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CW Upfront Roundup

The CW returns with Sunday, two reboots in Charmed and Roswell, a spin-off, and Berlanti four nights a week! They had another year with fall rookie failures and only one of its four new premieres made it big, but this network doesn’t work like the Big 4. Plus, for the first time since turning into the CW, it has Sunday nights! Still, Pedowitz’ dream of making Dynasty and Valor work was crushed, though the former did receive the coveted back 9 pickup, and, due to its lucrative Netflix deal, a s2 renewal. (The latter died along with Valor). He can celebrate Riverdale‘s return with double its demo from the S1 finale, which made its S3 renewal more obvious. Honestly, multiple shows could hit a 0.0 demo next year and stand a chance of renewal when The CW just advertises its studios’ shows.

2018-2019 Drama Pickups (5)

As usual, five drama pilots were from CBS TV Studios and five were from Warner Bros. TV. All but Charmed are technically co-productions.

In a surprise to literally no one, Charmed was one of the most buzzworthy pilots this ever. A reboot of the original, the new version stars Madeleine Mantock (Macy), Melonie Diaz (Mel), and Sarah Jeffery as Maggie.

They learn they have another sister(s) and also that they have magic three months after their mom is murdered! I personally really enjoyed the trailer and am excited to see if it premieres well this fall. I especially can’t wait to see Mel and her girlfriend, Nico (Ellen Tamaki). Plus, their first demon is a serial harasser and professor. So I’m super here for that.

Roswell New Mexico, the other reboot also received a pickup and will air in the spring. It is the third show on the network now to focus on a Latinx family, though not as explicitly as JTV or Charmed clearly is doing. Though Liz is the daughter of undocumented immigrants, it follows her cop alien boyfriend and the two reconnecting. Oh, and of course a government cover-up! No trailer, so unclear how this might play out.

Of the two spin-offs, the The Vampire Diaries/The Originals pilot presentation (Legacies) headed by Julie Plec won over Wayward Sisters. Fans of the original shows can see Hope growing up! Never having watched the first two shows, I won’t be watching this one.

For completely original fare, Berlanti Productions’ seventh property All Americanbased on Spencer Paysinger’s life, received an order. Spencer, the South L.A. football player is recruited for Beverly Hills High and we cue the drama. It looks good for the CW, but I’m not sure going after Riverdale is the best option. We’ll see in the fall.

Also midseason, In the Dark is one of three shows this season overall to feature a character with a disability. Murphy witnesses her “drug-dealer” friend’s murder. Since she’s blind, the police don’t believe her. There’s also a cop who ends up helping her who has a blind daughter too! Cue romance.

Look I’ll be up front (hah), if they had cast a blind actress in this? I’d be over the moon and would at least try it out. However, even with involvement from a vision loss focused organization, it’s incredibly frustrating that they didn’t cast someone who would get the acting right! It’s also one of only five shows to have just one lead of color. It’s in the midseason, so it could go like Black Lightning or die like Life Sentence.


I’m increasingly interested in what The CW does as a network because it is neither profitable nor works the way the Big 4 networks. The CW works to advertise its WB and CBS produced shows and to receive the lucrative Netflix/other international deals, but I don’t foresee them renewing shows when they start hitting the 0.0 demo consistently.

Sunday’s Supernatural/Charmed block is definitely interesting for October. Clearly the network has faith in Julie Plec, since her show was picked up without a full pilot and is in the fall. As are all the comic shows. Unclear if all five will appear in the crossover since Akil has said he wants to keep Black Lightning focused on its own things first, but Batwoman and Gotham City are coming to the Arrowverse. This is either a really good thing or a really bad one, depending on how you feel about the crossovers.

Also announced were the last seasons for Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and iZombie.

So tell me, what shows look good and what is the next Valor?

Images Courtesy of The CW


  • Seher

    Seher is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals focusing on the ins and outs of broadcast TV. Representation on screen and behind the scenes are one of many specialties. Otherwise, she's reading away for her anthropology graduate program. pc: @poika_


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