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The CW is opening up a seventh night of programming in the fall, but don’t expect to see any high-profile scripted series on Saturdays.
The network, which made the surprise move to expand its primetime slate to Saturdays in 2021-22, will air a pair of reliable unscripted shows on the relatively low-traffic night: Whose Line Is It Anyway? and World’s Funniest Animals. Each will have two half-hour installments. Both weekend nights, in fact, are devoted to unscripted series, with an update of beloved Nickelodeon competition Legends of the Hidden Temple and an American version of the horror-themed British show Killer Camp filling Sundays.
Of the addition of Saturdays, The CW chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz said, “We’d have liked to have done it earlier, but were able to get it accomplished in the past few months. We felt like it’s an opportunity here to increase our linear reach and also give us more programming,” which in turn feeds the network’s digital platforms.
The switch to unscripted on Sundays moves Batwoman to a new slot on Wednesdays, where it will pair with Legends of Tomorrow in an all-DC block. Previous Wednesday anchor Riverdale, in turn, moves to Tuesdays behind The Flash, while Nancy Drew will air at 9 p.m. Friday.
Thursday, in fact, is the only night that’s untouched, with the combination of Walker and Legacies carrying through from the second half of this season.
The Flash and Riverdale will have “eventized” five-week runs in the fall, with both shows likely to debut in November — about a month after other parts of the network’s schedule premiere.
Those later starts, and to some degree the network’s decision to offer an unscripted lineup on Sundays, are due in large part to the fact that production schedules that were upended by the coronavirus pandemic still haven’t fully normalized. Riverdale, for instance, won’t wrap filming on its current season until late June or July and will return to production in early September, making an early October debut all but impossible.
Pedowitz said he doesn’t expect production to return fully to its pre-pandemic rhythms until mid-2022.
The network has one other new show on its schedule for the fall: 4400, a reboot of USA Network’s 2004-07 series The 4400, about a group of alien abductees who are suddenly returned to Earth, not having aged at all since they disappeared. It’s set for Mondays following season four of All American.
The CW’s other new scripted shows, spinoff All American: Homecoming and DC Comics drama Naomi (the latter executive produced by Ava DuVernay) will debut in the second half of the season. The network also has a big roster of veteran shows for midseason in Charmed, Dynasty, In the Dark, Kung Fu, Roswell, New Mexico, Stargirl and Superman & Lois. Nancy Drew spinoff Tom Swift and Powerpuff, a grown-up, live-action take on The Powerpuff Girls, are also still being considered for series orders.
The network is also airing a holiday movie based on the 1970s series The Waltons in the fourth quarter. Should it pop with viewers, Pedowitz said the network would consider turning it into a series.
The network will also have “full stack” streaming rights to a majority of its shows for its free, ad-supported platforms in the coming season. Users will be able to see every episode of scripted shows 4400, All American: Homecoming, Batwoman, Kung Fu, Naomi, Nancy Drew, Stargirl, Superman & Lois and Walker and unscripted series Killer Camp, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Whose Line and World’s Funniest Animals the day after they debut on air.
|8 p.m.||8:30 p.m.||9 p.m.||9:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday||Legends of Tomorrow||Batwoman|
|Friday||Penn & Teller: Fool Us||Nancy Drew|
|Saturday||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||World’s Funniest Animals||World’s Funniest Animals|
|Sunday||Legends of the
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