Upfronts 2012: The CW Releases Schedule for Next Season

Last but not least, The CW announced its schedule for the 2012-2013 TV season today. With 5 new shows being added to its lineup, major scheduling changes were inevitable for the network and it turns out The Vampire Diaries is the only show that will stay put in its current time slot. Though others may seem surprised, the scheduling changes made for some obvious pairings. But first, a look at the new shows coming on the network.

  • EMILY OWENS, M.D. [Tuesdays @ 9]: Emily, fresh out of med school, is a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital. Happy to put her days as a geeky girl from high school behind her, Emily soon realizes that life at the hospital is just a grown-up version of high school. Mamie Gummer stars as Emily, and is joined by Justin Hartley, Michael Rady, and Kelly McCreary. I obviously usually have reservations about a medical drama, but seeing as how this is The CW and not CBS, I’ll check it out. I have to commend the network though on further trying to develop and put shows on the air that are might skew a little bit higher demographic (as opposed to pretty much playing for the teenagers).
  • ARROW [Wednesdays @ 8]: One of the most known entities in the lineup of pilots picked-up, Arrow is the origin story of DC Comics’ Green Arrow. If you watched Smallville, you know they did their own take on the character, with Justin Hartley playing Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. For this show, they cast Stephen Amell as the title character, supported by Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland, David Ramsey, and Paul Blackthorne. Shows and movies based on comic book characters have always been iffy for me; it really all depends on the look and feel of it all. I didn’t really watch Smallville when it aired (a good number of episodes, but didn’t follow through on all 10 seasons), but I might consider watching this just to see where they’re going with it.
  • BEAUTY AND THE BEAST [Thursdays @ 9]: Just because ABC hit gold with Once Upon A Time and NBC with Grimm, fairy tales seem fair game. But I don’t see why this was necessary (not to mention there was another B&B pilot in contention on ABC). In this new updated version of the tale-as-old-as-time, Kristin Kreuk plays homicide detective Catherine Chandler. When Catherine uncovers a clue regarding her mother’s murder, it leads her to Vincent Keller, a doctor long presumed dead but is now living on the outskirts of society in order to protect his secret – “when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses.”So the Beast is pretty much the Hulk, except he doesn’t turn green? Not gonna lie, I have my doubts about this show. Obviously the network has faith in it, to give it the Vampire Diaries lead-in (though I’m not sure anything else would’ve made sense anyways), but I just can’t see this doing well.
  • THE CARRIE DIARIES [Midseason – Mondays @ 9]: Based on the novel by Candace Bushnell, this series follow Carrie Bradshaw as a teenager in the 80’s, before she became the Carrie Bradshaw that people know from Sex and the City. I know this is coming from Fake Empire (Josh Schwartz’ creative team) but I could care less about this show. I didn’t even watch Sex and the City, so I have no prior interest to even be compelled to watch. As it is, it was pretty damn obvious that this show is being groomed as the successor to Gossip Girl, but that too is a show I stopped watching/caring about.
  • CULT [Midseason]: When Jeff Setton’s brother, Nate, goes missing, he starts to investigate in the dark world of a show called “Cult”, its rabid fans, and how the gruesome twists on the show are becoming all too real. Matthew Davis, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tal, and Robert Knepper stars in this show from Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein, and Jason Ensler. The premise itself sounds quite intriguing, added to that, the midseason placement isn’t really an issue as it is intended to have a shorter episode run (so we know they are developing for a specific number of episodes).

Other changes in the schedule:

  • 90210 and Gossip Girl are paired back up again on Mondays (thanks CW for clearing up my Mondays ever so slightly). This will be the final season of GG, and it is set for an 11-episode order.
  • Hart of Dixie moves to Tuesdays @ 8, predictably leading-in to Emily Owens.
  • Supernatural makes the move from Friday to Wednesdays @ 9, making it the perfect companion to Arrow (as it was with Smallville for several years).
  • Nikita stays put on Fridays, but now gets the 9 PM slot. It gets a lead-in from America’s Next Top Model, which swapped with Supernatural, moving from Wednesdays to Fridays @ 8. I’m thankful that Nikita gets a lead-in (and a new season!), but I’m not so sure ANTM is the proper lead-in for it.
  • This is a general scheduling note – in order to reduce the number of breaks/re-runs during the season and to get away from the slew of other network starts in late September, The CW has opted to push its season start-date to October. In previous seasons, the network decided on getting a head-up on the other networks by starting the season in the first weeks of September, which only led to multiple (annoying)/long breaks for many of its shows, and they only suffered in ratings afterwards (particularly the new shows).

So that’s it for upfronts! For a more detailed description at all of the CW’s new shows, check out Deadline.