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CW: Digital destiny dominates drama dealings

Fall TV Preview 2012: CW

The CW, a net known to skew young, has also been skewing digital as it approaches fall season.

The CW brings another DC Comics superhero to the smallscreen this fall with action-drama. A reimagining of comicbook series “Green Arrow,” the skein follows billionaire Oliver Queen as he adopts the vigilante identity of Arrow.

“We’re realistic about where the audience is,” says CW topper Mark Pedowitz. “The digital streaming numbers on our shows combined with Hulu and Netflix and CWTV.com and the app are astronomical.”

CW skeins like “Breaking Pointe” and “L.A. Complex” that raked in meager broadcast numbers fared well in the digital space, according to Pedowitz.

“I wish (‘Breaking Point’) performed slightly better in ratings, but I can say it’s a digital online success,” he says.

Because of its strong online performance, “Pointe” is under consideration for a second season. Meanwhile, though the CW aims for the overall adult 18-34 aud, Pedowitz hopes to bulk up the net’s male viewership this fall with action-themed programming.

“The loss of ‘Smallville’ actually had an impact on us,” Pedowitz says.

“Arrow” and “Beauty and the Beast” offer more grit to a programming slate known for such femme-centric hits as “The Vampire Diaries” and “90210,” though Pedowitz believes these new skeins can appeal to female viewers as well.

Arrival of the CW’s fall season will require some patience, though. Net is bowing shows deeper into autumn than the Big Four, allowing it to maintain its voice amid the flurry of big-name preems. Such CW newbies as “Arrow” and “Emily Owens, M.D.” will debut in October along with the return of net vets like “Supernatural” and “Vampire Diaries.”

Timing is also factoring into the CW’s midseason premieres, as the January debut of “The Carrie Diaries” has been skedded to avoid fall clutter and allow a proper sendoff for network icon “Gossip Girl,” which airs its series finale in December.

SPOTLIGHT

“Arrow”

Exec producer Andrew Kreisberg found casting Stephen Amell as the bow-wielding lead to be a no-brainer.

“After we met Stephen, everyone else just paled by comparison,” Kreisberg says.

With “Smallville” a memory, the much-hyped debut of “Arrow” could hit a bull’s-eye among viewers craving another modern twist on superhero mythology.

NEW FOR 2012

“Beauty and the Beast”

While diving into TV’s fairytale derivation trend, “Beauty and the Beast” might actually be similar to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” according to Jay Ryan, who plays shapeshifting lead Vincent Keller. Skein’s debut will follow the preem of CW’s top-rated mainstay “Vampire Diaries,” but will “Vampire” momentum lead viewers to sink their teeth into “Beast”?

Emily Owens, MD”

Take “Scrubs,” add a dash of “Ally McBeal” and you’ve got a taste of quirky new skein, “Emily Owens, M.D.” Show creator Jennie Snyder Urman is no stranger to the net after logging credits on other hit, femme-skewing CW programs including “Gilmore Girls” and “90210.” Bowing on Oct. 16, “Owens” follows the premiere of “Hart of Dixie,” setting the tone for a med-themed Tuesday night on the CW.

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