Thursday, May 17, 2007

"A charming, hard-working farmer who is happy with his life but lacking romance": The CW 2007-08 Schedule Analysis

Unlike many a blogger, I am not going to spend this whole post complaining about how The CW just dumped Veronica Mars so a farmer could teach hot girls how to use a tractor. No. I'm going to focus on the POSITIVES here. So, what are those then?

Actually, even though the CW still has 'struggling newbie' written all over it, this isn't the worst schedule in the world. There's an over-reliance on reality stuff, but they picked up more new shows than last year and they're shedding the more WB-era relics (7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls) that had become a bit stagnant (even though I will totally miss GG anyway). Truth be told, it's a little tough to criticise the CW because they're still struggling to make a name for themselves. Still, I don't think this is the schedule that is going to break them out of the box.

Let's take a look:

7pm: CW Now (new show)
7.30pm: Online Nation (new show)
8pm: Life is Wild (new show)
9pm: America's Next Top Model (encore)

Pretty weak stuff here, especially the new E! news ripoff CW Now and the "we turned a bunch of youtube clips into a halfhour show" Online Nation. Life is Wild at least gets a fairly easygoing timeslot for its debut, but I don't think a show about the majestic beauty of South Africa is a great pair with the crazy magazine program for teens.

Predictions: CW Now dies a quick death, Online Nation may not (it sounds so cheap to produce, anyway). Life is Wild gets OK enough critical notices in a sleepy timeslot to survive to a full season, although I dunno about a renewal. Or maybe it dies and FARMER WANTS A WIFE replaces it.

8pm: Everybody Hates Chris
8.30pm: Aliens in America (new show)
9pm: Girlfriends
9.30pm: The Game

The ol' comedy block is back, with Aliens in America replacing the departed All of Us. Last year, they shunted this to sundays but quickly realized their mistake, so I don't see them messing with this again. Aliens in America actually doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world, so this may stay unchanged all season?

Predictions: Nothing much going on here. Maybe Girlfriends will finally wrap it up after eight years, I don't know (I've never seen it!). I think Aliens of America is going to carve out a little bit of respect for itself. I'm basing this on the vaguest of buzz, but I don't see any replacement comedies on deck anyway.

8pm: Beauty and the Geek (new time)
9pm: Reaper (new show)

Last year, of course, we were all raving about how the pairing of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars would make this a night to remember. Well, they're both gone now, so the CW is instead banking a lot on launching a new show out of Beauty and the Geek. I'm actually looking forward to Reaper, even though it sounds like a derivative of Dead Like Me, mostly because it has Ray Wise as SATAN. But I dunno if it'll be able to stand to heat in a tough-ish timeslot (House, DWTS, The Unit and newbie Chuck).

Predictions: Beauty and the Geek does what it does, and Reaper doesn't manage a full season despite scattered critical plaudits. It could go either way, but I'm not optimistic, sadly. I guess One Tree Hill, being retooled for midseason, will replace it, or if Reaper is a hit, it'll just take the place of Beauty and the Geek when it goes away.

8pm: America's Next Top Model
9pm: Gossip Girl

Aah, the one night the CW can actually vaguely compete! Their flagship, ANTM, which isn't going anywhere, should provide an excellent lead-in to buzzed new series Gossip Girl, from Josh Schwartz and based on popular teen-lit.

Predictions: Gossip Girl performs relatively well and gets itself a pickup. ANTM, obviously, isn't going anywhere. I guess one of the midseason reality shows, like the beauty pageant one, replaces it when it goes on break.

8pm: Smallville
9pm: Supernatural

After a lot of humming and hawing, Supernatural stays in the toughest time slot on TV instead of being moved away to Sunday or some such. I think it's kinda the right call, as long as the CW is willing to stomach fairly anemic ratings from the well-liked monster hunters. They're a decent fit with Smallville, and it's not like the CW is ever gonna compete in that timeslot anyway.

Predictions: Smallville's seventh season is its last, as the cast declares they're getting too old for it. Supernatural plugs along and defies more bleak buzz to squeak out a fourth-season renewal.

8pm: WWE Smackdown

Not much to say here. Same as it ever was.

Next up: My analysis on crazy ol' FOX. Exciting!


Carrie said...

Ray Wise as Satan? I did not know this! Best casting ever. I'll give Reaper a shot, but the only show I'm excited about here is Gossip Girl. I hope it lives up to the hype I've built in my head.

Also, SHUT UP, Farmer Wants a Wife. I used to have to work on shows like that, which is why I left reality TV forever and never looked back.

Todd VanDerWerff said...

Farmer Wants a Wife is going to create a better, kinder world.

Joey said...

Based on an interview I read with one of the Smallville creators, I forget which one, it didn't like Smallville was going anywhere any time soon. His attitude seemed to be 'We ain't stoppin 'til they cancel us!'

Todd VanDerWerff said...

Or until Tom Welling wants too much money.

But, then, what else is he gonna do?

And free Allison Mack so she can go do something awesome!

Filipe said...

I actually expect Smallville to get an 8th season without Rosenbaum and Kreuk.