May 19, 2011

THE SKED: 1st Pre-Look At The CW’s New Dramas

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Written by: Mitch Salem

>DISCLAIMER: These initial impressions are based on the clips (usually 3-5 minutes) released by the networks to use in their Upfront presentations and for promos.  They’re chosen to sell the show, not to accurately represent it.  So take the reactions below with a large satchel of salt–we may well feel differently about these shows once we see the full pilots.  That being said, it’s also true that these clips are carefully selected to give the best impression possible of a show–if it still doesn’t look great, that may not bode well.

Clips are available, among other places, at  

RINGER (Tuesday 9PM):  Considering that there’s talk of a rebooted Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (wthout Joss Whedon), it’s not clear that the target audience at The CW will really feel much nostalgia about Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to her WB/UPN roots.  Also, Ringer was actually developed for The CW’s sister network CBS, and at first glance, it’s a somewhat odd fit for The CW–and particularly with its lead-in 90210.  The premise has Gellar, in some kind of desperate trouble, substituting herself for her identical twin sister who’s disappeared, only to find out her sister’s life is just as dangerous as hers.  It feels rather glum by The CW’s standards, and older-skewing than their usual fare, but probably the show will be somewhat redeveloped (the pilot’s writers are Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder of Supernatural) now that it’s headed for a new network.

THE SECRET CIRCLE (Thursday 9PM): This one couldn’t be a more prototypical CW project:  teen witches, based on a novels by L.J. Smith and written/produced by Kevin Williamson, both of the network’s runaway hit Vampire Diaries (and not so coincidentally scheduled immediately after Vampire on Thursdays).  As of this writing, the only live clip on The CW’s website is a 30-second promo, so too soon to say much about the content–we’ll update as more material is made available–but it would be a surprise if the show departed much from its successful template.

HART OF DIXIE (Monday 9PM):  Think of it as Southern Exposure, or a younger version of ABC’s new Good Christian Belles.  Rachel Bilson of The OC (produced by Josh Schwartz, who again not so coincidentally also produces Gossip Girl, Dixie‘s lead-in) plays a NY doctor who finds herself practicing medicine in a small southern town where the natives are colorful and unwelcoming.  Bilson was one of the best features of OC even when that show started to slide, and on the basis of the clips, she’ll be doing her spunky, charming thing here, this time while curing patients. 

Thoughts on The CW Schedule (and Our Predictions)


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."