Upfronts 2012: The CW Shakes Things Up

Hot off the press, The CW announced their new 2012-2013 this morning at their upfronts presentation in New York.  Personally, this is the schedule I have been waiting for since I have watched this sometimes struggling but always evolving network from the beginning.  Some of my favorite shows have been on this network (as The WB/UPN and the merged The CW), from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, VERONICA MARS and SMALLVILLE to the current crop of shows like SUPERNATURAL, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and NIKITA.  And yeah, I’ve thrown in a little 90210 and GOSSIP GIRL here and there along the way.This year it looks like The CW plans to shake things up a bit by adding more original programming, add a summer schedule, and moving some key shows around on their fall schedule.

The CW Network presented its 2012-13 broadcast schedule today to advertisers, affiliates and national media at the New York City Center in New York City. Hip-hop star Flo Rida opened the show with a medley of his top hits, featuring the world premiere of his newest song, “Let it Roll (Good Times).”

“One of our biggest priorities this year at The CW was adding more original programming, and we’ve added 50 original hours to our schedule in 2012,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “With dynamic new dramas for the fall and midseason, and our first-ever summer schedule leading into our October fall launch, this is poised to be a transformative season for The CW.

“The dramas we have for next season are outstanding, with relatable characters and breakout stars. ARROW, starring Stephen Amell in the title role, is a bold, edge-of-your-seat action show, based on the popular DC Comics character; EMILY OWENS, M.D. is funny, emotional, and we have caught lightning in a bottle with an incredible lead actor in Mamie Gummer; BEAUTY AND THE BEAST takes a classic love story and adds a procedural element; ‘The Carrie Diaries,’ with the story of a young Carrie Bradshaw set in the 1980s, is perfect for our audience; and CULT is a chilling psychological thriller. We have an unbelievable variety of high quality dramas, all speaking to the 18-to-34-year old audience, set for next season.”

The CW will plan to strategically rollout its new fall season starting in early October 2012. Specific dates to be announced at a later time.

On Monday nights, the most famous zip code in America, 90210, returns at 8:00-9:00 p.m., and GOSSIP GIRL will wrap up its six-season run of OMFG drama at 9:00-10:00 p.m. In January, new series THE CARRIE DIARIES, starring AnnaSophia Robb as the incomparable and iconic Carrie Bradshaw growing up in the 1980s, will follow in GOSSIP GIRL’s stylish heels at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Tuesdays The CW will play doctor, with HART OF DIXIE, starring Rachel Bilson, bringing its dose of Southern hospitality to 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by new medical drama EMILY OWENS, M.D. from 9:00-10:00 p.m., starring Mamie Gummer as a surgical intern who discovers, much to her dismay, that working in a hospital feels an awful lot like high school.

The CW gives Wednesday a double dose of high-octane action, with new series ARROW, starring Stephen Amell as the popular DC Comics character, at 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by this year’s People’s Choice Award-winner for Best Network Drama, SUPERNATURAL, 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Thursday nights The CW’s bloody-good drama THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is back for more heart-stopping thrills and romance, followed by new series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, starring Kristin Kreuk as a homicide detective and Jay Ryan as a doctor with a dark side… a really dark side.

Fridays are filled with fierce females, with AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL moving to a new night and time, 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by Maggie Q’s return to action as NIKITA, 9:00-10:00 p.m.

New drama CULT, starring Matt Davis as a journalist looking for his brother, who went missing after becoming obsessed with a hit TV show about a menacing cult leader, will premiere at midseason, with a date and time to be announced later.

WHAT’S NEW

As a long-time fan of The CW’s core genre shows (especially my current fave, SUPERNATURAL), it’s really exciting to see the network expanding in that realm and bringing more strong female protagonists to the forefront.  ARROW taps into the ever popular comic book hero phenomenon while CULT touches on the darker side of TV shows and their followers and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST brings SMALLVILLE alum, Kristin Kreuk, back into the CW fold.  Also ramping up the leading ladies quotient next season are Mamie Gummer in EMILY OWENS, M.D. and AnnaSophia Robb in THE CARRIE DIARIES.  Check out some more details on the shows from The CW below.

