The CW sets Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rachel Bilson for primetime returns
'The Secret Circle' and 'H8R' are also set for orders
The CW won't officially announce its 2011-2012 schedule until Thursday morning, but the network has lined up three drama pickups.
The highest profile of the CW dramas is one that The CW didn't even develop. "Ringer" stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as a woman who witnesses a murder and has to pose as her wealthy identical twin sister. Complications ensue when it turns out the sister's life is pretty dangerous in its own way. "Ringer," in contention for a CBS schedule space until last week, co-stars Ioan Gruffudd, Kristoffer Polaha, Nestor Carbonell, Tara Summers and Mike Colter.
Polaha's "Life Unexpected" co-star Britt Robertson will also be returning to The CW next year as one of the stars of "The Secret Circle." Like the Thursday hit "The Vampire Diaries," "Secret Circle" comes from an L.J. Smith book series and features Kevin Williamson as executive producer. The ensemble cast also features Thomas Dekker, Gale Harold, Phoebe Tonkin, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Shelly Henning, Louis Hunter, Ashley Crow and Natasha Henstridge.
Finally, Rachel Bilson returns to TV and reunites with "O.C." producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage on "Hart of Dixie," playing an ambitious New York doctor who relocates to a small Southern town due to a variety of complications. Leila Gerstein ("Gossip Girl") created the series, which features Jamie King, Wilson Bethel, Cress Williams, McKaley Miller and Scott Porter.
The CW is also moving forward on a couple reality shows, led by the typographically annoying "H8R," featuring Mario Lopez as host. The "H8R" premise finds celebrities paired up with civilians who claim to hate them.
Schedule space was cleared on Tuesday with the cancellation of the cheerleading drama "Hellcats" and the long-presumed cancellation of "Life Unexpected."