Considering it hasn’t even been determined who will schedule the CW’s inaugural season, it may be premature to take a stab at how its lineup might look.
Both UPN and the WB continue production on pilots they greenlit before announcing they will, in effect, merge to form a new net next fall. These shows will join an all-star roster of returnees from the weblets that were rivals for more than a decade before deciding it made better sense to join forces.
Among current shows eyeing a spot on the sked, some choices are obvious, but other calls aren’t so easy.
First, there’re the no-brainers — shows that garner a 6 share or better in adults 18-34, according to Nielsen data: UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model,” “WWE Smackdown” and “Everybody Hates Chris” as well as the WB’s “Smallville,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Beauty and the Geek.” (Another Frog skein that qualifies, vet “7th Heaven,” is ending its run in May.)
Then there are the 5-share skeins that would seem like reasonably safe choices to make the cut: the WB’s “Supernatural,” “One Tree Hill” and “Reba” and UPN’s “Girlfriends” and “All of Us.”
“Supernatural’s” status likely could be determined by how well it fits behind “Smallville” when it shifts time periods to Thursday this month. It’s a quality show, though, and one that deserves a spot on the CW sked.
“Reba” is the strongest comedy the WB has had in some time and should be back, while “One Tree Hill” has done a decent job anchoring Wednesday in its third season, and a fourth year to at least wrap up the gang’s high school years would make sense.
Like “Reba,” UPN’s “Girlfriends” is a proven vet the CW may want to bring over to help with name recognition. A backdoor spinoff pilot is in the works, so there’s a possibility one or the other could land on the sked.
And “All of Us,” in its third season, carries some gravitas because of Will Smith’s involvement as a producer.
So, adding up the 5-share or higher series from UPN and the WB, there are 11 hours of returnees (or 10 if “Model” and “Geek” share a slot).
That means five hours are unaccounted for, to be determined by how the CW’s pilots turn out and what faith the new net has in borderline UPN and WB shows.
A couple of 3-share UPN laffers, “One on One” (in its fourth year) and “Eve” (third year) are longer shots but hold out hope, as does the WB’s 4-share “What I Like About You,” whose young cast and New York setting make it a possibly good fit alongside UPN’s urban comedies.
That leaves 3-share UPN drama “Veronica Mars,” which hasn’t grown despite critical support and a cult following, and the WB’s 4-share “Everwood,” which returns later this month to finish its season.
Here’s hoping if UPN Entertainment topper Dawn Ostroff — who will guide the new net as well — gives another shot to “Veronica Mars,” she will also find room for “Everwood,” the best skein to air on either weblet this season.