May 19, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem


NEW SHOWS in BOLD.  New Time Periods in Italics.

WHAT WE LIKE:  A lot of new shows (four new shows on a five-night network).  CW is playing like the clock is running out and trying to make something happen.  Four of five nights feature a new series, with three of the new shows (all scripted) provided a solid (for The CW) lead-in.  Gossip Girl leads into Hart of Dixie (starring Rachel Bilson as a young New York doctor in Alabama), 90210 leads into Ringer (Sarah Michelle Gellar as a murder witness on the run who adopts the identity of her missing twin sister), and Vampire Diaries leads into Secret Circle (no stars but a Kevin Williamson drama about teen witches right in CW’s wheelhouse). On paper all three new scripted shows look promising — Mitch Salem’s take on the clips and trailers is here.  

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE:  H8R.  The lone alternative show on the schedule about “celebrities” who try to win over their haters.  Oh, and it’s hosted by Mario Lopez.  Who will sample such a show?  and this is the only new show being asked to open without a lead-in.  America’s Next Top Model will do slightly better at viewer-rich 9 pm than at 8 pm (regardless of its lead-in), which is probably the more important consideration.  In all probability, anyway, ANTM repeats will be playing at 8 pm sooner rather than later.  Sorry to be such a hater. 
WHERE WE GOT IT RIGHT AND WRONG:  We had Hart of Dixie, Secret Circle and Awakening (teenage zombies) on the fall schedule.  (Ringer was actually developed for CBS, not CW, and since CBS is a co-owner with Warner Bros of CW, the show switched networks as an act of corporate synergy.)  We correctly predicted the Vampire Diaries / Secret Circle Thursday, but placed Hart of Dixie on Tuesday and Awakening on Friday.   But CW’s decision to put all returning shows on Friday (and putting the new shows on Monday-Thursday) makes more sense.  We used America’s Next Top Model to lead into Nikita to take it to the next level, although the concept of an all-reality Wednesday would be a good decision with the right show at 8 pm.



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."