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The 2009 Network Upfronts: Smallville to Fridays and Comedy Completely Gone

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Just as ABC’s new Wednesday night lineup indicates that network’s belief that the sitcom is alive and well, The CW’s new fall lineup indicates the weblet’s belief that it is dead, or, at the very least, that they can’t launch a successful one. They are however sticking with their basic plan of doing everything in their power to attract teens, including adding to their schedule an updated Melrose Place to go with their updated 90210. The schedule The CW announced today looks as follows:


 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00 Gossip Girl 90210 America's Next
Top Model
The Vampire
Diaries
Smallville
8:30
9:00 One Tree Hill Melrose Place The Beautiful
Life
Supernatural America's Next
Top Model (Encore)
9:30


So, there it is, all nicely laid out in black and white: Mondays stay the same, Tuesdays get Melrose to go with 90210, Wednesdays get a scripted show on models to go with the “reality” one, Thursdays get a vampire drama, and Smallville gets punted to Fridays as a “thank you” for its years of loyal service to the network (the rest of the week actually has very compatible programming on every night, so there’s more to it than that, even if fans will see it that way). As for Reaper? It’s been taken to a better place, as perhaps has sidekick “Sock” (Taylor Labine), who is starring in a new comedy over on FOX.

This fall The CW will also be handing back to the affiliates Sunday nights. Last year’s attempt to sell the entire night to MRC fizzled early on in the season, so this new plan does make some sense as it allows The CW to really focus on their five night lineup rather than put out fires on Sunday.

The Beautiful Life, as mentioned above, is a drama which focuses on the beautiful people, is created by Ashton Kutcher, and stars some beautiful people, including Mischa Barton, Sara Paxton, Elle Macpherson, and High School Musical‘s Corbin Bleu.

The Vampire Diaries is based on a series of books and is certainly going to do everything it can to grab that Twilight fanbase, even if it’s based on different books. In this show, two brother vampires (one good, one not so much) both have feelings for the same girl.

The CW also has a couple of shows waiting in the wings for midseason, including Parental Discretion Advised, which is about a teen looking for her biological parents. It stars Britt Robertson, Kristoffer Polaha, and Shiri Appleby

It’s hard to imagine The CW airing any ratings blockbusters this fall, but the pairings of shows they have do make sense. I’m not sure where a comedy would fit into the schedule, and The CW hasn’t had great success with them, but it does seem odd to not have any airing. We’ll all see in a few months whether the plan holds up.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://blogcritics.org Eric Olsen

    sigh, very sad about Reaper, but not unexpected, as we discussed