The Fall TV Season presentations for all the new network shows take place this week with the fifth and final one announced today. Here’s a full breakdown of which concepts have made the list over on The CW.
Despite many predicting its demise, The CW managed to not just hang in there but improve on its dismal track record this past year. The network has always been fixed in its targeting of the teen female demographic, and that devotion has paid off thanks to the launch of high-profile series like “90210” while stalwarts like “Smallville,” “Supernatural” and “Gossip Girl” improved both critically and ratings-wise this year.
The most notable news in regards to existing shows is renewals. “Smallville” improved enough this season that the network is giving the long-running series a ninth year, but moving it to Fridays at 8pm to pretty much ensure that this will likely be the show’s final season. “One Tree Hill” for some reason is continuing with a seventh season though with notable casting and expense trimmings. The dismal result of the deal with Media Rights Capital programming Sunday nights was quickly scrapped and the poor performing “Privileged” has been cut.
The second season reprieve of “Reaper” not unexpectedly didn’t prove a ratings winner so the series is officially canned as well. Filling the gap will be three new dramas – one building on the network’s “Next Top Model” success, one a reboot of classic FOX 90’s soapie “Melrose Place”, and an obvious “Twilight”-inspired gothic vampire teen romance drama.
A few notable pilots didn’t make the final cut and won’t be seen. These include the Washington intern drama “The Body Politic” with Jason Dohring, Jay Hernandez, Brian Austin Green and Gabrielle Union; family drama “Light Years” with Kerr Smith and Shiri Appleby; a reality series about makeovers entitled “Operation Fabulous”; and the much talked about “Gossip Girl” spin-off looking at the wild teen life of Kelly Rutherford’s Lily van der Woodsen character in 1980’s Los Angeles.
Onto the new shows and they are:
The Beautiful Life
(Drama, Wednesdays 9pm)
The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful faade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition. Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left”), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line”), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy.
When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen (appearing in a cameo role), she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja (Mischa Barton, “The O.C.”). Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel.
While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by agent Simon Lockridge (newcomer Dusan Dukic) of the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson, “Friends”). At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera.
That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”), Egan (Jordan Woolley, “As The World Turns”), Issac (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical 2”) and the current alpha-male-model known as Kai (Nico Tortorella, “Twelve”).
At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career. However, after an ugly scene with Simon, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame.
(Drama, Tuesdays 9pm)
In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, the original “Melrose Place”) is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos, “Shark”).
Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, the original “Melrose Place”). Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, “Supernatural”), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career.
Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield, “All My Children”). After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie’s sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding Sydney since she began drinking again.
The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady, “Swingtown”), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), a first-grade teacher.
The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, “7th Heaven”), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way. An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (“Smallville”).
(Supernatural Drama, Thursdays 8pm)
Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, “DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, “Everwood”) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives. Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world.
As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, “Army Wives”). Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, “Lost”) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality.
Now these two vampire brothers – one good, one evil – are at war for Elena’s soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith.
The nightly The CW schedule this Fall will be as follows (“Reaper” returns mid-season, no timeslot has yet been set):
8pm: “Gossip Girl”
9pm: “One Tree Hill”
9pm: “Melrose Place”
8pm: “America’s Next Top Model”
9pm: “The Beautiful Life”
8pm: “Vampire Diaries”
9pm: “America’s Next Top Model” (encore)
Renewals include “90210,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural.”
Cancellations include “Everybody Hates Chris,” “The Game,” “Privileged,” “Reaper,” “Stylista,” “Surviving the Filthy Rich,” “The CW Movie Night”