As surprised as I was by ABC's schedule a few days ago, The CW's might take the cake. There are, like last year, shake-ups on each night.
8:00 - Hart of Dixie (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Beauty and the Beast (New Timeslot)
Beauty and the Beast's move was expected, but I didn't expect it from Hart of Dixie. Monday has become just as dire for the network as Friday (if not more so), so I suppose it makes sense to not debut a new show up against The Voice and the CBS comedies. But this is an odd pairing to me; I know they're both romances at heart, and Hart of Dixie is probably a low risk no matter what night it airs considering it must be low-budget in comparison with the action/paranormal shows.
8:00 - The Originals (NEW)
9:00 - Supernatural (New Timeslot)
Now I'm a little lost. I assumed the whole point of ordering The Originals to series was to finally try to find a compatible partner for The Vampire Diaries. What better to fill the position than a show with a bunch of characters from The Vampire Diaries? But here it is anchoring a difficult night. The Originals will be up against Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which I suspect will take a sizeable chunk of its audience, and Supernatural, which has been doing great numbers behind Arrow on Wednesdays, will be up against The Voice and the female-oriented comedies on Fox. I'm not sure how smart this decision was, even if the two shows are a decent pairing.
8:00 - Arrow
9:00 - The Tomorrow People (NEW)
Arrow gets to keep its timeslot and lead in to a new superhero show, the X-Men-like The Tomorrow People. This is a perfect pairing, and Arrow should provide a good audience for the new series. I just assumed that because it and Supernatural were doing so well together that the CW would want to have at least one night of guaranteed viewership.
8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - Reign (NEW)
The CW must be higher on Reign than anyone anticipated to give it such a high-profile timeslot. Granted, The Vampire Diaries isn't what it used to be (the show has stumbled creatively and in the ratings since turning Elena into a vampire in last year's finale), but this is still a big opportunity for the costume drama. There aren't any similar shows in the timeslot, except maybe Grey's Anatomy, so it has a chance to succeed. I say this every year, but here's to hoping Reign is the hit the CW needs.
8:00 - The Carrie Diaries (New Timeslot)
9:00 - America's Next Top Model
I'm a bit surprised that The Carrie Diaries is on the fall schedule, especially since that means Nikita was bumped to midseason, but I like the pairing of it with America's Next Top Model. The veteran reality show was relegated to summer last season, and that was supposed to be the case again this year; but after seeing how everything on Fridays bombed, it will debut in late August and continue through the regular season in the fall. It should match nicely with The Carrie Diaries for a fashion-themed night, and Fridays will be a very low-pressure night for the sophomore show where it could succeed if it maintains its current ratings there.
The CW confirmed that Nikita will be returning for a final cycle of 6 episodes sometime at midseason. Joining it will be two new scripted series, Star-Crossed (formerly Oxygen) and The 100, as well as a new reality series, Famous in 12. I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of the fall shows were designed as half-seasons (approximately 13 episodes) so that these two shows could replace them; but a concept like The Tomorrow People seems perfectly suited to short seasons, as does Reign, which seems to be in the vein of costume dramas like Downton Abbey.
I like the pairings of most of these nights, but I don't necessarily like how they were done. I just see the Tuesday line-up falling flat; Supernatural is pulling 0.9-1.0 in the ratings right now, but I don't think it will sustain anywhere near those numbers in its new slot. And based on how low the backdoor pilot for The Originals rated last month, I don't think it will provide a great lead-in, especially up against stiff competition from ABC. I don't know how I feel about Reign being paired with The Vampire Diaries; I don't see much overlap between the two genres (paranormal romance vs. period romance), but perhaps I'll be proven wrong. I'm just kind of shocked that Arrow and Supernatural have been broken up, and that The Originals isn't airing after its parent show. I'm excited to see how The Tomorrow People turned out, even if it's a blatant rip-off of a dozen predecessors (X-Men, Heroes, Misfits, etc), and I'm especially excited fro Star-Crossed at midseason; the actors in the love triangle are all great in their own right, and advance word on the script was very positive.
