Random Thought

13 01 2010

After doing the Random Thought where I speculated on reasons for The CW’s mid-season scheduling, I realized it would probably be helpful to examine each of the current teen dramas and their chances of renewal.

As you’ll see below, there’s pros and cons for each show–ones that I believe are enough to warrant either renewal or cancellation. I honestly believe it could go either way. The bottom line, then, is we really just have to wait til May, when The CW officially announces their 2010-2011 schedule.

ONE TREE HILL (Average number of viewers this season: 2.5 million viewers, rounded up)

For: Of the three teen dramas, One Tree Hill has the highest ratings almost every time there’s new episodes. Cast and crew say they feel reinvigorated and have contracts for an eighth season. The network feels confident enough about it to use it as a launching pad for Life Unexpected.

Against: Fans remain split on the quality of this season. There has been a marginal drop in ratings and the show is going on eight years. At some point, someone’s going to say enough’s enough. The network could say the show has run its course and/or they want new blood. They may be more willing to say that this year, if space on the schedule is limited and an old show needs to go so they can bring in more new shows and/or focus on their younger ones. The cast and crew could say the show has run its course and/or they want to try new things. Creator/executive producer Mark Schwahn is working on a new pilot, Nashville, as well as another project for The CW.

GOSSIP GIRL (2.2 million viewers)

For: Buzz is as high as ever, with countless publications willing and ready to report on the shows and its stars. Cast and crew reportedly have contracts for a fourth season. An additional season increases the likelihood of a syndication deal and, of course, a better deal at that. The show has become a “signature” for The CW, one that they still promote heavily, which is an indication of their investment in it.

Against: Fans and critics alike have complained of a drop in quality this year. Ratings are dropping as well. Several cast members have shown an increasing interest in focusing their careers on film and music.

90210 (2.2 million viewers, rounded up)

For: Critics are responding better to this season than the last one. Critics, cast and network have said having Rebecca Sinclair take over has helped. Matt Lanter (Liam) has said he’s pretty sure they’ll get another season–and more. The cast and crew likely have contracts through a fourth season. Canceling it after two seasons would be the equivalent of The CW admitting they were wrong about the viability of a Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off and/or that they weren’t the ones capable of making the idea work. After they bragged about it so much before and during the initial launch, it would be a big embarrassment. A third season would (arguably) allow them to say they successfully created the next installment in the 90210 franchise, one that lasted for a respectable three years.

Against: The show was among the lowest-rated of 2009 for any broadcast network and critics consider it to be largely unsuccessful compared to the original.

Since this is a teen drama site, you’ll notice I didn’t include Life Unexpected, The Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place, Smallville and Supernatural. But for the sake of completeness, here’s my take on those: for LUX, it all depends on the ratings the first 13 episodes get and whether critics love the later episodes as much as they did the first few. Even if the ratings are low and critics turn negative, however, they may still want to give the show a proper season in hopes people will come around if given more time. The Vampire Diaries is a surefire renewal, as it has ratings, buzz and critical acclaim. Melrose Place is in a similar position to 90210 but with two differences: worse ratings and only 1 season. The CW could say the ratings gave no choice but to cancel but they could also renew, citing strengths (as they usually do) by spinning some of the numbers. And like with 90210, giving up too soon would be a sign of a defeat, that their grand plan–especially after Heather Locklear’s involvement–didn’t work out. Some question whether Smallville and Supernatural will get renewals since they’ve been on for quite some time already, but the network has remained positive about both shows and their futures. In two interviews, both less than a week old, Dawn Ostroff maintains she’s very pleased with Smallville this year but the exact future remains to be seen. She made similar comments about Supernatural.

The network technically has 10 spots to fill: two shows per night, Monday-Friday. Renewing all the shows mentioned above, plus America’s Next Top Model, makes 9. Most networks want to bring in more than one pilot. If The CW feels that way, they’ll either have to give a show–either new or old–a limited season or they’ll have to cancel one (if not more) of their current shows.

Fans, bloggers and critics will spend the next several months speculating on which shows will get renewed. There might be stronger indications as time goes by as well as some early announcements, but sometimes a decision in the bottom of the ninth, so to speak, can change everything (as it did with The CW and 7th Heaven/Everwood in 2006). Nothing is 100 percent official until the upfront in May, when the network presents its new schedule to advertisers.

