The Upfronts – The CW

cwThe last of the major networks, The CW continues to be primarily aimed at teenage girls with a variety of pretty people fighting and falling for each other in increasingly complicated situations. I’m not judging, just saying.

What’s out
Only four cancellations from CW – two new shows which never got off the ground (Emily Owens, MD and Cult), the reimagining of 90210 which lasted five seasons, and Gossip Girl which spent six years steadily declining from a thoroughly entertaining start to a ridiculous conclusion.

What’s returning
Supernatural - Season 5The CW seems to be a home for monsters and mythical stuff, which means that all their shows can sit next to each other on the schedule and help feed audiences back and forth. Supernatural is the oldest of the bunch, returning for a ninth season, to inflict ever greater traumas on the Winchesters. New shows Arrow and Beauty and the Beast are astonishingly rubbish imho, but apparently appeal to others, along with The Vampire Diaries (which spawns a spin off) and Nikita which will have a six episode fourth season to conclude its storylines. The Carrie Diaries (the prequel to Sex in the City) is a new show with a pick up, and Hart of Dixie earns a third season.

What’s New
The 100 – nuclear war destroyed the Earth, the only survivors the 400 people in space stations. A century later 4000 people are crammed in the aging stations, desperately short of resources and under increasingly draconian laws. 100 juvenile prisoners are sent to the Earth’s surface to see if it’s habitable. The set up is interesting, but I rather wish it had been done as a non-teenage based series; there’s a lot of potential for serious stories but I’m worried it’s not going to have the weight to deal with them. (Starts midseason)

The Originals – Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan, Vampire Diaries) is a vampire-werewolf hybrid, he returns to New Orleans a city his family helped to build with plans to reclaim the power, the city and his family. It’s a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries and takes several characters along with it. I didn’t get on with Vampire Diaries because of the annoying teenage romance element (“Dear Diary, he’s so dreamy, I totally don’t care about the blood drinking thing”), but I had been meaning to give it another attempt because it apparently grew into something more interesting. Maybe I can just skip that and watch this marginally more mature looking alternative.

Star-Crossed – An alien spaceship crash lands on Earth to a less than friendly reception. An alien child finds refuge with a human child, but is soon recaptured. After ten years of imprisonment the aliens are being reintroduced to the world to see if integration is possible. The test case is a group of teenage aliens sent to a human school, where the two friends immediately reconnect. It’s classic Romeo and Juliet stuff which I just found rather tedious. (Starts midseason)

Reign – the “untold” story of Mary Queen of Scots. Teenage Mary arrives in France to secure their alliance with Scotland by marrying the King’s son. Their romance however will be complicated by politics, religion, love triangles and secrets. This sort of period setting and historical relevance is (I think) entirely new for the CW and the clips and trailers are the very opposite of inspiring.

The Tomorrow People – a group of genetically advanced teenagers have developed abilities like telekinesis, teleportation and telepathy. They’re being hunted by a paramilitary group. It’s a remake of the British series and is all a bit X-Men, but it’s also rather similar to Syfy channel’s Alphas and that only lasted two seasons.

Links: The CW has both trailers and clips for all its new series available at its website. The press release and schedule summary are at the Futon Critic.

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  1. August 12th, 2013
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