Network Upfronts by John Keegan

2014 Network Upfronts: CW

2014 Network Upfronts: CW

Of all the major networks, The CW is probably the most genre-friendly.  A huge chunk of its schedule is at least somewhat genre-related, even when concessions are made to its fundamental desire to speak to the key demographics. It’s also a network that is actually managing to beat its competition these days, which is something to be said when it was operating year-to-year for a long time.

MONDAY


8-9PM “The Originals” (Returning)

The CW is making few adjustments to its schedule, but one of the bigger moves is sending The Originals to Mondays, where it will compete with Gotham and the Syfy genre platform.  I’m not sure what kind of overlap there really is, but it’s good that The CW tends to be patient and let shows linger a bit.



9-10PM “Jane the Virgin” (NEW)

A young woman raised on telenovelas finds her personal life starting to mimic that crazy fictional kind of world.  The cast comes mostly from soaps and telenovelas themselves!  This is an odd one, but frankly, if any network can take this sort of chance, it’s The CW.  What do they really have to lose?





TUESDAY

8-9PM “The Flash” (NEW)

I would have expected this show to be paired with Arrow, but I actually don’t mind it leading off Tuesday night.  What I’ve seen so far has left me very happy, especially since Arrow itself has made a strong case that a shared DC universe, at least on the small screen, is more than viable.





9-10PM “Supernatural” (Returning)

Supernatural has been far from its best this past season, but it’s still performing well enough in the ratings, and Jeremy Carver deserves to close out his three-season vision, if only to mitigate the effects of this mishandled “middle chapter”.  




WEDNESDAY

8-9PM “Arrow” (Returning)

How do you follow up a solid first season?  With an even better second season, of course!  This is one of the highlights of my viewing week, to say the least.


9-10PM “The 100” (Returning)

One of the best surprises of the mid-season, The 100 manages to mix YA/teen drama elements with some classic science fiction scenarios, and it’s a joy to behold.  The first season has produced very few missteps, so I look forward to seeing how they proceed with a bit more certainty under their feet.  And the lead?  A gorgeous Aussie.



THURSDAY

8-9PM “The Vampire Diaries” (Returning)

This past season started strong, but has faltered a bit going into the final stretch.  That said, one of the best things about The Vampire Diaries is that it can change radically in the space of a handful of episodes, so there’s really no counting it out.


9-10PM “Reign” (Returning)

Another surprising return, if only because it started off a bit weak.  However, once the series embraced its own specific brand of insanity, Reign has been a guilty pleasure for its faithful.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s another show on The CW with a hot Australian female lead.



FRIDAY

8-9PM “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” (Returning)

I can’t begin to express how happy I am that this improv show is back, and The CW is supporting the hell out of it.


9-10PM “America’s Next Top Model” (Returning)

This is the closest thing to a head-scratcher on the fall schedule, because quite honestly, I had no idea that it was still socially relevant enough to get viewers.  On the other hand, it is closing out the week on Friday night, and when they’ve tried dramas on Fridays, it hasn’t gone particularly well.



MID-SEASON/EXTRAS

“iZombie” (Unscheduled Drama)

An teen-centric zombie drama adaptation of the DC Vertigo property by Rob Thomas.  It’s that last part that really sells it.

“The Messengers” (Unscheduled Drama)

This is an odd one.  Basically, five people around the world are granted strange abilities after a mysterious object plummets to Earth and explodes.  Before long, it’s clear that this is the beginning of Revelation.  Think The After, but with powers and less swearing.




WHAT WE DON'T SEE

Beauty and the Beast and Hart of Dixie were renewed and will return at some point in the mid-season, though I have no idea how Beauty and the Beast managed that, when it was the lowest rated show on the network in 2014.  Otherwise, the schedule parsed out more or less as anticipated.  The one notable surprise was the exclusion of Supernatural: Bloodlines, which was considered all but a given for greenlight to series, at least until the disastrous response to the backdoor pilot episode.  Sadly, the many other options for Supernatural spinoffs may now be considered non-viable.



THE BOTTOM LINE

For genre fans, 60% of The CW’s schedule is devoted to us in some way, shape, or form.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are entirely genre-driven.  And so far as the mid-season offerings go, new and returning, 75% are genre-related.  If only Syfy had that kind of consistency!



John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Network Upfronts by - 5/17/2014 8:40 AM418 views

Comments

Danger Mouse
Danger Mouse
5/17/2014 4:26 PM

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I guess the only thing that confuses me about The Flash and Arrow sharing the same world is that there really haven't been any people on Arrow that have had "superpowers". Even the Black Canary had her little contraption that emitted a high frequency sound. However, Flash looks like it'll have its fair share of "meta-humans". Makes me wonder if we will get some of those on Arrow as well.
criticalmyth
criticalmyth
5/18/2014 2:29 PM

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I would suggest that the effects of mirakuru are a step in that direction, though less "flashy"...;)
Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
5/20/2014 10:29 AM

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Really looking forward to iZombie. Seems like a show that is willing to do things very differently. I hope it finds it's way onto the schedule sooner rather than later.
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