The CW has made five new drama series pickups, with all early standouts making the cut. That includes the Sex And The City prequel The Carrie Diaries, the Green Arrow-themed Arrow, the contemporary reboot of the 1980s series Beauty and the Beast, mystery Cult and medical drama First Cut starring Mamie Gummer.
Picking up five new scripted series is a record for the CW which, under new topper Mark Pedowitz, has vowed to increase the amount of originals on the air at any time, avoiding long spells of repeats. The CW also has been planning to employ the cable model of shorter seasons with some of its series, including Cult, which had been envisioned from the get-go as doing 13 episodes a season. There had been speculation that the CW would pick up as many as 5-6 of its eight pilots to series. The sixth drama pilot that had been in serious contention but did not get a nod today was the book adaptation The Selection whose chances were boosted by its similarities to the blockbuster Hunger Games movie franchise. Were those similarities too close for comfort?
The large number of new series pickups does not bode well for the CW many bubble series but a couple, like Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and maybe Nikita, would likely make the cut. Studio-wise, three of the five new CW series, Carrie Diaries, Arrow and Cult, hail from Warner Bros. TV, the other two from CBS TV Studios. Two of the series are co-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s WBTV-based Fake Empire, while Arrow is with Berlanti Prods.
Based on the novels “The Carrie Diaries” and “Summer and the City” by Candace Bushnell, The Carrie Diaries was written by Amy B. Harris who is exec producing with Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein and Candace Bushnell. Miguel Arteta directed the pilot. First Cut is executive produced by Jennie Snyder Urman, Dan Jinks and Bharat Nalluri who directed the pilot. Cult was written by Rockne S. O’Bannon who is exec producing with Schwartz, Savage, Goldstein and Jason Ensler who directed the pilot.
Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels published by DC Comics, Arrow is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter. Melissa Kellner Berman is co-exec producer. The pilot was directed by David Nutter from a script by Kreisberg & Guggenheim, story by Berlanti & Guggenheim. Beauty And The Beast is exec produced by Jennifer Levin, Sherri Cooper, Bill Haber, Paul J. Witt & Tony Thomas, Ron Koslow and the pilot’s director Gary Fleder.