The possibility of a “Supergirl” crossover and more DC Comics characters populating the CW were the hot topics during president Mark Pedowitz’s presentation Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. (UPDATE 2/3/16: A “Flash” and “Supergirl” crossover is officially happening.)
Pedowitz emphasized that exec producer Greg Berlanti would drive any decisions about a “Supergirl” crossover with any of his three CW superhero shows: “Arrow,” “Flash” and the upcoming “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”
“I leave that to Greg Berlanti and his team. If they can make it work, that’s great. If they cannot, that’s fine. We are open to crossovers,” Pedowitz said Tuesday from the Beverly Hills, Calif. event. “That’s Greg’s call because he understands his shows better than I do because he’s there.”
Pedowitz mentioned that “Supergirl” will have cross-promotion with the CW’s other DC Comics series, as CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler also said during her presentation on Monday. He also responded to questions regarding the younger-skewing network passing on the series, which seemed a natural fit with its standing slate.
“I can’t address CBS’ perspective on that, but I can address ours. We had ‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ and we were not planning to do another DC character,” Pedowitz said, recalling the pitch cycle. CW did discuss the possibility of developing “Supergirl” with Warner Bros. but the timing wasn’t right.
“We had not launched ‘Flash’ yet. We had no idea how it would do and when it would do it. You take your time. Sometimes you lose great projects,” he said.
Continuing to discuss the DC universe, Pedowitz was asked about the possibility of more spinoffs, confirmed that there are none in the works at present beyond “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” which bows midseason.
“Last year at this time, we had no intention of doing another DC project,” he said referencing “Legends of Tomorrow” being developed in a year’s time. “What happened is as the characters were introduced in ‘Arrow’…and in ‘Flash’…we began to realize this is a great opportunity, and DC agreed…this gives up the opportunity to look at a lot of characters.”
Pedowitz also made a mention of comic-inspired “iZombie” from Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, noting the network is extremely proud of its freshman run and is looking forward to Season 2. Another comic coming to life at CW is Archie’s “Riverdale,” which is currently in development for 2016-17 with Berlanti at the helm.
The CW prexy highlighted discussion on midseason programming and the net’s focus on the continued expansion of original content. “We’ve spent a number of years now trying to build up the programming inventory,” he said. “It’s important for us to have as much original programming out there. We planned to only have one new show [“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” this fall] so people understood that we were stable, and we planned a big push midseason for ‘Containment’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow.'”
The limited fall launch also allows them to give a big marketing push for sophomore shows “iZombie,” “The Flash” (which marks the net’s most-watched and highest-rated program of all time) and buzzy hit “Jane the Virgin.” “We’ve never had that luxury before,” he said.
However, despite success and first-time award recognition with “Jane,” Pedowitz is not pleased with the Emmy snub for the team led by showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman.
“I was disappointed for the CW. I was more disappointed for Jennie, Gina [Rodriguez] and the whole cast and crew and writers and directors of the show,” he said, mentioning that “Jane” earned Golden Globe, Peabody and AFI kudos, among others.
“We are going to have to earn it. I am certain because I’ve seen some scripts, Jennie and the whole team is out there to earn the nomination next year from the Academy, and they deserved it this year.”
Following the cue of FX’s John Landgraf and more network execs commenting on the notion of “too much TV” this press tour, Pedowitz commented, “It’s a tough world out there. I think we have done a terrific job these past few years as we’ve shifted our perception, and people will come watch our shows.”
With more and more original programming at the CW, is the network considering putting another night on their schedule or expanding into the 10:00 p.m. time slot?
“It’s not that easy to do,” Pedowitz told reporters in the scrum, after his solo session. “It takes a lot of time…We have had preliminary discussions whether or not to go for another night, but again, very preliminary.”
As for the CW’s future, he said that he’s content with the current strategy. “We started a few years back to broaden our audience, find shows with adult appeal and bring back men to the CW. The 2014-15 season has been pivotal. He added, “Another hit would be great. Where it comes from, I don’t know.”
Other tidbits from Pedowitz’s CW exec session:
- Nina Dobrev is welcome to return to “The Vampire Diaries” any time she wants to come back. “We would have loved Nina to stay. She did a great job the six years she was on,” he said. “As you know, her character is sound asleep at the moment.”
- Britney Spears is set to guest-star on Season 2 of “Jane the Virgin.” Pedowitz explained, “Jennie and the studio went after Britney after they heard this was one of her favorite shows.”
- “The Notebook” is in development at the CW, and while the central couple Allie and Noah will be the focus, it’s undecided if the elderly couple from the novel and film will be featured. “At this point, the pilot is not done. I don’t believe we are going to see the older couple or what they come. But things change and we are in the beginning of the development stage,” he said, adding, “It will make a lot of noise, I hope, for our viewers and something that people will want to sample.”
- The “Little Women” reboot is still in the development. Reporters pressed for details on what has been described as a dystopian take on the classic novel. “If you remember when it got announced that we were doing ‘Jane the Virgin,’ people said, ‘what the Hell?!’ It’s an attempt to do something different…you’ve to take shots. We’ll see what happens when the script comes in,” he said.
- “Beauty in the Beast” is in good shape, and Pedowitz says he “truly likes it as a summer show.” He’s very pleased with Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk’s performances and their character’s relationship in the series.
- “Supernatural” may very well go on for years to come. “If the numbers hold, the guys want to do it, we’re in,” Pedowitz said of future seasons. “They’ve done a terrific job and I’m very excited about the guys wanting to keep doing it. They bring fresh enthusiasm each week.”
- A “Supernatural” spinoff is still a possibility, as Pedowitz told reporters he’s still open to the idea, though it’s not happening any time soon.
- Constantine will be featured in “Arrow’s” upcoming season for one episode with actor Matt Ryan reprising his role, after his standalone series was cancelled at NBC. “The series is no longer on the air and luckily, one of our parents companies Warner Bros. is the production company on ‘Arrow,'” Pedowitz explained. “It’s a great one-shot episode.