CW sings familiar song at TCA

Ostroff touts built-in fan base of sequels, remakes

CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff has left the door open for more remakes and spinoffs while confirming that the planned "Gossip Girl" spinoff is not moving forward.

"There are other shows we're looking at," Ostroff said Tuesday when asked after her TCA press tour executive session about the possibility of yet even more remakes such as "90210" and "Melrose Place" coming to the network. "When you do a remake, you have built-in fan base, and that's a huge advantage for us."

But a "Gossip Girl" spinoff set in the 1980s that was backdoor-piloted in a regular "Gossip" episode is "not likely" to ever get an order.

"It was really a Sophie's choice," Ostoff said of trying to choose projects for next season with only 10 hours to fill.

The CW again emphasized its buzz-heavy shows ("people are tweeting about the CW once per minute") and its brand that's targeted to young women. Regarding ratings performance, Ostroff singled out Monday and Tuesday nights, which improved last season though the network declined overall.

"Social networks are the modern-day watercoolers," Ostroff said. "In three short years, we have carved out a niche in the marketplace programming to young women, and we feel that this network is starting to resonate across all platforms. We're looking to build on the momentum and make our schedule more cohesive."

In programming news, Ostroff said the upcoming revival of "Melrose Place" could have a crossover with "90210."

"Technically, we could do that because both shows are shot in L.A.," she said. "So I think down the road, after 'Melrose' gets up and running, it would be something we would explore. It would be a big event for us."

Ostroff also said that "90210" would introduce an overweight character, a relative rarity on the network.

Regarding "Smallville," which is moving to Fridays, Ostroff expressed hope that the show will continue beyond this season. "The producers have done a great job coming up with great story lines this year," she said. "I think the show has a lot of life left in it."

Asked whether the CW would purchase a comedy again, however, and Ostoff seemed doubtful.

"I just don't know if we can do sitcoms that are loud enough and noisy enough," Ostroff said. "It's been harder for us to find that kind of a show in programming to just young women. We're open to doing it; it's just harder to develop."

During the CW's panels, one notable absence was Mischa Barton from the "Beautiful Life" session. Exec producer Ashton Kutcher said the recently troubled actress was at work on the set.

"The wonderful thing about having her in the cast is that she's done it before," Kutcher said. "In 'The O.C.,' she was one of the leads in this big soap opera drama; her guidance is (helpful) for the rest of the cast. ... She's very prominent, she's one of our lead players."

Added Ostroff: "She started work; there's no issues. We're happy that she's better. What went on in her personal life is a personal matter."
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