90% of the CW's schedule has changed... epic. They're also attempting to air less repeats by starting their seasons in October, about two weeks after the other networks typically begin. Many of the ordered shows will also be shortened, cable-like seasons (Gossip Girl, The Carrie Diaries, Cult, and whatever Cult replaces).
8:00 - 90210 (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Gossip Girl (New Timeslot)
Is this the first time these shows have been paired together? If so, what took so long? 90210 is one of the more consistent performers for the CW, even though "consistent" does not mean "highly rated." It should provide a decent baseline for Gossip Girl's final 11-episode season. Hopefully the veteran show can go out on top, both in terms of ratings and creativity (both of which have lagged the past two seasons). In any event, this is the start of a smart schedule from the CW: soap night.
8:00 - Hart of Dixie (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Emily Owens, M.D. (NEW)
Okay, I'm getting it. Now I understand why Hart of Dixie got the renewal it doesn't really deserve. It leads off a new medical drama night, followed by newbie Emily Owens, M.D. (formerly First Cut, a much better title). The CW seems high on M.D.'s lead, Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter), so I find it strange they would provide it with such a weak lead-in and competitive timeslot. Either way, M.D. was a smart pickup for the network, providing it with a true medical procedural while still not straying far from its roots in the 18-34 demographic.
8:00 - Arrow (NEW)
9:00 - Supernatural (New Timeslot)
I expected these two shows to be paired together, I just didn't expect it to not be on Friday. But Supernatural is a really good performer for the CW, especially considering its Friday slot. Now it will be moved away from any other genre shows (it was previously up against both Grimm and Fringe) to anchor a male-centric evening. This could be good for Arrow, the new adaptation of the DC Comics hero Green Arrow. Both shows will be going up against mostly female-skewing (ABC comedies, The X-Factor) or older-skewing (Survivor, Criminal Minds) series, so there's room for success.
8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - Beauty and the Beast (NEW)
The Vampire Diaries is the one show to stay put, though it will get a new companion in Beauty and the Beast, a semi-remake of the 1980s police procedural-by-way-of-fairy-tale series. If The Selection was not going to go forward, this seems like the best option to place in the post TVD slot. So Thursdays will be fantasy night on the CW; hopefully Beauty and the Beast can finally get the TVD audience to stick around afterward.
8:00 - America's Next Top Model (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Nikita (New Timeslot)
There's no official theme to this evening, but I'm going to call it the night of failures. ANTM skydove in its spring season to horrifically low ratings, so it absolutely deserves this Friday slot. Without its longtime team on board, the show looks like it's on its last legs. Nikita, whose renewal is still a mystery to me, gets pushed back to the more competitive 9:00 slot. Expect the worst from this night, CW... that's what you're going to get.
Once Gossip Girl airs its final episode, The Carrie Diaries will inherit its timeslot at 9:00 on Mondays in January. Cult will also be fit into the schedule at midseason.
Wow... for how confusing NBC's schedule was in its attempt to overhaul the network, it's nothing compared to what the CW has done. It changed 9 out of 10 of its programs. That's ridiculous... and necessary. Overall, this schedule is about as good as it gets. They finally went for "theme nights," and they're taking risks. Cult, for example, is a really strange and complex series which would be more at home on cable; but the CW has committed to it, and I applaud that. Mark Pedowitz has done a bang-up job releasing his first solo schedule; he is attempting to move the network out of the "teen girls only" mindset it had previously and into something more, but he's also not completely abandoning the core audience either. He's ushering out the network's flagship shows (Gossip Girl, America's Next Top Model) with dignity and trying to introduce a new era of shows that can appeal to both sexes and all ages (now that I'm thinking about it, that's probably the primary reason Nikita was renewed). I'm excited to see how they do in the fall; I don't expect miracles, but hopefully the CW can rise a little bit.