The CW's Mark Pedowitz on the State of the Network - Press tour live-blog
Follow along with Mark Pedowitz's remarks below, but keep in mind that Pedowitz is usually very cagey.
But first, here's my "Vampire Diaries"/"The Originals" panel live-blog.
10:27 a.m. I'll write more about this after the panel, but The CW just picked up its ENTIRE Fall 2014 lineup for additional seasons, including "Reign" and "Jane the Virgin."
10:31 a.m. Why the heck is our first question about "Beauty and the Beast"? "We anticipate a late-May, June start," Pedowitz says. They're talking about more reality for summer in addition, plus they may use CW Seed again for another half-hour.
10:31 a.m. Will any of the eight pick-ups be for limited runs? They haven't decided how many episodes they're going to order and some of the eight will come back at midseason or even next summer. "The Summer of 2016 should be a much bigger summer for us than ever before," he says.
10:33 a.m. How can they get more viewers for "Jane the Virgin"? How can they make the episodes more available in more different venues? "We're appreciative of all of you who supported 'Jane,'" Pedowitz says. He says that because of certain contractual commitments they're limited. At the moment, they don't have the ability to stack the streaming as they wish. "I think everything is going to be reevaluated over the next year or so," Pedowitz says. "It is fluid and it is in discussion," he says.
10:35 a.m. Is this the end of "Hart of Dixie"? "Not necessarily," he says. They have to see the ratings. New episodes start on Friday. "We are happy to see how it plays," Pedowitz says, praising the 10. "If it ends, there's a great finale. If it doesn't end, there's a great season finale," Pedowitz says.
10:36 a.m. They're just starting work on "Penn & Teller: Fool Us." Production will start in April.
10:36 a.m. Will The CW get back into the half-hour business? "'Backtrackers' didn't work," he says of the first CW Seed-to-Primetime experiment. But they're trying again.
10:37 a.m. The network was 70% female in 2010-211 and now it's 60% female. He wants to keep working to diversify the audience. "We will do genre, but we still have to [have] shows that will appeal to everybody," he says.
10:38 a.m. How intense can CW shows get? Do they have to be conscious of network/demo constraints? Pedowitz notes that "The 100" is intense. "It's as intense as most cable shows," Pedowitz says of "The 100." He praises the "100" producers for doing a terrific job with making a dark show.
10:40 a.m. Pedowitz says that the network wants producers and fans out there engaged with fans, though admits a potential danger is too much obsession.
10:41 a.m. Will The CW be aiming at more shows with lightness like "iZombie" and "Jane"? Pedowitz says they went out last year to find lighter and funnier shows, but notes that "The Messengers" and "The 100" are very dark.
10:42 a.m. "The only complication was making sure you brought the show back to life," Pedowitz says of doing a first American/CW season of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us." They're leaning in the direction of keeping the original host and they're not planning to tinker with the format too much.
10:42 a.m. Does Pedowitz want more "Originals"/"Vampire Diaries" crossing over? He says that crossovers have to be organic. "It's up to them, if they think it's the right way to go, I'm fine," Pedowitz says of "TVD" and "Originals." He adds that they're only planning on doing "Flash"/"Arrow" big crossovers as a 4th Quarter annual thing, comparing it to the "Doctor Who" Christmas Special.
10:44 a.m. Pedowitz has no evidence that other successful DC properties -- "Gotham," mostly -- have brought any viewers to his DC shows.
10:44 a.m. "For us, the shows were creatively quite strong. We believe in them. We believe in the auspices. We think there's more there," Pedowitz says of renewals for lower-rated shows. He's talking, I believe, about "Reign," which hasn't done big numbers this year as The CW's Thursday as generally taken a hit. "We're still seeing the viewership," he says, pointing to delayed viewing and digital.
10:45 a.m. Is The CW looking at any more WB or DC properties? "We are having some preliminary discussions in terms of expanding the 'Arrow'/'Flash' universe," he says, but he isn't ready to tell us more.
10:46 a.m. "Remember, we didn't have a very high bar, unfortunate, on Mondays at 9," Pedowitz says of the relative success of "Jane." They're proud that it's a quality show and that critics and audiences have recognized that it's a quality show. The strategy: "Just let it sit and give it time," he says. "The Golden Globes tonight won't hurt it," he promises. "We're kinda hopeful," he says of that recognition.
10:48 a.m. Is The CW interested in a possible other "Star Trek" series? "As a live-long 'Star Trek' fan, I would hope to have 'Star Trek' at The CW," he says. "I have heard no discussion about it going out as a TV series at all," he clarifies.
10:50 a.m. "It's been there since I've been there. She keeps getting run over," Pedowitz says of The CW's winter programming, including "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."
10:52 a.m. "It's not what it was in the initial ratings, but it performance for us," Pedowitz says of "America's Next Top Model." It's a big digital player, apparently.
10:52 a.m. Pedowitz admits that repeatability has been a problem for The CW, which has helped encourage The CW to make sure they have more hours of originals. Is there any thought to expand to additional hours of programming beyond the current 10 hours? There are no plans, but Saturday expansion would be more likely than Sunday, but there have been no discussions on it.
10:53 a.m. "It's a very collaborative process," Pedowitz says of relationships with Warner Brothers, DC and the creative people behind the comic book shows,
10:55 a.m. "I'm happy for the studio they were able to sell it to CBS," Pedowitz says of "Supergirl," which seemed logical on The CW. How many hours of DC programming could the schedule stand? He says you have to be judicious. "As long as there's no audience fatigue..." he says. "It has to stand on its own legs," he emphasizes.
10:57 a.m. What are thoughts on another "Supernatural" spinoff? He wants one, but he says the creative is on the writers. "We are completely open to looking at a spinoff," he says, hoping that next year the writers will come up with something they can use.
10:58 a.m. "I would like to be No.1, but I have to be realistic," Pedowitz says of The CW's position. But he's very proud of what the network has done growing the past two years. "I'm pretty happy at this point in time," he says.
10:58 a.m. How do they make digital work in The CW's business plan? Pedowitz praises the "convergence strategy" and The CW's ability to monetize digital. "We monetize it as if we're monetizing our ordinary inventory on-air," he says. "We've actually grow again this year by 23 percent on the digital side," he says.
That's all, folks.