The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point.
THE CW’S NEEDS FOR NEXT SEASON
At least one CBS Television Studios-produced series that actually work.
No new DC Comics show for now (4 at the same time is enough).
More ambitious concepts, less dramedies
After years of increasing power, The CW took a hit this season with both new entries dramedy No Tomorrow & cop-show with a twist Frequency doing tiny numbers. No real surprise here, those were weird pick-ups from the get go. The good news is the transfer of Supergirl from CBS to the CBS-owned network worked exactly like it was supposed to. It became the second most rated series on The CW right behind The Flash and some say it found its footing creative-wise. Meanwhile, other DC Comics properties show signs of weakness: Arrow is not the hit it used to be and Legends of Tomorrrow never became the hit everybody expected. The giant crossover between all of them was a real success but shouldn’t really help on a longtime perspective.
Supernatural is still a monster on thursday. It’s the Grey’s Anatomy of the CW. It might never end. The order for a 13th season is just a formality at this point. Jane The Virgin does okay on monday but Supergirl -its leadin- didn’t help it improve sadly. The Vampire Diaries is finally ending without making noise. That’s what happens when you drag on a show for too long. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is in a bad place on friday and will only get a 3rd season thanks to the critics and awards recognition, if the network feels generous enough. Reign is about to end after 4 years. The Originals is coming back midseason but it’s already half-dead. The 100 has to become great again if it wants to last. iZombie looks like a filler a this point. And then there’s Riverdale. Everybody was shocked when it didn’t appear on The CW’s fall schedule. In retrospect, it was a good and safe decision. They had to concentrate their efforts on the Supergirl move this fall and they needed a buzzy show for midseason. The 9pm slot on thursday doesn’t look like the best one they could give it but competition is not that strong (Chicago Med, the return of Scandal, Mom/Life In Pieces) so a little success is not out of reach. For next season, they will probably need more shows produced in-house, shows that fit better with the actual line-up.
CASA (Warner Bros. Television)
What? about six siblings in a Hispanic family who have to band together to survive when their parents get unjustly deported…
Why? Timely idea for a show, on a touchy and difficult subject that has already been dealt with in Jane The Virgin but could be revisited in a more dramatic, precise and profound way. It is produced by The CW king Greg Berlanti, which is an interesting comeback to its roots, to what he did well before all the DC Comics stuff, with series like Dawson’s Creek, Everwood & Brothers & Sisters about family and growing up. I’d love to watch this, if Casa is as good as those.
CRIMINAL MAGIC (Warner Bros. Television)
What? about two warring street gangs who fight the cops and each other to corner the market on the most lucrative contraband of all: magic; a young woman hiding spectacular magical powers and an undercover cop must try to survive this glamorous world of speakeasies, crime and danger…
Why? This project has a few things going on for it: it is produced by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, iZombie); shows about magic are not that common these days; treating magic like a drug everybody is ready to go crazy for possessing is interesting; the “undercover” twist could be fun. That being said, I don’t think it should be The CW’s priority.
MATA HARI (CBS Television Studios)
What? a reimagining of the life of the infamous dancer, notorious lover, and World War One double agent; following the brutal murder of her fiance, Mata Hari is drawn into a game of international espionage in order to avenge his death in this sexy spy thriller…
Why? The logline doesn’t say if it’s gonna be a modern adaptation or a period drama, which might change everything. But one of the producer is Laurie McCarthy, who co-created Reign. It could be a clue. Anyway, Mata Hari is an iconic historical figure that has never been portrayed in a TV series so far (there’s an international one coming up, that looks terrible) and her adventures are certain to make an epic one. Michael Weatherly is producing. Not that it’s important though.
RISE (Warner Bros. Television)
What? when martial law is declared following a terrorist attack, a disparate group of everyday people start to uncover that the attack was a cover-up for a homegrown coup; these unlikely heroes rise up against the tyranny of the new governmental regime, planting the seeds of hope and strength that will in time spark a Second American Revolution…
Why? We’re starting to get tired of series that begin with a terrorist attack, but this one seems to be different since it doesn’t involve directly the governement, or the FBI, or the CIA, but as it is said “a group of everyday people”. It’s produced by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Containment, Kyle XY) so it should look like your usual The CW show…
SEARCHERS (Warner Bros. Television) picked-up
What? about a group of unlikely heroes who find themselves on the journey of a lifetime. Ten years after the death of their parents, a pragmatic brother and free spirited sister are forced to team up when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories may be a road map to discovering the great legends, myths, and unexplainable mysteries of the world.
Why? Usual suspect Greg Berlanti is also involved in this one, created by The 100‘s Jason Rothenberg. It could be a perfect companion for Supernatural, hoping it’s not just a rip-off. But it’s something that could last for years and the network needs that too. Something that is both procedural, with a “monster of the week” or “a legend of the week” in this particular case, and heavy serialized to keep people intrigued for the long haul.
STICK MAN (CBS Television Studios)
What? about an amateur documentarian who returns to her hometown to chronicle the events of her brother’s murder and the ensuing trial; while there, she finds herself increasingly sympathetic to the convicted killer, ultimately discovering evidence that links her brother’s death to supernatural events
Why? Well. I think I would have loved this logline way more if supernatural events were not involved in the end. Especially since Heroes creator Tim Kring is producing. And he and I are not friends. Still, depending on the execution, it could be great. Is it a good fit with The CW? I’m doubtful. Maybe as a miniseries…
THE TERRANAUTS (Warner Bros. Television)
What? an epic story of science, society, sex, survival and, ultimately, human folly and ambition. Said to be inspired by the Biosphere 2 real-life experiment, the story revolves around eight scientists enlisted to run a biosphere that will prove vital for humanity’s survival in an off-Earth colony. Their goal is to successfully create a sustainable environment to house generations to come, but things don’t quite go as planned.
Why? Based on a book written by novelist T.C. Boyle, this preapocalyptic tale got rave reviews. I’m not even sure The CW is the best place to offer such a smart and deep-dive into human behavior, but it could be a game-changer for the network. Since The 100 went from really good to mostly bad, they need this desperately. Jim Parsons is producing, which doesn’t hurt its chances.
WEAVEWORLD (CBS Television Studios)
What? two ordinary people find themselves on a quest to find and protect a magical realm and ultimately to save all of humanity from an evil force…
Why? The CW already took a stab at this Clive Barker’s adaptation last year, but it didn’t go to pilot stage. They seem to be really high on the idea since they ordered a second script, this time penned by Josh Stolberg who wrote for Parker Lewis, Weird Science and movies such as Piranha 3D or Saw: Legacy. For decades, Weaveworld had been considered too hard to adapt for TV because of its scope and settings that would require extensive use of special effects. But now it’s possible so… Yeah, they should go for it!
The CW also has a Dynasty reboot in the works by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl), which is a mistake in my opinion as the flops of Dallas & Melrose Place proved not that long ago: millenials don’t care about those. But it’s such a great IP that they will probably try. A small screen take on Joel Schumacher’s cult 1987 feature The lost Boys, about vampires rising, is in development; as well as an adaptation of Alyssa Milano’s comic book Hacktivist; and a drama billed as Touched by an Angel-meets-Ghost with an urban twist called Straight Outta Heaven by John Singleton.
What projects are you the most interested in among these? Take your picks!
SEE ALSO :
- NBC’s 20 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season
- CBS’s 20 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season
- FOX’s 24 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season
- ABC’s 25 most exciting projects for 2017/2018 pilot season