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m hedging my bets so I’m not wrong. I truly won’t be surprised if any of the teen dramas are renewed or canceled. I wish I could give you a better indication of what will be. The truth is, if you told me Gossip Girl was canceled for the reasons I listed above, I’d say it makes perfect sense. Likewise, if you told me it was renewed for the reasons I listed above, that would make perfect sense to me, too. The same goes for One Tree Hill and 90210. These are the things countless executives at the network will be going back and forth on for the next few months. They’re also privy to information we’re not–such as the exact costs of making each show, the profits they’re making and the quality of the pilot options as well as the quality of the plans the current crews have pitched to them for next season.

In the meantime, if you want a show to get renewed, I encourage you to watch it when it airs–not online and not via DVR. You can also contact The CW via its Web site to let them know what you want to see next season. Many times a strong fan campaign has made all the difference.

Hang in there. We’ve still got a ways to go.

News Roundup: 90210, Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill

18 10 2009
  • Kellan Lutz (George, 90210) will reportedly be in a magazine spread in the new issue of SELF and the cover of the new issue of AUGUST.
  • You can bid on a dress Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210) wore to an awards show.
  • You can buy a copy of the shirt Dan (Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl) wore last season.
  • ChicagoNow has an interview with Badgley on his role in The Stepfather, which came out on Friday.
  • The One Tree Hill Twitter account tweeted some TwitPics of the cast with CW president, Dawn Ostroff.
  • TVGuide.com has an interview with James Lafferty (Nathan, One Tree Hill).
  • I hate to post “gossip” like this but I am going to justify it in a second.  JustJared says Kenzie Dalton, the fiance of Chad Michael Murray (Lucas, One Tree Hill) wrote a blog post praising CMM’s ex-wife Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill).  I went to Kenzie’s site and can’t find the post but my reason for even mentioning this is that Kenzie said CMM will have an announcement soon about a project he’s working on.  See, there was news there–not just gossip!

News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek

4 09 2009
  • Anothing interesting article on The CW.
  • Dawn Ostroff, head of The CW, said remaking 90210 was “an experiment.”
  • TVbytheNumbers.com says 90210’s survival is dependent upon Ostroff’s survival at the network, putting both at “better than” 50 percent odds.
  • I really like this picture of some of the 90210 cast.
  • Starpulse has an interview with Trevor Donovan (Teddy, 90210).
  • Rumer Willis (Gia, 90210) says she doesn’t know how many episodes she’ll be in.
  • USA Today described The Vampire Diaries as “One Tree Hill with sharper teeth.”
  • Read the full press release for the Dawson’s Creek Complete Series set.

Random Question

15 08 2009

There’s been much speculation of whether there will be a 90210-Melrose Place crossover.

When the original Melrose Place debuted, it was a spin-off to Beverly Hills 90210.

In January, it was reported that Ryan Eggold (Ryan, 90210) would be the one to crossover to Melrose Place.

In April, Eggold said he was talking to producers about it.

Then, in July, it was called a rumor.

And just this month, The CW’s Dawn Ostroff said a crossover was possible down the road.

Today, I was looking at Ryan Eggold’s IMDB page and it says he appears in the Melrose Place pilot.

So…what do you believe?

IMDB is usually correct and Ostroff could just be trying to surprise everyone.  Or, the IMDB could credit be based off the earlier “rumors.”


News Roundup: Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill and More

4 08 2009
  • Chace Crawford (Nate, Gossip Girl) will be  a presenter at the VMAs, according to PEOPLE.com.
  • There is a Web site for the Gossip Girl Season 2 DVD.
  • Perez Hilton posted two Gossip Girl filming pics.
  • Tyra Banks tweeted about her upcoming Gossip Girl appearance.
  • Kelly Rutherford (Lily, Gossip Girl) has temporarily worked out her family-marital problems.
  • At the TCA Press Tour, CW exec Dawn Ostroff said the Gossip Girl spin-off is “unlikely” and a 90210-Melrose Place cross-over is possible.  There *could* be a different GG spin-off though.
  • The Wrap has an interesting interview with Ostroff.
  • Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna, 90210) will appear on America’s Next Top Model in October.
  • Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210) says she doesn’t want the schedule of being a show regular/lead anymore.
  • USA Today has an article on the Tori Spelling (Donna, Beverly Hills 90210)/Candy Spelling drama.
  • Star News has two stories on TCA, including one with One Tree Hill photos and some details on the new season.
  • Dan (Paul Johansson, One Tree Hill) is included in a SoapNet photo gallery on characters accused of murder.
  • Ashton Kutcher said Mischa Barton (Marissa, The O.C.) continue on with The Beautiful Life and “is very prominent” on the show.  He also called The O.C. a “big soap opera.”
  • Ausiello described The Vampire Diaries as “Supernatural meets Twilight meets Dawson’s Creek.”  (It was created by Kevin Williamson, who also did DC.)

