Network will strut into first season with a two-hour premiere episode of reality series on Sept. 20, with the rest of its shows to roll out over the following two weeks.
The CW will debut on Wednesday, Sept. 20, opening the new network with a two-hour premiere of Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. The rest of the network’s primetime line-up will roll out over the next two weeks, culminating with the third-season premiere of Veronica Mars on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET, said Dawn Ostroff, The CW’s president of entertainment at the semi-annual TV Critics tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday morning.
America’s Top Model averages the second highest number of viewers of any show on the network, followed only by 7th Heaven, which escaped cancellation to return to The CW on Mondays at 8 p.m., exactly where it aired on The WB. Everwood, which aired Mondays at 9 p.m. ET, was beloved by fans, but there weren’t enough of them.
Brenda Hampton’s long-running but expensive show about a preacher and his large family came back from the grave after CW executives determined it would provide the best lead-in for a new show they all loved, Runaway. From Sex and the City and Melrose Place’s Darren Star, Runaway stars Donnie Wahlberg as a man hiding from the law with his wife and three kids in tow.
“We knew we wanted to put Runaway on the network, and we wanted to give it the best lead-in possible,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ostroff said. “Seventh Heaven is the highest-rated show in total viewers between both networks. Everwood skewed much older and it had never been able to anchor a night. It was a really painful decision, but there were a lot of painful decisions in determining how to combine two networks.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
In the show’s 11th season, Haylie Duff joins the cast as a girl entering seminary school, a plot line that drew a laugh from the crowd here.
Gilmore Girls kicks off its seventh season on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. ET. This season is the show’s first without show creators and executive producers Amy Sherman Palladino and her husband, Dan, who failed to agree on a new contract with the show’s producing studio, Warner Bros.
Gilmore will be followed by fan favorite Veronica Mars at 9 p.m. ET.
Wednesdays will feature Top Model followed by One Tree Hill, which premieres Wednesday, Sept. 27. Thursdays are all about the guys, with Smallville premiering on Thursday, Sept. 28, followed by Supernatural at 9 p.m.
Fridays remains WWE Smackdown! from 8-10 p.m. ET.
Sundays will comprise the network’s comedy block, with Whoopi Goldberg signing on for several episodes of Everybody Hates Chris. All of the network’s Sunday sitcoms premiere Sunday, Oct. 1. Chris, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sundays, will be followed by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s All of Us, new show The Game and the long-running Girlfriends. The night will be capped off with a repeat episode of that week’s Top Model.
While The CW is only bringing on two new shows for fall—Runaway and The Game—it has a lot in store for midseason, Ostroff said. Kevin Williamson’s Hidden Palms already has been announced, but the network has several more shows up its sleeve, Ostroff said, although she wouldn’t reveal more.
Reporters pressed Ostroff on how The CW would be successful where The WB and UPN failed before it. For now, she said, the new network’s biggest problem is letting people know it exists and what channel it will be on in each market.
“That’s our biggest task at the moment,ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â she said.