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TCA 2011: CW chief Mark Pedowitz open to comedies on the network

August 4, 2011 | 12:11 pm

The drama-heavy network could be open to comedies, said CW chief Mark Pedowitz. Photo: A scene from the CW drama 'The Vampire Diaries.' Credit: CW

Vampires, Upper East Siders and rogue CIA agents. Now witches and the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar. It can only be the CW.

Mark Pedowtiz, the newly minted president of the mini-network, appeared Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. media tour in Beverly Hills to discuss what’s in store for viewers: extended seasons for some of its shows, more reality series and ... maybe some comedy?

Four of the network’s series will have an extended season: “Gossip Girl” and “90210” will get an additional two episodes, bringing their total to 24; “Supernatural” and “Nikita” will get a one-episode boost, bringing their tally to 23. Not getting a supersized season, despite solid ratings, is “The Vampire Diaries” — but it’s due to the grueling post-production process on the series, Pedowitz insisted.

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All this is on top of the highly anticipated return of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” queen Gellar in the network’s new thriller “RInger,” inherited from CBS, which did not pick it up. And he said the show would not suffer “one bit” from the different budget of a smaller network.

And in addition to the Mario Lopez-hosted “H8er,” which pairs celebrities with their detractors, and the seemingly never-ending cycles of “America’s Next Top Model,” other reality fare is on the horizon: One, “Remodeled,” will come midseason to give “America’s Next Top Model” a rest, and “Frame” a competition series in the vein of “Big Brother,” will lock two people in a house for eight weeks.

But with a new president -- Pedowitz , a former ABC exec, replaced Dawn Ostroff earlier this year -- comes new possibilities. Pedowitz said he was a fan of remakes, citing “90210” as success, and said plans for a new superhero to charm audiences in a “Smallville”-less world was still to come. Ostroff had first hinted at last year’s TCA press tour that the network was looking to other DC superheroes to fill the void.

“We’re looking next year to do superheroes,” he said. “If the right superheroes comes to be.”

And though the network pulled the plug on the comedies“Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Game,” which went on to find success on BET, before the fall launch in 2009, Pedowitz said he was open to bringing the laughs back to the CW “if it’s the right thing.” He pointed to new shows on other networks such as “2 Broke Girls” (CBS), “New Girl” (Fox) and “Apartment 23” (ABC) as shows that “would have worked well” on the CW. 

"We'll move very slowly," he said. "We'll do it very selectively."


Coverage of TCA 2011 on ShowTracker

Watch a sneak preview of CW's 'Ringer'

Coverage of 'Vampire Diaries' on ShowTracker

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: A scene from the CW's hit series "The Vampire Diaries." Credit: CW