2007-08 drama pilots: the CW


The young-adult demo always was top of mind for the CW drama development executives this year -- even if it meant passing on some appealing projects.

"We had to eliminate certain projects that were not right for us but would have been great for other broadcast networks that go after 18-49," says Thom Sherman, executive vp drama development at the CW, which targets adults 18-34. "We were always cognizant of the demo."

But what the network was able to secure in its first full development season, Sherman says, was a strong roster of talent, including "high-quality writers" and "young, fresh voices." Among the five projects on the slate -- one more than last year -- are "Gossip Girl," from "The O.C.'s" Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, about a secretive tell-all blogger, and untitled Tom Wheeler, described as being in the spirit of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Animal House."

This season, the CW struck out with its first new drama offering, the short-lived "Runaway." (Its second new drama, "Hidden Palms," premieres this year.) But Sherman, who joined the network in June, says the projects on the slate for 2007-08 were selected because they will draw the attention of the network's target viewership.

"All of these projects have something conceptual that we can really promote: They will be noisy," he says.

Gossip Girl
Production Co.: Warner Bros. TV/Alloy
Production Team: Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein
Based on the best-selling book series about the lives of rich youngsters and their parents in New York City

Gravity (presentation)
Production Co.: CBS Paramount Network TV/DreamWorks TV
Production Team: Caleb Kane, Charles Segars, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey
Follows in cinema verite style a sexy ensemble of rookie cops and their training officers in Los Angeles beginning with the rookies' first day

Production Co.: Touchstone TV/Mark Gordon Co.
Production Team: Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Mark Gordon, Deborah Spera
Comedic drama about a 21-year-old slacker who becomes the devil's bounty hunter, retrieving souls escaped from hell

Untitled South Africa
Production Co.: CBS Paramount Network TV/Company Pictures
Production Team: Michael Rauch, Charlie Pattinson, George Faber
New York veterinarian moves his second wife and their two sets of children to a South African game reserve run by his father-in-law. Based on the ITV series "Wild at Heart"

Untitled Tom Wheeler (presentation)
Production Co.: Warner Bros. TV/Class IV
Production Team: Tom Wheeler, Steve Pearlman, Andrew Plotkin
Comedic drama about two cheeky graduate students who use their skills to help solve crimes