CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff touted the network’s online sales initiative introduced at this year’s upfront market where the CW sold both airings of its shows on TV as well as online streaming with full commercial load. “We’re no longer looking at digital pennies, we have achieved digital dollars,” Ostroff said. The new initiative accounts for young viewers who watch shows online, something traditional ratings don’t reflect, she said. “The days of waking up and looking at the overnight ratings are gone, especially for the younger demographic,” she said.
Ostroff is now the longest-running sitting broadcast entertainment president, having been in the job for 9 years (at CW and predecessor UPN). She was asked about Steve McPherson’s recent departure from ABC. “I wish him all the best,” she said. “I always say these jobs are rented chairs. I’ve been sitting here for 9 years, having seen a lot of people come and go. Unfortunately for us, it’s not that unusual.”
Despite the rough ratings start for reality series Plain Jane last night, Ostroff said the network brass really believed in the show and were “very realistic about the ratings expectations” given the fact that Plain Jane and upcoming Canadian import 18 to Life are launching with little promotional support in a sea of repeats. She said the net’s promotional priority remains the fall rollout, and new dramas Nikita and Hellcats.
On the programming side, Ostroff said the door is open for former Smallville co-star Michael Rosenbaum to return for a cameo on the show’s upcoming final season. The network also is interested in developing a new series based on a DC property to succeed Smallville. In terms of its midseason plans, the network is still mulling a potential pickup of medical drama pilot HMS.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.