Oh, and The CW might as well change its name to The JP, because Julie Plec now has three shows on the air, a third of the network's scripted content: The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, The Tomorrow People.
Read after the jump for descriptions of The CW's new series.
The Originals (Tuesdays at 8:00) - Family is power. The Original Vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together, always and forever. Now, centuries have passed and the bonds of family are broken. Time, tragedy and hunger for power have torn the Original Family apart. When Klaus Mikaelson, the original vampire-werewolf hybrid, receives a mysterious tip that a plot is brewing against him in the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, he returns to the city his family helped build. Klaus’ questions lead him to a reunion with his diabolical former protégé, Marcel, a charismatic vampire who has total control over the human and supernatural inhabitants of New Orleans. Determined to help his brother find redemption, Elijah follows Klaus and soon learns that the werewolf Hayley has also come to the French Quarter searching for clues to her family history, and has fallen into the hands of a powerful witch named Sophie. Tensions between the town’s supernatural factions are nearing a breaking point as Marcel commands his devoted followers and rules with absolute power. For Klaus, the thought of answering to his powerful protégé is unthinkable, and he vows to reclaim what was once his – the power, the city and his family. While they wait to see if their sister Rebekah will leave Mystic Falls and join them, Klaus and Elijah form an uneasy alliance with the witches to ensure that New Orleans will be ruled by The Originals once again. The series stars Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries, Immortals) as Klaus, Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, Saving Hope) as Elijah, Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars) as Rebekah, Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle) as Hayley, Charles Michael Davis (Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth) as Marcel, Daniella Pineda (The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, Homeland) as Sophie, Leah Pipes (The Deep End, Sorority Row) as Cami and Danielle Campbell (Starstruck, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection) as Davina. The Originals is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with My So-Called Company, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Kyle XY, Wasteland), Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl) and Gina Girolamo (The Lying Game) are executive producers. Plec wrote the pilot episode, which was directed by Chris Grismer (The Vampire Diaries).
The Tomorrow People (Wednesdays at 9:00) - They are the next evolutionary leap of mankind, a generation of humans born with paranormal abilities — the Tomorrow People. Stephen Jameson stands at the crossroads between the world we know and the shifting world of the future. Up until a year ago, Stephen was a “normal” teenager — until he began hearing voices and teleporting in his sleep, never knowing where he might wake up. Now, Stephen’s issues have gone far beyond the usual teenage angst, and he is beginning to question his sanity. In desperation, Stephen decides to listen to one of the voices in his head, and it leads him to his first encounter with the Tomorrow People — John, Cara and Russell — a genetically advanced race with the abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication. The Tomorrow People are being hunted down by a paramilitary group of scientists known as Ultra. Led by Dr. Jedikiah Price, Ultra sees the Tomorrow People as a very real existential threat from a rival species, and the outcast group has been forced to hide out in an abandoned subway station just beneath the surface of the human world. Trading in secrets, Jedikiah offers Stephen the chance for a normal life with his family and best friend, Astrid, if he will help in the struggle to isolate and eradicate the Tomorrow People. On the other hand, Cara, John and Russell offer Stephen a different type of family and a home where he truly belongs. Unwilling to turn his back on humanity or the world of the Tomorrow People, Stephen sets out on his own path — a journey that could take him into the shadowy past to uncover the truth about his father’s mysterious disappearance, or into an unknown future with the Tomorrow People. The series stars Robbie Amell (Revenge) as Stephen, Luke Mitchell (H20: Just Add Water) as John, Peyton List (Mad Men) as Cara, Aaron Yoo (Disturbia, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Russell, Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural) as Dr. Jedikiah Price, and Madeleine Mantock as Astrid. The Tomorrow People is from Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Green Lantern), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Kyle XY), Phil Klemmer (Political Animals, Chuck) and Danny Cannon (Nikita, CSI: NY). The pilot was directed by Danny Cannon.
