Last week in New York City, Madison Avenue was overcome with swag-aholic advertisers to whom the networks unveiled their fall schedules, otherwise known as the “upfronts.” It’s during this week that we find out which of our favorite shows are getting renewed (yay! Veronca Mars and The Loop), which ones are getting the boot (I’ll never let go, Everwood. I’ll never let go), and which we’re soon to obsess over (potential so far: Heroes, Vanished, Ugly Betty). So without further ado here’s what went down last week in New York, starting with The CW.Dawn Ostroff is a genius. And a monster. The President of the Network formed by the merging of fledgling mini-nets The WB and UPN has taken the best of both those networks and has left us with a strong 2006 schedule that looks more like a hit factory than the nonsense that either network had this year – when you’re building shows around Rebecca Romijn-Stamos-O’Connell & Shannon Elizabeth, you might be in trouble. Some of the favorites picked up here have been picked up with a contingency plan: Veronica Mars, 7th Heaven and One Tree Hill have all been given 22 episode orders (standard) with a clause that allows the CW to let them go if they don’t perform up to par. So watch Veronica Mars this season, or the show will be cancelled, and it will be YOUR fault. Canned shows include: Everwood, What I Like About You, Related, Pepper Dennis, Cuts and Eve. Also of note, to someone I’m sure, is that Reba was picked up at the last minute as a mid-season replacement, apparently because the CW would’ve been fined millions of dollars for canceling the show due to its contract stipulations.
In a move that I’m surprised hasn’t caused even the slightest uproar, most of the African-American Themed shows from the CW have been cancelled, while the remaining 3 have been relegated to Sunday nights. I’m psyched that Everybody Hates Chris has been moved to 7:00 pm because now I’m guaranteed that I’ll be able to check it out, as I’ve heard the show based on Chris Rock’s childhood is hysterical. You know, like Chris Rock used to be? Next up is All of Us and Girlfriends, which I never watched in the 239819283 seasons they’ve been on, and don’t think I’ll be checking them out as they will be up against The Simpsons. 9:30 premieres the new show, The Game, which is about the wives/girlfriends of a bunch of football players. The trailers for it actually look kind of funny.
Dawn Ostroff made the decision to bring back 7th Heaven, even though they’ve been promoting the Final Goodbye for months and even drugged and propped up Barry Watson and Jessica Biel to come back for the finale (How pisst are they right now?). It’s been confirmed by Ostroff that in order for 7th Heaven to live, Everwood had to die an untimely death. Which is the sole reason for the monster comment up above. As a matter of fact, when the CW initially launched it’s website, Everwood was included on it. Then the SERIES finale saw seven million viewers say goodbye to the twin-sprouting Camden clan, and Ostroff made a switch-a-roo and canned Everwood. Sure, 7th Heaven’s finale drew big ratings, but many people who watched the episode are admitting that they ONLY watched because it was the SERIES finale! And Everwood is just so good. Hannah & Bright! Ephram & Amy! I’ll never let go…. Unfortunately, except for the television network I run in my head, I have no real say in the matter; so I’m just going to have to deal with the hand that I’ve been dealt. You’ve won this round Ostroff, but the war is FAR from over! At 9 PM the new family drama/thriller, Runaway starring Donny “The Right Stuff” Wahlberg as a guy who is on the run – but to keep with the family theme of the evening, he brings his wife & kids with him! Think 24 meets Prison Break meets, well, 7th Heaven. Buzz is pretty good so far. Buzz would be better if the show was called Everwood and starring Treat Williams, but whatever, I’m not bitter.
Best. Night. Ever.
Well, you did one thing right, my dear friend: the glorious and poorly rated Veronica Mars (watch next season or face my wrath) will return at 9 PM on Tuesdays with a new structure that will have mysteries being solved in three seven-to-nine-episode arcs to keep the show more accessible to viewers. I don’t really care how they change the show after that amazing season finale (best hour of television this season), I couldn’t imagine anything that would stop me from coming back for more. Kicking the night off at 8 PM will be the WB staple Gilmore Girls, which is losing its creator and head writers, the eccentric (read: crazy) Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan Palladino. The two of them are pretty much wholly responsible for all of the pop-culture soaked, machine gun fire dialogue that give the show its punch. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with them two of them off on “other projects” (read: unemployed) because they couldn’t come to a satisfying deal (read: greedy) with Warner Brothers.
Thanks in no small part to E! Online’s Save One Show campaign, the crap-tastic show One Tree Hill is coming back at 9 PM, which means that Chad Michael Murray will be able to find wives # 3 & 4 without a problem. Again, how is this show coming back? That show will be paired up with America’s Next Top Model (in the fall) and Beauty and the Geek (in the Spring) on Wednesday nights, two of my favorite reality shows on television — because they are all about pretty people. And I like pretty people.
The new ad campaign is going to be: “Demographic Wet Dream” Thursdays on the CW! Sticking around at 8:00 pm is Smallville, after holding its own in the tough time slot this season. Funny sidenote: the creators said that they had always intended on having the Clark-Lana-Lex love triangle but had to wait until the 5th season so all parties were legally of age. This week on Smallville: Clark and Chloe have to fight the town’s newest foe: Statutory Man! At 9 PM, hopefully Supernatural will live up to some of the early promise it showed (and its kick ass season finale). Also, Denny-aholics will likely see our favorite Seattle Grace Heart Patient in at least a few episodes (if not as a series regular). He plays Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padilecki)’s ghostbusting dad. Either way, fanboys and teenage girls are already drooling. It should also be noted that the Aquaman spin-off that was buzzed about ever since the Smallville episode where Arthur Curry showed up, is missing from the CW’s schedule.
WWE Smackdown. All night. I don’t think there is much more to say.
Anything you’re looking forward to next season on the CW? Runaway does look promising, but thriller overload anyone? I think Veronica Mars and Smallville both ended their seasons on high notes (YAY BEAVER AND PHANTHOM ZONE!), and I’m definitely interested in what major changes lie in store for Gilmore Girls. What do you think?