The Television Critics Association’s press tour is an event that happens twice a year during the summer and at midseason. It’s a time when small screen reigns supreme. The broadcast and cable worlds along with the streaming universe shine the spotlight on new and returning shows.
When CW president, Mark Pedowtiz, took the stage at the TCAs recently, his mood was positive, fun and confident. Even though much of the conversation was geared towards the ratings challenged musical comedy, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND.
Pedowitz offered no excuses for the show’s low numbers. “At the moment, I wish I had more optimistic statistics or measurements. I don’t,” he said. “But what we do have is great faith in the show, great faith in the showrunner and creators Aline [Brosh] McKenna and (recent Golden Globewinner) Rachel Bloom. We believe in the show. We stand by the show.”
Don’t expect them to tweak or change the show’s formula in order to seek more viewers. Pedowitz thinks CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND is perfect just the way it is. “When we bought the show last spring, we wanted what Rachel and Aline did. We wanted that very in your face point of view, and we supported it.”
Several topics involving current series were addressed. While many fans of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE ORIGINALS are worried about the upcoming move to Fridays, Pedowitz isn’t. “The move to Friday night is not a move to exile it,” he claimed. “It’s a move to strengthen Friday night because we made a strategic shift on Thursday night, making it male skewed, going in with LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and THE 100, but we were happy to do that.”
He feels these scheduling moves put the network in a stronger place. “I think we’ve ended up coming in this midseason with the best schedule since I’ve been at the CW ever.”
Something that could help smooth over this time slot switch is an impending vamptastic crossover featuring TVD and its sexy spinoff. “You will see, organically, a crossover this year not of the size and scope that we do for FLASH and ARROW,” Pedowitz said. “It has to make sense. If they don’t make sense storywise, don’t do them. Don’t force them. The audience can tell.”
Look for another exciting crossover to hit ARROW later this year. It involves Vixen, a character from CW Seed’s animated web series of the same name, which was recently renewed for a second season. Yes, Mari McCabe’s not only making the jump from internet to broadcast TV; the female superhero makes the jump from cartoon to live action, too.
“We’ve been so thrilled with how well the series has done online that the actress who plays Vixen in the animated series Megalyn E.K. will be playing her later in this season on an upcoming episode of ARROW,” Pedowitz raved.
As for THE FLASH, the CW exec didn’t discuss ratings or story but he did drop some intel. “As a huge personal fan of CLERKS, CHASING AMY, and DOGMA, I’m also happy to announce that feature director and comic book aficionado Kevin Smith will be directing an episode of THE FLASH, which will air in May.”
The fate of SUPERNATURAL is a topic Pedowitz often has to address. This time was no different. Will the hit drama live to see another season?
“Both Jared and Jensen are having a blast, and as long as they have a blast, it’s a great thing. The show is performing [in its] 11th year, the show is performing better than it did last year, as well as you could ever hope. So, again, we have made no series pickups yet. We have not done anything along those lines, but I’m pretty hopeful that we’ll see it again.”
More CRAZY Talk
While much of the discussion of the critically acclaimed series remained ratings centric, there was time to slip some casting news into the conversation.
“It would also be appropriate to announce that Broadway star Lea Salonga will be appearing and performing in the season finale of CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND.”
Pedowitz was asked to tackle the fate of Rob Thomas’ ZOMBIE.
“I think the show has a good, very strong shot at making a third season, and I’m very proud of that show.”
A status update on RIVERDALE, the live action version of the Archie comics that’s in development at the CW. The word is that this series will go dark or go home:
“It’s under the auspices of Greg Berlanti and Roberto [Aguirre] Sacasa. We have not yet picked the show up. We’re going to go through our pilot process shortly, probably starting next week. I’ll see a number of pilot scripts. The darker take was when you have Roberto and Greg and they want to take a run at something, you give them that leeway. They deserve it. They’ve earned it. That’s why we went with a darker take.”