You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CW Sets Summer Timeslots for ‘Backpackers,’ Other New Shows

The CW is joining the comedy and magic club this summer.

The net, which throughout the year typically airs nine drama series as part of its 10-hour schedule, is experimenting with a pair of new half-hour comedies, “Backpackers” (originally a digital series) and “Seed,” as well as magic series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” and “Masters of Illusion,” as part of its summer lineup.

CW kicks off its summer June 2 with improv comedy “Whose Line Is It Anyway” on a new night; each week, an original episode will be followed by a repeat. Original episodes of sophomore drama “Beauty and the Beast” will air from 9 to 10.

Reality docuseries “Famous in 12” bows the next night, airing from 8 to 9. It’s an unscripted series/social experiment that will film one fame-seeking family around the clock for 12 weeks straight.  The family will be guided by the TMZ machine, which will create a series of opportunities for them.

Original half-hour comedy “Backpackers” (pictured) will air Mondays at 8:30 (replacing the “Whose Line” repeat) starting July 14. Originally created as a digital series for the CW’s digital studio, CW Seed, “Backpackers” follows best friends Ryan (Noah Reid, “Titanic”) and Brandon (Dillon Casey, “Nikita”) as they race across Europe in search of Ryan’s missing bride-to-be, while  struggling with the eternal twentysomething question of what to do with their lives.

On the same night, CW will premiere “Seed” in the 9:30 slot, following a “Whose Line” encore. From the creative team of Joseph Raso (“Zombies & Cheerleaders”) and writer-producer Mark Farrell (“This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” “Made in Canada,” “Corner Gas”), “Seed” tells the story of Harry (Adam Korson), a single, underachieving bachelor/bartender who is also a sperm donor.

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” will bow at 8 p.m. July 30, with aspiring magicians invited to perform their best trick to try and fool the world-famous team of Penn & Teller.  Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn & Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. British television and radio personality Jonathan Ross (“Friday Night With Jonathan Ross”) serves as host of the hourlong series.

“Masters of Illusion,” the half-hour series hosted by actor Dean Cain, premieres at 8 on Aug. 1 and features great escapes, fascinating sleight-of-hand tricks and large-scale illusions, all in front of a studio audience.

Executive produced by David Garfinkle (“Naked and Afraid”), Jay Renfroe (“Naked and Afraid”) and Harvey Levin (“TMZ”), “Famous in 12” is from Renegade 83 and Harvey Levin Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television and Telepictures.

“Backpackers” is produced by Shaftesbury U.S. and Smokebomb Entertainment, Shaftesbury’s digital media arm, in association with the CW.  Developed for television and produced by Jay Bennett, “Backpackers” is executive produced by Maggie Murphy, Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie and Tom Mazza.

Produced by Force Four Entertainment, “Seed” is executive produced by Joseph Raso, Mark Farrell, John Ritchie, Rob Bromley and Gillian Lowrey.  The Force Four production team includes Supervising Producer Paula J. Smith (“Less Than Kind”) and Producer Karen Wentzell (“Trailer Park Boys”).

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” is produced by September Films (part of DCD Media) for ITV, with executive producers Peter Adam Golden, David Green, Peter Davey and Andrew Golder.

“Masters of Illusion” comes from Associated Television Intl. with executive producers David McKenzie, Al Schwartz, Gay Blackstone and David Martin, along with co-executive producers Justin Pierce and Jim Romanovich.

The summer premiere schedule is as follows:


8-8:30 p.m.                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (New Night)

8:30-9 p.m.                 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)

9-10 p.m.               BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Summer Season Premiere)


8-9 p.m.                 FAMOUS IN 12 (Series Premiere)

9-10 p.m.               SUPERNATURAL (Encore)

 JULY 14

8-8:30 p.m.                 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Original Episode)

8:30-9 p.m.                 BACKPACKERS (Series Premiere)

9-9:30 p.m.                 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)

9:30-10:00 p.m.               SEED (Series Premiere)

 JULY 30

8-9 p.m.                 PENN & TELLER: FOOL US (Series Premiere)

9-10 p.m.               ARROW (Encores in a new timeslot)

 AUG. 1

8-8:30 p.m.                 MASTERS OF ILLUSION (Series Premiere)

8:30-9 p.m.                 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)

More TV

  • Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime

    'Delhi Crime’ Wins Big at Asian Academy Creative Awards

    Richie Mehta’s harrowing Netflix series “Delhi Crime” was the big winner at the 2nd annual Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore on Friday. Representing the show, lead actress Shefali Shah was rushed off her feet as she repeatedly had to return to the stage. “Delhi Crime” earned her best actress in a leading role, best [...]


    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • Robert Walker Jr.

    'Star Trek' Actor Robert Walker Jr. Dies at 79

    Robert Walker Jr., son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, died Thursday, his family confirmed to the official website for the television show “Star Trek.” He was 79. Walker Jr. is best remembered for playing the titular Charlie Evans in the “Star Trek” episode “Charlie X” from the show’s first season in 1966. His [...]

  • Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right,

    TV Ratings: Why Is the NBA Shooting Air Balls?

    The NBA’s TV ratings so far this season have been far from all-star level. Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The [...]

  • Claire Danes, Homeland

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Releases 'Homeland' Final Season Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Showtime drops the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,” and National Geographic reveals the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in “Genius: Aretha.” FIRST LOOKS Showtime released the trailer for the final season of “Homeland,“ premiering Feb. 9. The eighth and final season, starring Claire Danes and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content