Reign (Thursdays at 9:00) - Hidden between the lines of the history books is the story of Mary Stuart, the young woman the world would come to know as Mary, Queen of Scots. Queen of Scotland since she was six days old, the teenage Mary is already a headstrong monarch ─ beautiful, passionate, and poised at the very beginning of her tumultuous rise to power. Arriving in France with four close friends as her ladies-in-waiting, Mary has been sent to secure Scotland’s strategic alliance by formalizing her arranged engagement to the French king’s dashing son, Prince Francis. But the match isn’t signed and sealed, it depends more on politics, religion and secret agendas than affairs of the heart. Prince Francis is intrigued by the fiery Scot, but like most young men, he resists the idea of settling down into marriage, especially when he has a history with a lady of the court and his own point of view on the wisdom of an alliance with Scotland. Still, an attraction between Mary and Francis is ignited. Further complicating things is Bash, Francis’ roguish half-brother, who has a history of his own ─ despite his illegitimate birth, Bash is his father’s favorite. And now that Bash has caught Mary’s eye, a royal triangle may be forming. While at French Court, fierce foes and dark forces conspire to sabotage Mary’s marriage to Francis and even threaten her life, until a mysterious shrouded guide becomes her ally. With danger and sexual intrigue around every dark castle corner, Mary rallies her ladies-in-waiting and steels herself, ready to rule the new land and balance the demands of her country and her heart. The series stars Adelaide Kane (Teen Wolf) as Mary, Toby Regbo (One Day) as Prince Francis, Torrance Coombs (The Tudors) as Bash, Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) as Queen Catherine, Alan Van Sprang (The Tudors) as King Henry, Celina Sinden as Greer, Caitlin Stasey as Kenna, Anna Popplewell (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) as Lola, and Jenessa Grant (Cyberbully) as Aylee. Reign is from CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Stephanie SenGupta (Hawaii Five-0), Laurie McCarthy (The Ghost Whisperer), Frank Siracusa (Beauty And The Beast) and Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile). The pilot was directed by Brad Silberling.
The 100 (Midseason) - Ninety-seven years ago, nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth, destroying civilization. The only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit at the time. Three generations have been born in space, the survivors now number 4,000, and resources are running out on their dying “Ark” ─ the 12 stations now linked together and repurposed to keep the survivors alive. Draconian measures including capital punishment and population control are the order of the day, as the leaders of the Ark take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly exiling a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. For the first time in nearly a century, humans have returned to planet Earth. Among the 100 exiles are Clarke, the bright teenage daughter of the Ark’s chief medical officer; Wells, son of the Ark’s Chancellor; the daredevil Finn; and the brother/sister duo Bellamy and Octavia, whose illegal sibling status has always led them to flaunt the rules. Technologically blind to what’s happening on the planet below them, the Ark’s leaders — Clarke’s widowed mother, Abby; the Chancellor, Jaha; and his shadowy second in command, Kane — are faced with difficult decisions about life, death and the continued existence of the human race. For the 100 young people on Earth, however, the alien planet they’ve never known is a mysterious realm that can be magical one moment and lethal the next. With the survival of the human race entirely in their hands, THE 100 must find a way to transcend their differences, unite and forge a new path on a wildly changed Earth that’s primitive, intense and teeming with the unknown. The series stars newcomer Eliza Taylor as Clarke, Paige Turco (Person of Interest, Damages) as Abby, Thomas McDonell (Suburgatory) as Finn, Eli Goree (Emily Owens, M.D.) as Wells, Marie Avgeropoulos (50/50) as Octavia, Bob Morley as Bellamy, Kelly Hu (X2: X-Men United, Arrow) as Cece, Christopher Larkin (Squad 85) as Monty, Devon Bostick (Aim High) as Jasper, with Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) as Chancellor Jaha, and Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, Scandal) as Kane. Based on the upcoming book series by Kass Morgan, The 100 is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Matthew Miller (Human Target, Chuck), Jason Rothenberg (upcoming Twilight Zone feature), Bharat Nalluri (Torchwood, Emily Owens, M.D.), Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries) and Gina Girolamo (The Secret Circle). The pilot was directed by Bharat Nalluri.