Spoiler: Ask Ausiello

28 05 2009


Question: Any news on the CW drama Body Politic? Will it be picked up for mid-season? –Corinne
It won’t. But I keep hearing rumors that one of the show’s stars may find work on another high-profile CW drama. If it happens, and all of my sources insist it probably won’t, it would create quite the hububaloo.

Question: Why did The CW kill the Gossip Girl spin-off? –Tammy
I’m told the higher-ups never embraced the whole ’80s conceit. I’m also told the reason CW boss Dawn Ostroff stopped short of declaring the project dead last week was because there’s a chance it could be reconceived down the road.


Note: I think the first question is referring to whether Brian Austin Green (David, Beverly Hills 90210) will appear on the new 90210.

News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and More

2 03 2009
  • Shannen Doherty (Brenda, Beverly Hills 90210) has a new job: art director of a monthly magazine.  In her many interviews we’ve never seen her express an interest like this before but good for her!
  • E!Online has a short article speculating on the future of Adrianna’s (Jessica Lowndes, 90210) baby.
  • Ever wonder how the basketball scenes on One Tree Hill look so professional?  This video explains how they’re made.
  • Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill) is the HD Hottie of the Day on TVPredictions.com.
  • Dawn Ostroff, head of The CW, credits last year’s scandalous Gossip Girl ad campaign with giving the network a much-needed spotlight.
  • TV Week has a great article assessing the past, present and future of The CW and  the roles that 90210, One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl play.
  • According to Zap2it, Mischa Barton (Marissa, The O.C.) is auditioning for a role on the Melrose Place remake.

LA Times: 90210 Needs To Be Saved

3 02 2009

The Los Angeles Times published an excellent article yesterday on how the new 90210 isn’t living up to expectations.  The best analysis I’ve seen by far!

Here’s a summary:

“‘90210’ is suffering a servere case of adolescent angst.”

American Idol’s return is affecting its audience, so the show will move to 9PM later this season–after a six-week break!

The show is doing well overseas but not in the U.S.

90210 can’t get out of Gossip Girl’s “shadow.”

“The series has floundered creatively and has no irresistible Dylan-Brenda couple to root for.”

The original series is the number one teen drama in history.  I wholeheartedly agree with that.  Even if I didn’t root for Brenda and Dylan.  (And you can read about the show’s origins and how it defined the genre here!)

Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs have stopped writing for the show after having problems with the network (and they even seem regretful about signing on to the show at all) but they remain on board in other capacities for now.  They won’t be back if there’s a season 2.

“‘I’m not as witty as [‘Gossip Girl’ executive producer] Josh Schwartz and I never will be,'”Judah says.

Dustin Milligan (Ethan) admits he’s unhappy Judah and Sachs’ plans weren’t followed.  It’s one reason the storyline for Ethan to have an autistic brother didn’t play out.

New executive producer Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair admits she needs time to “fix” things.

“Saving “90210” [is] a top priority, but it won’t be easy.”

Jennie Garth (Kelly) is signed on for one more episode.  Tori Spelling (Donna) will have a “limited run.”

CW head honcho Dawn Ostroff is blaming the nostalgia factor for the show’s problems.

Despite all of the above, there most likely will be a season two.


News Roundup: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210 and More

14 01 2009
  • OTH made EW’s Must List for the week.  See if you can spot the factual error!
  • More details have been released on Kelly Rutherford’s (Lily, Gossip Girl) impending divorce and why her husband blames the show.
  • Dawn Ostroff, in talking about CW viewers: “Our fans really love some of that heightened drama, as you can see when you watch ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Gossip Girl.‘ So the job is both: to get them emotionally invested in the people and then do storylines that have twists and turns and surprises you never expected.”
  • There’s another Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 90210) story, similar to the one we posted last night.
  • And another Jessica Lowdnes (Adrianna, 90210) story.
  • Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl) is on the cover of Vogue.  Lively calls the GG fashion “unbelievable.”  You can read the whole interview here.  Another article, more about Vogue, though.
  • AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210) has some pretty steamy photos in the February issue of GQ.

Breaking News: Mark Schwahn NOT Doing Melrose Place

12 01 2009

From the ongoing Television Critics Association Press Tour: Dawn Ostroff, head of The CW, announced that Mark Schwahn is no longer involved with the Melrose Place remake.

So what does this mean for One Tree Hill?

Here’s what the article says:

“[Ostroff] would only say how pleased she has been with the show and noted it has made huge gains in audience over last year.  At this point, the only sticking points for renewal could be with the cast. The major players’ contracts all expire after this season, and so far none of the cast have agreed to more seasons — though many have expressed being open to the idea.”

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