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CW recruits Gellar, adds more reality

Ostroff takes her final upfront bow as Pedowitz takes reins

Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to the CW in new drama “Ringer” on the same night, Tuesday, where she spent much of her reign on the WB Network with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” according to the fall lineup CW unveiled on Thursday.

“Ringer” will premiere at 9 p.m. with “90210” moving from Monday to serve as its lead-in; the Beverly Hills drama, headed into its fourth season on CW, started out on Tuesdays in 2008.

Another CW staple, “Gossip Girl,” is shifting timeslots, sliding back to 8 p.m. on Monday to support new drama “Hart of Dixie,” which features former “The O.C.” star Rachel Bilson. The move turns the night over to Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the co-creators of “Gossip Girl” and exec producers of “Hart.”

“Vampire Diaries” remains Thursday at 8 p.m. to serve as lead-in for new drama “The Secret Circle” — a move that turns Thursday into Kevin Williamson night (he’s the showrunner behind both shows). Returning drama “Nikita” moves to Friday at 8 p.m. to be paired with another returning drama, “Supernatural.”

CW is also loading up on unscripted series in a bid to cut down on the volume of reruns that it carries during the season.

New unscripted series “H8R” will premiere Wednesdays at 8 p.m., followed by “America’s Next Top Model.”

Dawn Ostroff, outgoing president of entertainment at the network, emceed her final CW upfront presentation at the Time Warner Center on Thursday, where she introduced the exec who is taking the reins of the entire net, prexy Mark Pedowitz.

“I know the CW is in good hands with Mark Pedowitz coming in as president,” she said, bringing the former ABC exec out to meet the crowd.

Pedowitz spoke of CW’s efforts to target its core audience of adults under 35, especially women. “We target a hard-to-reach and valuable audience,” he noted.

The execs also talked up CW’s presence across digital platforms and introduced a new Facebook application called “CWingo” that allows viewers to match scenes from the show with virtual cards that can also deliver advertising messages.

All the stars of CW shows, new and old, were in attendance. Ostroff brought out the cast for each new series to talk after playing clips from their respective shows, including Bilson and Gellar. Also on hand was Tyra Banks, who announced that going forward her series “America’s Next Top Model” will always have themed cycles like the upcoming “All Stars” edition that will bring back contestants from previous seasons. “Top Model,” which started at UPN, is headed into its 17th cycle this fall.

Long-running drama “One Tree Hill” will be back for a 13-episode final season in early 2012, when new reality series “Re-modeled” and “The Frame” are expected to join the schedule as well.


8:00-9:00 PM: GOSSIP GIRL (New Time)
9:00-10:00 PM: HART OF DIXIE (New Series)

8:00-9:00 PM: 90210 (New Night)
9:00-10:00 PM: RINGER (New Series)

8:00-9:00 PM: H8R (New Series)

9:00-10:00 PM: THE SECRET CIRCLE (New Series)

8:00-9:00 PM: NIKITA (New Night)