UPDATE: I hear ABC Studios, which co-produced the pilot for Ringer with CBS Studios, is pulling out, citing that it cannot produce a series for the economics of the CW. This is ironic, as CW’s new president Mark Pedowitz is the former head of ABC Studios. Under him, ABC Studios produced the CW series Reaper.
PREVIOUS: Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to primetime as her CBS pilot Ringer is being picked up to series. But in a surprising twist, the series is going NOT to CBS but to its sibling CW. With its serialized nature and young skew, Ringer is probably better suited for the CW. It brings back Gellar to the network that replaced the WB and UPN, the two weblets that aired her breakout series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It also gives CW a major star that has huge following in the network’s 18-34 demographic. The acquisition marks a pretty inventive first programming move by new CW president Mark Pedowitz, who was brought in to shake things up at the network. CW is now working with the producers to make the economics of the transition work. CW has explored taking over CBS projects before, including pilot Ultra and series Moonlight though neither of those happened.
Ringer, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, centers on Bridget (Gellar), a troubled young woman on the run from the mob who hides out by inhabiting the life of her wealthy twin sister, Siobhan, until she learns that her twin’s life has a bounty on it as well. Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder wrote the pilot, which Richard Shepard directed. With the pickup of Ringer and the imminent order for Secret Circle, it is unclear if the chances of the other frontrunner, Hart of Dixie, are affected. Of the bubble shows, Nikita and One Tree Hill are expected to return; Hellcats is less certain though still in contention.