What pilot season? The CW is introducing a fall season that doesn’t feature a show developed at the network over the last nine months. The lone new series on the CW schedule is hourlong comedy Crazy Ex-Girfriend, a last-minute pickup of a project originally developed and piloted as a racy half-hour comedy for Showtime. (Here is my story on how that happened.) It will be a quiet fall for the CW whose biggest new attraction, DC superhero team-up series Legends Of Tomorrow, will not be ready until midseason. Also held for midseason is the only CW pilot this season to get a series order, Julie Plec’s Containment (formerly Cordon), as well as returning dramas The 100 and Beauty And The Beast. Here is the CW’s schedule, followed by a brief analysis and descriptions of the network’s new series:
CW FALL SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8 PM – CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND
9 PM – Jane The Virgin
8 PM – The Flash
9 PM – iZombie
8 PM – Arrow
9 PM – Supernatural
8 PM – Vampire Diaries
9 PM – The Originals
8 PM – Reign
9 PM – America’s Next Top Model
The CW fall lineup, once again slated to roll out in October, features returning series in nine out of 10 hourlong slots on the schedule. The network, coming off its most-watched season in seven years, fueled by the success of The Flash, can afford that, having renewed a whopping 10 drama series alone for 2015-2016. “The CW is heading into next season with incredible stability and strength, and continuing its strategy of adding more original programming all year long,” the CW president Mark Pedowitz said.
Together at last! After airing its premiere behind The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, spinoff The Originals, which started off as a planted episode on TVD, was relocated to Tuesdays for its first season. It then was moved to Mondays last season, helping to launch Jane The Virgin, and is now on the move again to a third slot in that many seasons. The good news is that The Originals is being reunited with its mothership series TVD, airing behind the veteran vampire drama on Thursday.
The Thursday 9 PM dweller for the last two seasons, Reign, is being relocated to Friday. That’s not a good sign for the French court soap. Except for time slot-proof Supernatural, any CW drama that has gone to Friday has had its final chapter there, including Nikita, The Carrie Diaries, and most recently Hart Of Dixie.
The CW is creating a female-oriented comedy block on Monday with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend starring Rachel Bloom joining the Gina Rodriguez-starrer Jane The Virgin. The Tuesday and Wednesday comic/genre lineups are being kept intact from this current midseason, The Flash/iZombie (Tuesday) and Arrow/Supernatural, respectively.
2015-16 SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND –Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is a successful, driven, and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything – her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her upscale apartment in Manhattan – in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness in that exotic hotbed of romance and adventure: suburban West Covina, Calif. (it’s only two hours from the beach! Four in traffic). From CBS Television Studios, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend stars Rachel Bloom (“Robot Chicken”), who also serves as executive producer along with Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”); and Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” films).
CONTAINMENT — When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, forcing those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials desperately search for a cure. Trying to keep the peace on the streets is police officer Lex Carnahan, who has quickly risen through the ranks of the Atlanta PD. But Lex’s job becomes even harder when he learns that his longtime girlfriend, Jana, and his best friend and fellow officer Jake, are trapped within the cordoned area. Also quarantined in viral ground zero is 17 year-old Teresa, who is eight months pregnant and now separated from her boyfriend on the other side; Katie Frank, an elementary school teacher now placed on lockdown with her entire class, including her young son; and CDC researcher Dr. Victor Cannerts, the doctor who initially made the controversial call to quarantine the area and is now racing to find a cure for the virus. On the outside, Dr. Sabine Lommers is leading the government efforts to contain the outbreak, and has asked for Lex’s help in enforcing the cordon – which grows increasingly difficult as the public trust deteriorates. And the public has reason to be wary, as journalist Leo begins unraveling a conspiracy, finding that something doesn’t add up in the official story being told. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors trapped within the cordon are fighting against not only fatal infection, but also isolation, fear, and the disintegration of society around them. But as they begin to gain each other’s trust, hope remains, and on either side of the cordon unlikely heroes will rise. Containment stars David Gyasi (“Interstellar”); Christina Moses (“Starship: Apocalypse,” “Starship: Rising”); Chris Wood (“The Vampire Diaries”); Kristen Gutoskie (“Beaver Falls”); Claudia Black (“The Originals,” “Farscape”); George Young (“Casualty”); Hanna Mangan Lawrence (“Spartacus: War of the Damned”); and Trevor St. John (“One Life to Live”). Based on the original Belgian series created by Carl Joos for Eyeworks, Containment is produced by My So-Called Company in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Julie Plec (“The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals”) and David Nutter (“The Flash,” “Arrow”).
DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW — When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat — one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known? DC’S Legends Of Tomorrow stars Victor Garber (“The Flash,” “Alias”); Brandon Routh (“Arrow,” “Superman Returns”); Arthur Darvill (“Doctor Who”); Caity Lotz (“Arrow”); Ciarra Renee (“Pippin”); Franz Drameh (“Edge of Tomorrow”); with Dominic Purcell (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”); and Wentworth Miller (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”). Based on the characters from DC Comics, DC’S Legends Of Tomorrow is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”), Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow,” “Eli Stone,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), Andrew Kreisberg (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Eli Stone,” “Warehouse 13”) and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”).