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CW Chief Looks to Lure Women Viewers Back With ‘Dynasty,’ ‘Riverdale’

When Mark Pedowitz joined the CW as president in 2011, he set about drawing more male viewers to the female-skewing broadcaster — and found success with superhero action series such as “The Flash” and “Arrow.” Now, with its upcoming “Dynasty” reboot and the launch last season of Archie Comics-inspired soap “Riverdale,” the network is looking to reinforce its hold on female viewers.

Pedowitz was “not going to say no” to the pitch for a “Dynasty” reboot from Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Sallie Patrick, he said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour, especially with two long-running female-skewing dramas set to end after the coming season.

“We’re losing ‘Vampire Diaries,’ we’re losing ‘Reign,'” Pedowitz said. “We want to keep more women watching us. ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Riverdale’ does that.”

Speaking to reporters after his executive session, Pedowitz elaborated on his efforts to keep the network’s audience balanced.

“When I got here, we were 70% female to 30% male,” he said. “We’re now 50-50.” He added, “I think the better mix is 55-45, female to male. So we’re trying to bring more women back to us.”

Pedowitz also has high hopes for another new series, military drama “Valor.”

“‘Valor’ is expanding the CW brand,” Pedowitz said. “It will be military, which is something I’ve wanted to do for the last six years. This is our third attempt to do it. We believe we have the right mix now.”

The executive called back to his time heading ABC Studios, where he developed “Army Wives.”

“I found that when I was at ABC Studios doing Army Wives, there was a real need — there were people who wanted to see this kind of show,” Pedowitz said. He added, “In a very fractionalized environment, most people support the military.”

Pedowitz also addressed the network’s relationship with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is set to become the network’s largest affiliate group should its proposed acquisition of Tribune Media be approved by regulators.

“In the six years I’ve done this job, they’ve been great partners,” Pedowitz said. “With the exception of some local sports situations they’ve really not preempted us. They’ve been cooperative, collaborative. They’ve gone out of their way and helped market on a local basis our series. So I expect that to continue.”

The network chief also hinted at an expansion in the amount of original programming on the network in the near future.

“Our goal is to be a year-round programmer,” Pedowitz said. He added, “The board is becoming more and more supportive to do more.”

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