The CW president Mark Pedowitz likes to set the tone for his TCA executive session with a music theme that plays while he is walking out. Today it was a Buena Vista Social Club tune in honor of the network’s new dramedy Jane The Virgin. Expectations are high for the charming comedic soap in the mold of Ugly Betty, which also put the CW on the list of networks with high marks on diversity this season. A couple of years ago, touting Beauty And The Beast‘s Kristin Kreuk as Asian American was the best Pedowitz could come up with when pressed on the whiteness of the network’s new series. Now, the network has a Latino family show. “I believe shows need to reflect what America looks like,” he said today.
Pedowitz was asked to lay out the distinction between BeautyAnd The Beast, which was renewed, and fellow bubble series Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries and The Tomorrow People that wasn’t. “Beauty And The Beast has a very engaged fan base, and it is a very profitable show,” Pedowitz said of the remake, which is a big international seller for sister studio CBS TV Studios. As for those that didn’t make the cut, Pedowitz admitted to having received 90 boxes of pasta from angry fans of cancelled alien romance Star-Crossed.
“We appreciate fans’ passion, there just weren’t enough happy ones to keep going.” Similarly, “Tomorrow People just did not generate audience the way we had hoped.” And “We’re very proud of Carrie Diaries,” Pedowitz said. “We renewed it for a second season because of its digital presence but, after a certain period of time, both aspects have to work for the show to be economically feasible.”
Pedowitz spoke of the DC universe that is building on the CW via Arrow and The Flash, which will continue to cross-over. He believes the CW is “not at all” oversaturated with DC comic material (the network also has DC-based drama iZombie for midseason), and if another potential superhero franchise presents itself, “we will do it,” he said. But that won’t be Wonder Woman, at least not for now. Also, “Batman for the moment is not on the table” but that does not rule it out in the future. There are no discussions about the caped crusader appearing on The Flash. As for the failed Supernatural spinoff, “creatively, it didn’t quite get to where we wanted it to go, but “we’re very open to doing a new spinoff,” Pedowitz said.
Pedowitz spoke of the CW’s efforts to broaden the network’s audience from teen girls a decade ago to a balanced female-male crowd of 18-34s and even 18-49s. Asked what exactly the network’s target demographic is, he said, “I’m just happy to have viewers.”
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