Variety’s TV team brings you all the news and dish from TV’s biggest week of the year.
The weeklong marathon of upfronts came to a close on Thursday — earlier in the day than usual this year. Thanks to the mega-presentation that NBCUniversal held on Monday, the usual Thursday afternoon trek to the Javits Center for NBC’s cable portion was eliminated, leaving the day solely to the CW. The morning kicked off with the genetically blessed carpet, followed by the CW’s presentation, bringing an end to the jam-packed four-day marathon.
Stay in-the-know with our daily Upfronts Diary, and keep refreshing the page for new updates throughout the day and night.
CW red carpet, London Hotel, Thursday morning
The big news on the CW carpet was that “Supergirl” is moving from CBS to the younger-skewing network, and star Melissa Benoist was gleeful to be with her new family, who all talked about upcoming DC Comics crossover episodes.
One of the CW’s new shows is “Frequency,” a television reboot of the film that starred Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. So, on Thursday morning, Variety asked red carpet walkers what TV show or movie they do not want to see rebooted…
- “Titanic” — Peyton List, “Frequency”
- “Mrs. Doubtfire” — Phoebe Tonkin, “The Originals”
- “‘Back to the Future.’ I don’t want to see that re-done.” — Grant Gustin, “The Flash”
- “Do not ever touch the ‘Super Mario Bros.’ movie!” — Benoist
List also admitted that she had not seen the original film, before auditioning for the CW show. “It was a good movie,” she said. “I don’t know how I didn’t see it. I blame my parents!”
New Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom revealed that season two of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” will have a new theme song. Teasing the new season’s storyline, Bloom spoke about her character, saying, “Rebecca went from lying to herself to now fully being in love with Josh so that’s a really big change.”
Joshua Sasse, who was sporting a very hipster stache, walked the carpet with his “No Tomorrow” co-star Tori Anderson, before the duo’s new comedy trailer got a loud round of applause at the upfront. Most recently, Sasse starred on ABC’s musical “Galavant,” which was cancelled after two seasons. “I’m always happy to do something new,” Sasse said about moving onto another series. “I think it’s never a good thing for an artist to do the same thing over and over, so I’m happy to do something new and I feel very blessed.”
Teasing “No Tomorrow,” which is now CW’s third hourlong comedy, Sasse said: “It’s for someone who’s into the big romantic comedy, but I think it’s a really nice bridge because the premise of the show is that he thinks an asteroid is coming to Earth so there’s a kind of sci-fi element to it. It’s kind of adventurous as well. It’s going to fit in perfectly in between the CW’s two genres,” referring to the superhero slate.
Though their show doesn’t premiere until midseason, the “Riverdale” cast is ready to step into CW super-fandom. KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes and Cole Sprouse were all in high spirits when they spoke to Variety together, and most of the group admitted that they hadn’t read or even heard of the Archie Comics before auditioning for the Greg Berlanti-produced series.
“I just thought it was like a made up thing. I didn’t even know Archie was a name that you could have,” Apa, who plays the titular star, said, cracking up his co-stars. “I told my dad and he told me about it — he read the comics so he filled me in.”
“Riverdale” marks Sprouse’s return to acting after a five-year break. The former Disney star who headlined “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” with his twin brother, Dylan Sprouse, said that there’s always a possibility his sibling could make a guest appearance on the CW show. “If I need a stunt double — and an intern,” he said with a laugh.
CW upfront presentation, New York City Center, Thursday morning
Fitz and the Tantrums opened up the CW’s upfront presentation, which annually brings on a musical act to kick off the breezy hour.
The network flaunted its back-to-back Golden Globe winners Gina Rodriguez and Bloom. The “Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” stars took the stage together for a funny skit in which they played their TV parts and played a game of never-have-I-ever. Still in her comic tone, Bloom took a more serious turn when she touted CW for its impressive slate of female showrunners. “Surprising considering we’re half the world,” she said sarcastically. “I don’t know why it’s taken this long because we’re like 51% of the Earth.”
CW president Mark Pedowtiz introduced many of his network’s superheroes. When they all stepped out on stage, “The Flash” star Gustin uttered, “I feel like someone’s missing” — and then “Supergirl’s” heroine Benoist walked out on stage. Speaking of the newest superhero addition, Pedowitz firmly said “it belongs here.”
The first trailer for “Riverdale” was shown during the upfront and audience members were surprised to watch a much darker take on the brightly colored comics than they were expecting.