You guys, we made it—we survived the Upfronts! All the broadcast networks have unveiled their 2014-2015 schedules, and we've had our first taste of all the new shows that await us in the fall. We've already picked apart the future lineups of NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS, and now its The CW's turn. Did the network's seemingly endless supply of actors who look like underwear models succeed in wooing us? That's exactly what we're here to discuss.
First thing first: Here's The CW's 2014-2015 fall schedule.
And here are the trailers for two of the series' four new shows, The Flash and Jane the Virgin. The network hasn't yet released trailers for midseason shows iZombie and The Messengers.
Now let's break down the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As the fifth-place network and a longstanding reputation as the baby cousin of the "big four" broadcast nets, The CW has more to prove than anyone else. And with only 10 hours of original programming a week, it's got to be bold with both its series orders and its scheduling. In 2013-2014, many people expected the network to pair The Originals with its mothership The Vampire Diaries on Thursdays; instead it decided to air the New Orleans-set spin-off at 8pm on Tuesdays as the lead-in to veteran drama Supernatural (which itself moved back to Tuesdays after a couple seasons on Friday nights). The network will deploy a similar strategy in 2014-2015 by pairing Arrow off-shoot The Flash with those still-handsome Winchesters, rather than seating it next to its origin series on Wednesday nights.
At first glance, it may seem strange that The CW would separate the two superhero shows, as they're already planning future crossovers and will almost certainly share an audience. But keeping them apart spreads the wealth throughout the week; Arrow fans are likely to watch the Barry Allen spin-off no matter when it airs, and airing The Flash and Arrow on different evenings gives The Flash a much better chance of drawing viewers who aren't even aware of Oliver Queen (apparently they do indeed exist!).
Plus, Supernatural is heading into its tenth season without showing any signs of stopping. When it was paired with the Mikaelson siblings in 2013-2014, the combo earned the network some of its highest-rated Tuesday nights in years. So the Winchesters' incredibly loyal (and vocal!) fanbase makes Supernatural the perfect show to help launch like-minded newbies. While I wouldn't, for instance, schedule the lovable rom-com Hart of Dixie alongside the demon-hunting bros, The Flash is a perfectly good match for them.
Finally, moving The Originals to Monday to kick off the week signals that The CW is confident in the show's ability to succeed on its own, without any help from the Winchesters or the Salvatores. Come fall, Klaus and his crew will find themselves facing off against Fox's Gotham; the competition will be tough, but since they've already proven that they're every bit as worthy of our love and adoration as the show from whence they came (which hasn't even been very good lately), I have a feeling they'll do just fine.
I strongly believe The CW made a mistake in holding Rob Thomas's iZombie until the midseason, and until I hear a good reason for doing so, I'm going to go ahead and blame Tim because he included Jane the Virgin on his list of 15 pilots he hoped would get picked up based on the ridiculous premise of a woman being artificially inseminated by accident.
Thanks to some top-secret sources, I can personally confirm that the iZombie pilot script is very strong, with Thomas's trademark wit and humor throughout. And given all the buzz surrounding Thomas after the launch of his Kickstarted Veronica Mars film earlier this year, I absolutely expected The CW to try to capitalize on that by debuting iZombie in the fall. I get the feeling that Marshmallows are exactly the type of viewers who will appreciate the drama, which mixes humor, mystery, and supernatural.
At the very least, iZombie would've been a better Monday-night bedmate for The Originals. I have no idea why The CW paired the TVD spin-off with Jane the Virgin—especially since, if it'd matched The Originals with iZombie in the fall, it could've aligned Jane with the currently-held-for-midseason Hart of Dixie in the spring.
The fact that The CW renewed Beauty and the Beast for Season 3 isn't just ridiculous, it's insulting to the CW shows that ended up canceled. Sometimes a low-rated series can eke out extra season if its storytelling is strong enough, but BATB not only didn't have the ratings to warrant renewal, it didn't have the quality. It's supremely frustrating knowing that BATB will live on while The Carrie Diaries—a quality series with solid performances by AnnaSophia Robb, Brendan Dooling, and Freema Agyeman—was cut down after two seasons. I don't know what CW president Mark Pedowitz was smoking when he made the decision to keep BATB and dump Carrie, but if it made BATB look good then I want some, because that sh*t is magical.
Best-looking New CW Series: The Flash
All you need is five minutes to watch this extended trailer to see that the network has a very flashy (sorry, I had to) new hit on its hands.
Worst-looking New CW Series: Jane the Virgin
To be fair, the network only has four new series on the way, and we've only seen trailers for two of them, but something's getting the "worst-looking" label and it sure ain't The Flash. Adapted from a telenovela, Jane the Virgin is about a virgin who gets accidentally artificially inseminated. UM, HI, WHY IS SHE NOT SUING THIS DOCTOR?
How do your first impressions of The CW's new schedule and shows match up to mine?
Upfronts 2014 HQ:
New Shows, Network Schedules, Video Previews, and More
AIRED ON 2/2/2016
Season 2 : Episode 12
AIRS ON 2/9/2016
Season 2 : Episode 13