×
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

  • Peppa Pig

    U.K. Competition Watchdog to Examine Hasbro's $4 Billion Deal for Entertainment One

    Britain’s competition watchdog will investigate Hasbro’s $4 billion takeover of Entertainment One. The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it would examine whether the intended acquisition of eOne would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” under U.K. rules. The CMA was deeply involved in scrutinizing the sale of Sky, which was ultimately bought [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind.,

    MSNBC and Washington Post Air Strong, Substantial Democratic Debate (Column)

    The Democratic party primary debate in Atlanta ran long (by about 20 minutes) and had a crowded stage of 10 candidates — and yet, relatively speaking, flew by efficiently. After a passel of debates that had been wildly oversubscribed and caught fire more for personality conflict than policy difference, the MSNBC and Washington Post debate [...]

  • Subhash Chandra Chairman of the Zee

    Another 16% Slice of India’s Zee to be Sold by Essel

    The Essel Group is to sell a further 16.5% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited, India’s largest private sector broadcast group. The debt-reduction move comes just months after Essel auctioned off an 11% tranche of ZEEL. “The Group seeks to sell up to 16.5% stake in ZEEL to financial investors, in order to repay loan [...]

  • Fuller House

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Final Season of Fuller House

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announces the Fuller House’s final season premiere date, HGTV provides a Variety exclusive to the reboot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Freeform announces the premiere date for Josh Thomas’ new comedy “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.” DATES HGTV provided Variety with an exclusive trailer for the reboot of “Extreme Makeover: [...]

  • Tomiko Iwata

    Fox Promotes Creative-Services Head Tomiko Iwata

    Tomiko Iwata has been promoted to executive vice president, head of creative services at Fox Entertainment. She will be responsible for overseeing all of Fox’s creative services, including experiential marketing across divisions. In addition to overseeing her Los Angeles-based staff, she will lead a team based in New York. Her previous role was senior vice [...]

  • Frank Cicha

    Listen: Why Fox Television Stations Embraced Trial and Error in Daytime

    Frank Cicha, head of programming for Fox Television Stations, saw the future coming nearly a decade ago when Fox’s TV station group committed many millions to land syndication rights to “The Big Bang Theory” back in 2010. Even then, it was clear that big hits on the scale of “Big Bang” were going to be [...]

  • Sterling K. BrownVariety and Women in

    Sterling K. Brown to Narrate Disney Plus Documentary 'One Day at Disney' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sterling K. Brown is set to lend his voice to the upcoming Disney Plus feature documentary “One Day at Disney,” Variety has learned exclusively. “One Day at Disney” will highlight the people who work on some of Disney’s most beloved stories. The film will highlight 10 specific people and their role at Disney through the lens [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content