Hours ahead of the Golden Globes — a big night for the CW with both leads from “Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” nominated — network president Mark Pedowitz touted both comedies, saying that despite low numbers, he believes in the future of the series and feels confident in what he says is the CW’s best schedule ever.
“We’re now at this great place, thanks to the schedule and thanks to the shows,” Pedowitz said Sunday morning at the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, Calif., mentioning the net’s ten-year anniversary this month, “which I’m proud to say has defied a lot of odds.”
Prodded by the press to speak to “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” undesirable ratings, Pedowitz acknowledged that they don’t have the numbers. But, “What we do have is great faith in the show,” he said. “We believe in the show. We stand by the show. It’s the reason for the back order. We believe there’s a place on our schedule today for a show like this… you can’t beat quality like this. The fact that [Rachel Bloom] has been nominated with Gina [Rodriguez] and all the other fantastic actresses today for the Golden Globes is a testament.”
“We wish the numbers were better,” he admitted. “We have a quality night in ‘Crazy-Ex’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ … We like our Mondays. We like what we’ve done on Mondays.”
Though no decisions have been made regarding a second season of “Crazy-Ex,” which much media has doubted, Pedowitz said, “We made no decision for next year. I hope it comes back. We have not yet seen how our midseason schedule has launched to give it any shape or form. We’re the CW. We have defied a lot of odds. I’m pretty comfortable to think that ‘Crazy-Ex’ has a pretty good chance to defy those odds. We’re putting a lot of promotion and marketing into the shows… We are standing behind it… We want to keep this show on the air.”
As for that aforementioned midseason schedule, the biggest bet is “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” hailing from the network’s mega-producer Greg Berlanti and his team.
“It is fun, it’s big, it’s lighter than ‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash.’ It has great actors and great auspices,” the CW chief said of the upcoming superhero mashup. “It’s popcorn — it’s a fun, big show. There’s a lot of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ meets ‘Doctor Who.’ It’s fun. It takes your mind off the troubles of the world.”
With “Arrow,” “Flash” and now “Legends,” the CW is chock-full of superhero goodness — but Pedowitz says there’s not too much of the genre (“I don’t believe we have seen a stoppage of people watching these shows,” he said.)
In fact, he teased a female-led superhero show could perhaps make its way to the schedule.
“At this moment, no,” Pedowitz said when asked if there is a female superhero show in the works. “But at this moment last year, ‘Legends’ didn’t really exist. Time will take its toll. There will be a moment in time. I don’t know when it’s going to come. But when Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim say, ‘We think it’s time,’ we’re going to give them an opportunity to do that.'”
One possibility is spinning off CW Seed’s “Vixen” — which at TCA, Pedowitz announced was renewed for a second season. There will also be a crossover of sorts on “Arrow” with the actress who voices “Vixen” set to appear on the show’s current fourth season.
“‘Vixen,’ which is the animated piece, is a superhero of diversity and color. Hopefully that character can spin itself out — if not, join the ‘Legends,'” Pedowitz proposed.
Pedowitz also spoke about the future of more CW shows, plus projects in development:
Supernatural: “Both Jared [Padalecki] and Jensen [Ackles] are having a blast. As long as they have a blast, it’s a good thing. In its eleventh year, the show is performing better than it did last year. I’m pretty hopeful that we’ll see it again,” Pedowitz said on stage. Afterword, he told reporters there are no definite plans for Season 12 — or Season 15! — but he joked the show would probably outlast his tenure at the CW.
iZombie: “I think Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero have done a terrific job. I think it’s stronger this year,” Pedowitz said. “I think the show has a very good shot at making a third season, and I’m very proud on that show.”
Reign: When asked if there will be a fourth season, Pedowitz told reporters, “I hope so. We’ve got to find out if she goes back to Scotland!”
The 100: Pedowitz is confident, regarding the show’s future. (Season 3 begins on Jan. 21.) Aside from having a passionate, Twitter-friendly fan base, the prez shared that “The 100” is doing very well on Netflix, widening its viewership. “One of our strategies moves we made was to hold it back for midseason to allow year two to go up on Netflix. And it’s performing, I just was told before I got onstage, very, very well in terms of binging for Seasons 1 and 2.”
Vampire Diaries: When asked about the show’s lifeline, now that the show has found its new groove without former star Nina Dobrev, but is moving to Friday nights, Pedowitz said, “Hopefully, as long as possible. We are hopeful that the show in its move to Friday continues what it does do really great with “The Originals” also– they triple their numbers in Live +7 consistently so there’s a lot of delayed viewing on the show. So if it continues and we see the performance that we’ve been seeing, hopefully it gets a renewal.”
The Originals: When asked if “The Originals” could stay on air if and when “Vampire Diaries” ends, Pedowitz was very positive. “They’re standalone shows,” he said. “The move to Friday night is not a move to exile it — it’s a move to strengthen Friday night. ” Pedowitz said the “Vampire” and “Originals” schedule change was strategic so that Thursday night could become male-skewed with “Legends of Tomorrow” and “The 100.”
America’s Next Top Model: After discussing the he and Tyra Banks both believed it was the right time to end the long-running reality show, Pedowitz spoke to a possible retrospective special, though nothing is in the works. “We’ve had some discussions. There have been no active discussions yet. So we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Riverdale (in development): “We have not yet picked the show up. We’re going to go through our pilot process shortly … When they [Greg Berlanti’s team] want to take a run at something, you let them. They’ve earned it, they’ve deserved it.”
The Notebook (in development): Pedowitz has not seen the script yet, but expects to see it soon.
Friday the 13th (in development): Pedowitz has not seen the script yet, but expects to see it soon.
Little Women reboot (in development): Pedowitz has not seen the script yet, but expects to see it soon. “I can safely say they are definitely in contention,” he said when asked about “Little Women” and “Friday the 13th.”
There will be a “Vampire Diaries” and “Originals” crossover coming up: “You will see organically a crossover this year,” Pedowitz revealed, explaing it won’t be “the size and scope of what we do for ‘Flash’ and ‘Arrow.'” Though there are no storyline plans yet for the crossover, the exec said, “It has to make sense. If they don’t make sense storywise, don’t do them, don’t force them. The audience can tell.”
The long-rumored “Arrow,” “Flash” and “Supergirl” (CBS) crossover could happen: “We are open if Greg [Berlanti], Marc [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg] and Ali Adler can find a way to do it, we’re open to do it. The question is, can they find a way in all their business.”
How many new shows will come to the CW next fall? “Once we get a sense [of midseason shows], we then have some flexibility to put more shows into the summer and start some new shows in the fall,” Pedowitz said. “This fall, we went with only one show to show for the first time that was a level of stability at the CW. I’m looking at possibly two new shows in the fall next year.”
The CW is a star-making machine: Referring to “Jane’s” Rodriguez, “Crazy Ex’s” Bloom and more, Pedowitz raved, “CW’s done a terrific job in these past years of creating new TV stars and new stars in general.”
Pedowitz on the CW’s diversity: “I’ve been lucky because I’ve been associated with two of them in my career,” Pedowitz said, referring two Latino hit shows “Jane the Virgin” and “Ugly Betty” from when the exec was at ABC. “It’s imperative,” he said of the importance of diverse content. “You have a huge part of the population that’s diverse. You have to have programming that refelcts the reality of these worlds. You do that, it’s better TV and better storytelling.”
As for why it took so long for television to embrace diversity? “I can’t answer for that question. I don’t know. It should have happened sooner.”