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2013 TV Upfronts: CW reshuffles schedule, confirms end of 'Nikita'

May 16, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal
  • Daniel Gillies, left, Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin in "The Originals."
Daniel Gillies, left, Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin in "The Originals." (Skip Bolen / CW )

NEW YORK — Like a teenage Carrie Bradshaw changing outfits before school, the CW network is trying out a new schedule get-up — with a few staple pieces in place, and one gearing up for its last outing.

Just as it did last season, the network is heavily revising its schedule. Changes will come to every slot except two: Wednesday at 8 p.m. will retain its superhero superstar “Arrow,” and Thursday at 8 p.m. maintains its grip on “The Vampire Diaries” — both series are solid performers for the young network and will serve as launchpads for incoming dramas.

In its continued efforts to broaden out its target 18-to-34-year-old audience, the network is adding five new dramas to its lineup. With the departures of long-running series “90210” and “Gossip Girl," the network is filling up slots that branch beyond the glitz and glam blueprint. The coming season will also see the finish of "Nikita," which the network finally made official Thursday. The drama will wrap up four seasons with a six-episode run; a premiere date has not yet been announced.

VIDEO: Fall 2013 TV preview trailers

But will it all prove to be a successful strategy?

The CW was down 13% this season in the 18-to-49 demographic that advertisers prize, and down 4% in total viewers, according to Nielsen — figures the network is likely to downplay at its presentation to advertisers Thursday in New York, pointing instead to the multitude of ways in which its target viewers now consume television.

The CW will also take a cue from last year, opting to roll out its fall season in October 2013, avoiding the cluttered traditional premiere period.

Small-town medical drama will cozy up with beastly epic romance when “Hart of Dixie” is paired with “Beauty and the Beast” on Mondays.

“Vampire Diaries” spinoff “The Originals" will try to develop its own identity separate from the Thursday night vampire drama, airing on Tuesdays ahead of the long-running “Supernatural,” which saw steady growth last season.

Wednesday, dominated by two cousins, is likely to be a huge marketing tool for the network. “Arrow,” with its vigilante archer played by hunky actor Stephen Amell, will lead into new future-set drama “The Tomorrow People,” which features Robbie Amell, Stephen’s cousin, as a young man who represents the next stage of human development.

And Thursday remains the go-to spot for a Mystic Falls fix, with “The Vampire Diaries” serving as a springboard to romantic historical drama “Reign,” starring Adelaide Kane as the young Mary, Queen of Scots (which will is likely to lead to countless Google searches).

And the network is hoping viewers get into their sweat pants on Fridays to cozy up to its “stylish” night of programming: sophomore “Sex and the City” prequel “Carrie Diaries” has been relegated to the end-of-the-week programming night, with “America’s Next Top Model” capping off the night.

New dramas “Star-Crossed” and “The 100” will premiere at midseason, along with new reality series “Famous in 12.”

Here is the schedule released by the network:

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Hart of Dixie” (new night)

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Beauty and the Beast” (new night)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. “The Originals” (new series)

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Supernatural” (new night)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Arrow”

9:00-10:00 p.m. “The Tomorrow People” (new series)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. “The Vampire Diaries”

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Reign” (new series)

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. “The Carrie Diaries” (new night)

9:00-10:00 p.m. “America’s Next Top Model”

Yvonne Villarreal

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