 ARROW

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance. Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels published by DC Comics, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Green Lantern,” “Brothers & Sisters”), Marc Guggenheim (“FlashForward,” “Eli Stone”), Andrew Kreisberg (“Warehouse 13,” THE VAMPIRE DIARIES) and David Nutter (“Smallville,” SUPERNATURAL, “Game of Thrones”). Melissa Kellner Berman (“Eli Stone,” “Dirty Sexy Money”) is co-executive producer. The pilot was directed by David Nutter from a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim, story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim.

 

Here’s a clip:

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective. Several years earlier, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human. Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess. While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before. For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder. Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.

The series stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Catherine, Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”) as Vincent, Max Brown (“The Tudors,” “MI-5”) as Evan, Nina Lisandrello (“Nurse Jackie”) as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson (“Make It or Break It”) as Heather, Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) as J.T., and Brian White (“The Shield,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as Joe. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Jennifer Levin (“Without A Trace,” “Felicity”), Sherri Cooper (“Brothers and Sisters”), Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles,” “Thurgood”), Paul J. Witt (“A Better Life”) & Tony Thomas (“A Better Life”), Ron Koslow (“Moonlight”) and Gary Fleder (“Life Unexpected”).

Here’s a clip:

EMILY OWENS, M.D.

At long last, Emily Owens feels like she is an actual grown-up. She can finally put her high school days as the geeky-girl-with-flop-sweats behind her; she’s graduated from medical school and is now a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, where she’ll have the chance to work with world-famous cardiologist Dr. Gina Beckett – and where, not-so-coincidentally, her med-school crush Will Rider is also an intern. So why does everyone keep warning her that the hospital is just like high school? Emily soon finds out the hard way – her high school nemesis, the gorgeous, popular Cassandra Kopelson, is also just starting out at Denver Memorial, and it seems like they’re rivals all over again – not only as surgical interns, but for Will’s attention. Fellow intern Tyra Granger warns Emily that the cliques at Denver Memorial are all too familiar: the jocks have become orthopedic surgeons; the mean girls are in plastics; the rebels are in the ER, and Tyra has her own awkward place as the principal’s kid – her father is the chief resident. Emily’s the new kid all over again, and it’s just as awkward as high school. Only this time around, Emily will have to balance the personal and emotional turmoil of social politics with the high-stakes world of life-and-death medical decisions. At least she has fellow intern Tyra and nerdy-but-cute resident Micah, to count on as friends. Emily is growing to realize that although she may be a geek, she may also grow to be a great doctor, flop sweats and all.

The series stars Mamie Gummer as Emily, Justin Hartley as Will, Michael Rady as Micah, Aja Naomi King as Cassandra, Kelly McCreary as Tyra and Necar Zadegan as Gina. EMILY OWENS, M.D. is from CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Jennie Snyder Urman (90210, “Lipstick Jungle”), Dan Jinks (“Pushing Daisies,” “Milk”) and Bharat Nalluri (“Tsunami”). The pilot was directed by Bharat Nalluri.

 

Here’s a clip:

 

MIDSEASON

THE CARRIE DIARIES

It’s 1984, and life isn’t easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw. Since their mother passed away, Carrie’s younger sister Dorritt is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own. Carrie’s friends – sweet, geeky Mouse, sarcastic and self-assured Maggie and sensitive Walt – make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn’t doing much to take her mind off her troubles. And even though the arrival of a sexy new transfer student named Sebastian brings some excitement to Carrie’s world, she is struggling to move on from her grief. So when Tom offers Carrie the chance to intern at a law firm in Manhattan, she leaps at the chance. Carrie’s eyes are opened wide at the glamour and grit of New York City – and when she meets Larissa, the style editor for Interview magazine, she’s inspired by the club culture and unique individuals that make up Larissa’s world. Carrie’s friends and family may have a big place in her heart, but she’s fallen in love for the first time with the most important man in her life – Manhattan.

