You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz Confirms ‘Flash,’ Admits Ratings ‘Naivete’

The network prez also sees strong potential for comedy on the CW's lineup after success of 'Whose Line'

A new DC Comics character is being eyed at the CW.

At the network’s TCA session Tuesday, CW prez Mark Pedowitz confirmed the development of “Flash,” a drama project based on the DC character that will be seeded into the CW’s sibling superhero drama “Arrow.”

“We do want to expand upon the DC universe,” Pedowitz explained to the room of journalists. “We think they’re rich characters we can use, and this is an organic way of doing it.”

The introduction of a new superhero to the CW’s lineup offers the net another opportunity to draw in male auds that departed the CW once “Smallville” was canceled in 2011. Pedowitz remarked he is still looking to “broaden the adult 18-34 demo,” and bringing in shows like “Arrow” has helped slowly bulk up the male viewership for the CW once again.

Flash” would be the umpteenth time the CW has leveraged a property with a pre-existing fan base as the inception point for a TV series. From “Gossip Girl” to “Sex and the City” to “Whose Line Is it Anyway,” along with spinoffs including “The Originals” and the recently announced “Supernatural,” Pedowitz recognizes that having a franchise already established “allows you to incubate” and “increases your development capability.” However, he is confident the net can launch a program cold without that borrowed equity, citing the success of “Hart of Dixie,” a dramedy that is currently entering its third season.

“Whose Line’s” rebirth on the CW has led to strong ratings, which means more comedy could be on the horizon at the net. Pedowitz dubbed “Whose Line” a “strategic comedy” and said sitcom development is in the works, although the prez sees the reality-comedy space as a genre that presently holds more potential for the net.

While the CW has seen upticks in ratings thanks to programs like “Whose Line” and “Arrow,” Pedowitz admitted his ambitious plan of rethinking the traditional Nielsen ratings system for his net was a product of his own “naivete.”

“It’s always a work in progress,” the topper explained. “I thought it would be easier to get done.”

Nevertheless, the CW keeps an eye on multiple platforms when it comes to tracking viewership, including Nielsen, Nielsen OCR, Rentrak and the barrage of digital numbers from streaming and VOD.

“Our online viewership is still a little over 20% and that continues to grow, as do our on-air ratings,” he noted. “We’re going into next season with far more shows that are building ratings than we have in the past.”

As for “Cult,” which existed as almost a blip on the CW’s lineup radar, Pedowitz called the drama “a swing” that “missed.” Though “The Carrie Diaries” has been moved to Fridays, the prez has “faith” in the “Sex and the City” prequel series and believes it’s a good pairing with “America’s Next Top Model,” which also lives on the CW’s Friday lineup.

“I hope when (‘The Carrie Diaries’) comes out on Netflix and DVD, viewership will rise,” Pedowitz said with optimism.

It isn’t just in building a fan base that Netflix is beneficial to the CW. The streaming site provides the CW with hefty license fees for its series that help keep the network afloat. When asked if the CW could “survive” without Netflix, Pedowitz said yes, but hopes it won’t come to that.

“I believe we’ll survive in some form and capability, and if Netflix decides it doesn’t want to be associated with CBS, Warner Bros. and CW shows, I hope there is another platform,” he said.

More TV

  • U.K.'s Channel 4 Promotes Jonathan Allan

    U.K.'s Channel 4 Promotes Jonathan Allan to Chief Operating Officer

    Channel 4 chief operating officer Keith Underwood is to leave the U.K. broadcaster at the end of this month, and will be replaced by current chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan. C4 is restructuring its leadership team, bringing together key operational functions into a newly expanded COO’s office. Allan will oversee departments including streaming platform All [...]

  • VFX Studio Framestore Launches Suite of

    VFX, Animation Studio Framestore Launches Pre-Production Services Unit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Visual effects and animation studio Framestore, which won Oscars for “The Golden Compass,” “Gravity” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and whose recent work includes “Avengers: Endgame” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in movies, and “His Dark Materials” and “Watchmen” in TV, has launched FPS, which offers a suite of pre-production services. The move sees the company’s [...]

  • Harmonica

    NENT Group Tunes into Warner Bros. Sweden Romantic Drama 'Harmonica'

    Scandinavian major NENT Group has commissioned romantic drama “Harmonica” from Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden. The Swedish series has been co-created by Josephine Bornebusch, whose previous drama “Love Me” has performed strongly on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service in the Nordic region, and was recently renewed for a second season. The six-episode “Harmonica” is [...]

  • ITV Studios Snaps Up Endemol Shine

    ITV Studios Snaps Up Endemol Shine Executive Lisa Perrin

    ITV Studios has snapped up Endemol Shine executive Lisa Perrin, appointing her as the new managing director of international production. Perrin joins the company from Endemol Shine Group (ESG) where she served as CEO of Creative Networks. Her exit comes as the business prepares to merge with Banijay Group, resulting in the departures of a [...]

  • Daniel Burman, Sebastian Borensztein, Lucia Puenzo

    Amazon’s Latest Latin American Deals: 5 Takeaways

    “The only absolute in history is change,” said the Victorian historian Lord Acton. He might have been talking about the streaming platforms’ current international strategies. Since they launched internationally, Netflix and Amazon’s focus and priorities have been in constant evolution. Current pressures – evolving demographies, new regulation, new competition, still untapped growth  – mean that [...]

  • Patrick Nebout and Henrik Hansson Schweizer

    U.K. Scribe Michael Robert Johnson Signs with Dramacorp for ‘Heritage’ Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  —  Swedish prodco Dramacorp has signed with U.K. scribe Michael Robert Johnson (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Mute,” “The Frankenstein Chronicles”) for the English-language supernatural thriller “Heritage” (a working title). Co-writers are Göteborg-based Morgan Jensen (“Thicker than Water”, “Hassel”) and Theo Gabay. The show, in early development, deals with modern elitism and hereditary. In it, a [...]

  • A still from LANCE by Marina

    'Lance': Film Review

    Late in the film “Lance,” a documentary that depicts the ascent and the crash of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the subject recalls the disappearance of his lucrative sponsorships. These deals — with a massive market value and a perhaps more important intangible value of keeping him in the public eye as a figure of rectitude [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content