Star-Crossed (Midseason) - When Emery was 6 years old, an alien spacecraft crash-landed in her small town. Whether they came in peace or with more sinister intentions didn’t matter: a fierce battle erupted as humans fought for control over their new rivals, an alien species called the Atrians. In the midst of the conflict, Roman, a 6-year-old Atrian boy, found his way to a shed behind Emery’s house, where she protected him from harm, bringing him food, comfort – and friendship. In their brief time together, Emery and Roman forged a deep bond, but the authorities wasted no time tracking Roman down and capturing him in a violent confrontation. Emery has grown up believing that Roman was killed that day. Ten years later, the Atrians have been acclimated to life on Earth, but they are interned in a heavily-guarded camp known as the Sector to keep them separate from humans. Now, for the first time, a group of Atrian teens will enroll in a suburban human high school, with the goal of testing the feasibility of human/alien integration. The eyes of the nation and the whole world are fixed on this historical social experiment, an endeavor fraught with suspicion and fear. In the mayhem of the first day, Emery is amazed to learn that Roman was not killed by the authorities and is, in fact, one of the Atrian students. Their childhood bond is quickly rekindled – in a school and a society that distrusts everything about the Atrians, Emery and Roman have found each other again. However, their relationship is threatened by the small-mindedness of their respective communities and the political agendas of people in power. While the world around them rages with anger and prejudice, their bond becomes increasingly strong and increasingly dangerous. As an epic Romeo and Juliet romance unfolds, a violent encounter between Roman’s father and Emery’s father occurs in the Sector. Can Roman and Emery’s love – and peace between the species – survive? The series stars Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) as Emery, Matt Lanter (90210) as Roman, Grey Damon (The Secret Circle) as Grayson, Natalie Hall (Pretty Little Liars) as Taylor, Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries, Big Time Rush) as Julia, Titus Makin, Jr. (Glee) as Lukas, Chelsea Gilligan (How I Met Your Mother) as Teri and Greg Finley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Drake. Star-Crossed is from Ole Productions, Isla de Babel SL and 360 Powwow in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Meredith Averill (The Good Wife, Life on Mars), Josh Appelbaum (Life on Mars, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Bryan and Sean Furst (Daybreakers, Tough Trade), Daniel Gutman (Dance!, 12 Corazones), Andre Nemec (Life on Mars, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Scott Rosenberg (Life on Mars, October Road) and Richard Shephard (Golden Boy, Ringer). The pilot was written by Meredith Averill and directed by Gary Fleder (Beauty And The Beast, Vegas, Runaway Jury).
Famous in 12 (Midseason) - There is a family in the U.S. that has what it takes to become famous — the question is: Can they pull it off in 12 weeks? That’s the challenge in the new unscripted series Famous in 12, a unique social experiment that tracks the lives of one determined family as they move to the entertainment capital of the world — Los Angeles — and seek fame in a 12-week time frame. Members of the family will all have unique and varied talents, and they will each get a series of challenges to create a public profile fit for a Kardashian. The family will be guided by the TMZ machine, which will create a series of opportunities for them. TMZ and Harvey Levin will help, but it is up to the family to pull it off. When they succeed at their challenges, they will appear on the TMZ TV show and TMZ.com, which will raise their profile. Family members will exploit all forms of social media to wage a campaign of fame. In addition to the challenges, the family will circulate day to day … at the gym, restaurants, bars, parties and other places where celebs hang and opportunities call. Executive-produced by David Garfinkle (The Surreal Life), Jay Renfroe (The Surreal Life) and Harvey Levin (TMZ), Famous in 12 is from Renegade 83 and Harvey Levin Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television and Telepictures.