The series stars AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer”) as Carrie Bradshaw, Austin Butler (“Switched at Birth,” “Life Unexpected”) as Sebastian Kydd, Ellen Wong (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Combat Hospital”) as Mouse; Katie Findlay (“The Killing,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) as Maggie Landers, Stefania Owen (“Running Wilde,” “The Lovely Bones”) as Dorrit Bradshaw, Brendan Dooling (“An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf”) as Walt Reynolds, Chloe Bridges (90210) as Donna LaDonna, Freema Agyeman (“Doctor Who,” “Law & Order: UK”) as Larissa Loughton and Matt Letscher (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Entourage”) as Tom Bradshaw. Based on the novels “The Carrie Diaries” and “Summer and the City” by Candace Bushnell, THE CARRIE DIARIES is from Fake Empire in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Amy B. Harris (“Sex and the City,” GOSSIP GIRL), Josh Schwartz (“Hart of Dixie,” GOSSIP GIRL), Stephanie Savage (“Hart of Dixie,” GOSSIP GIRL), Len Goldstein (“Hart of Dixie”) and Candace Bushnell. Miguel Arteta (“Englightened,” “Cedar Rapids”) directed the pilot, which was written by Harris.

 CULT

Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton has learned to laugh off his brother Nate’s relentless string of obsessions, especially his latest rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him. However, when his brother mysteriously disappears, Jeff takes Nate’s paranoia seriously, and in the process uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show “Cult” and its rabid fans. The only person who seems willing to help Jeff with his investigation is Skye, a young research assistant for “Cult,” who has also started to grow suspicious of the increasingly dark happenings surrounding the show. The fictitious show, centered on the cat-and-mouse game between charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm and LAPD detective Kelly Collins, has become an obsession for its viewers – and now some of its devotees seem to be taking their fixation to deadly extremes in the real world. As Jeff and Skye dig deeper into the fan world, they discover that the gruesome plot twists on television are much more than fantasy for some very unfortunate people. The hardcore fans of “Cult” would kill to see what happens next…

The series stars Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Jeff Sefton, Jessica Lucas (“Melrose Place,” “Cloverfield”) as Skye Yarrow, Alona Tal (SUPERNATURAL, “The Killing”) as Kelly Collins and Robert Knepper (“Prison Break,” “Shameless”) as Billy Grimm. CULT is from Fake Empire and Rockne S. O’Bannon Television in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Rockne S. O’Bannon (“Farscape,” “V”), Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “Gossip Girl”), Stephanie Savage (HART OF DIXIE, GOSSIP GIRL), Len Goldstein (HART OF DIXIE) and Jason Ensler (“Franklin & Bash,” HART OF DIXIE). The pilot was directed by Jason Ensler and written by Rockne S. O’Bannon.

 

THE CW’s 2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM 90210 (New Night)

9:00-10:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL (New Time)

(THE CARRIE DIARIES premieres January, 2013)

 

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM HART OF DIXIE (New Night)

9:00-10:00 PM EMILY OWENS, M.D. (New Series)

 

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM ARROW (New Series)

9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL (New Night)

 

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

9:00-10:00 PM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (New Series)

 

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (New Night)

9:00-10:00 PM NIKITA (New Time)

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Post Author: Mar Laine

Assignment Editor, East Coast. I don't binge-watch, I power-watch. I'm a major television junkie, but I love movies, too. I embraced my geek style in the new millennium and have run with it ever since. I have been working in the entertainment industry since forever, but it hasn't dulled my sense of wonder whenever I watch a great movie or an absorbing television show. I love genre -- in particular, I love vampires, the supernatural, and some slasher pics. I also love comedies -- they make life easier. I've been traveling with Whedonopolis since 2007 and writing for the site since 2008. The views expressed on these web sites are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of my employers, past or present (or future). Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reeltvgeeks ; Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reeltvgeeks/ and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3nN7TLpZ2_6caHIn1RAtkA/videos

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