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With two days left before its upfront presentation, the CW has begun rolling out its series orders for the upcoming season.
Here’s what’s in, out, canceled and renewed at the CW.
The Secret Circle??
The drama, which is based on a three-book series from The Vampire Diaries author L.J. Smith, centers on a young woman (Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson) who moves to a new town only to discover that she’s not only a witch but also the key to unlocking a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil. Like the CW’s Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, Circle is an Alloy production written and executive produced by Vampire Diaries co-creator Kevin Williamson along with Andrew Miller. Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo also serve as executive producers, with director Liz Freidlander attached to the pilot. The combo of Williamson and another Smith property made a project that was already garnering high marks a must-have, say sources.
Hart of Dixie
The doctor drama centers on a young New York doctor (The O.C.’s Rachel Bilson) after she inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by eccentrics. The project comes from Fake Empire’s Josh Schwartz (O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck), Stephanie Savage (OC, Gossip Girl) and Len Goldstein. Frequent collaborators Leila Gerstein (OC, Gossip Girl) will write and executive produce with fellow executive producer Jason Ensler (Chuck, Gossip Girl) who directed the pilot. After garnering criticism for its heavily serialized, homogenous slate of upper-class-set series, Dixie is something of a shift. Working in the project’s favor: the brand equity of its producers, its non tony neighborhood setting and its potential repeatabilty. Schwartz tweeted the following Tuesday afternoon: “Hart of Dixie hopefully has an old school WB flave – Felicity, Everwood, Gilmore.”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Sarah Michelle Gellar is making her return to TV, just not on CBS as many had expected. Instead, the CW has ordered to series a drama about a woman on the run from the mob who hides out by inhabiting the life of her twin sister — until she learns that her twin’s life has a bounty on it as well. Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) and Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected) co-star in the drama from ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios. Its production team includes still more CW vets, Supernatural writers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder as well as Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?), Pam Veasey (CSI: NY) and Richard Shepard (Ugly Betty), who directed the pilot. Given the project’s younger-skewing, serialized tone, it is a better fit for the CW, several insiders agreed.
A reality series hosted by Mario Lopez in which celebrities go head-to-head with civilians who hate them in an attempt to win their “haters” over. From Horizon Alternative Television with executive producers Lisa Gregorisch (Extra), Jeremy Spiegel (Extra) and Lopez.
A reality show in which 10 teams of two each live in a single room — one Frame — for up to eight weeks under 24/7 surveillance. The teams in the biweekly show will face challenges, competitions and eliminations all while isolated from the outside world with viewers voting on who stays and who goes home. From Shed Media and Armoza International, Bethenny Ever After’s Nick Emmerson and Jen O’Connell will executive produce.
Modeling industry veteran Paul Fisher forms The Network, a group comprised of hundreds of small agencies from around the world, in an effort to both protect small-town agents and empower models to take control of their careers and lead healthier lives. From Fly on the Wall Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television, Plane Jane’s Allison Grodner, Rich Meehan and Amy Palmer will executive produce the reality series.
The drama starred Lucy Griffiths and Meredith Hagner as sisters coming of age amid a zombie uprising was from Warner Bros. TV and was written by William Laurin & Glenn Davis (The Listener).
Cooper and Stone
The drama about two female homicide detectives (Alex Breckenridge and Vanessa Ferlito) was from CBS Television Studios and Laurie Arent (Life).
Amanda Walsh starred as a law school grad who can’t find a job and opts to open her own law firm — in a kiosk at the mall. From CBS Television Studios, Jennie Snyder (90210) penned the pilot.
Hellcats, which centered on a college cheer squad, lacked the ratings or buzz necessary to get a second chance. It has averaged less than 2 million viewers this season, according to Nielsen.
While Nikita has not been the ratings slam-dunk the network had hoped it would be, it remains a solid performer for the younger-skewing net. What’s more, the spy-drama’s well-received series star, Maggie Q, offers significant international appeal. The drama, co-starring Shane West, averaged about 2.5 million viewers this season, according to Nielsen. The show’s season finale aired Thursday.
One Tree Hill
A carry-over from the now-defunct WB Network, the drama has added and shed many of its characters over the course of its near decadelong run. Playing to its advantage in recent years is a built-in name and track record, both important on a network that’s struggled to draw viewers. The female-skewing serial hails from Warner Bros. TV and creator Mark Schwahn. One well-placed source says it will likely return for midseason.The CW is scheduled to unveil its complete slate to Madison Avenue buyers on Thursday in New York.
Email tips to Lacey.Rose@THR.com.
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