Q&A: Dawn Ostroff
President, CW Entertainment
Dawn Ostroff: To build the network. We're defining the network as a destination for women 18-to-34 and we're trying to extend that brand and extend the schedule flow. We'll have some holes and we want to make sure the programming we put in there will help solidify the flow of the network.
THR: How many new dramas for fall?
Ostroff: Too soon to tell. Could be two, could be three.
THR: Are you going to give Sunday back to affiliates?
THR: A firm no.
THR: So what are you thinking about in terms of programming for Sunday?
Ostroff: We still have plenty of time to schedule the network, so it would be premature to say, but I can tell you the movies are doing pretty well for us.
THR: Is there a danger in having too many teen soaps?
Ostroff: When you look at "90210" and "One Tree Hill," even though "90210" is about teens, it skews older in terms of viewers, and "One Tree Hill" is not a show about high schoolers anymore: It's about young adults. Certainly, when you look at "Melrose Place," it's not a show about high schoolers.
THR: Well, young adult soaps.
Ostroff: There are very few shows on the air right now that are truly close-ended; most are open and ongoing. Even procedurals have gotten a little soapier. Each of the shows we have has a different flavor. "Vampire Diaries" is different from anything else. It's more like "Twilight" or a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Each episode has a beginning, middle and end. "Body Politic" will have a story in each episode. The "Gossip Girl" spinoff will be set in the 1980s and feel like a whole different time.
THR: "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game" are not doing very well. Is this the end of half-hour comedies on the CW?
Ostroff: We're going to look at it, but until the pilots are done it's too early to say.
THR: You've changed showrunners on "90210." What would you like to see different about the show next year?
Ostroff: Rebecca (Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair) came on in the middle of the season and took over a lot of the writing responsibilities and did a phenomenal job at getting the show at a place where the storylines have interesting twists and turns. She's done an interesting job at making the show contemporary, and we're hearing from people that just started watching "90210" and have really gotten into it.
THR: You've gone lights out the past two summers, so how will you keep viewers tuned in this time?
Ostroff: We've got a few reality shows that we very well may be airing in the summer. There's "Hitched or Ditched" and there's another show we've been developing.
THR: "Privileged" pulled a pretty modest number. You've seen its whole season at this point. Does it have any hope?
Ostroff: We've been very pleased because when you look at our numbers, we look at buzz factor and so many indicators that (suggest) there's a lot of bubbling going on. "Gossip Girl" was not unlike that the first year. There were all these ways people were taking about the show that weren't in the numbers. "Privileged" is similar. It's getting a huge amount of streams online, it's our third most-streamed show. We believe in the show creatively, we've seen some good ideas for a sophomore year, and that's what we'll weigh against our new pilots.
THR: Will you launch fall early again this year?
Ostroff: We will probably come out early again.
Back to pilots package