The CW is aiming to be a bit of a David in a sea of Sunday night Goliaths. The network is returning to Sunday nights this fall for the first time since 2009, which could be huge news for the producers and talent behind The CW’s existing shows and new pilots.
By adding two more hours to the network’s schedule (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET), The CW will program 12 hours of original scripted fare in-season — likely more than Fox in the fall, which will devote at least seven of its 15 hours to sports (and a few more hours toward reality fare).
“We’re increasing our scheduling by 20 percent,” The CW president Mark Pedowitz said. “That’s a big-sized bite. We will do this with the same quality programming we do on Monday through Friday, on Sunday nights.”
Sunday is already a competitive night for networks, with some of TV’s top programs — such as NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” — but Pedowitz said he was confident that The CW had the right kind of counterprogramming.
“We know what programming works well against football and sports, so we think we can program pretty effectively,” he said.
As part of the expansion, The CW is expected to pick up more new series than usual — and perhaps renew more series that might have otherwise been on the bubble. (That could be good news for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” for example.)
The CW is shooting eight new hour-long pilots this spring, in addition to another “Supernatural” spinoff. Shows in contention include new versions of “Charmed” and “Roswell,” which aired on The CW predecessor The WB. (“Roswell” later also aired on The CW’s other predecessor, UPN.)
Pedowitz said the network hasn’t yet decided what will air there — but it’s worth noting that for the final four seasons of its run, the original “Charmed” aired on Sundays at 8 p.m. on The WB. That show could perhaps be paired with another pre-existing or new show with a female lead.
The CW also now boasts six series based on comic book franchises, including the new “Black Lightning.” Adding Sunday night helps the network spread its entire lineup out a bit.
Under Pedowitz, the CW had …read more