. I don't think it's likely, but it's not out of the question.
Bottom Line Predictions
New Series - The Carrie Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, The Selection, Arrow, Cult, Joey Dakota
Canceled - Hart of Dixie, Ringer, One Tree Hill, Nikita