I’ve been browsing through pilot options for next fall lately, especially as some exciting cast announcements have been made. A bunch of TV ratings geeks often come up with possible schedules for the coming year, so I thought I’d try my hand at one of my own!
Since the CW has only 10 hours of primetime TV to schedule and 6 pilots in contention, I’m starting with them! I’m basing this off the TVLine pilot list and renewal predictions from TV By the Numbers.
Out of the CW’s 6 pilots, The Flash, Supernatural: Bloodlines, and iZombie seem like the strongest options. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other 3 is picked up for midseason, but two of them (Identity and Jane the Virgin) sound soapy and convoluted, and the third (The Messengers) sounds like a Heroes clone (including the Apocalypse adds a bit of a Sleepy Hollow vibe, but I doubt it could improve on the awesomeness that is Sleepy Hollow).
Supernatural, Arrow, Reign, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals have all been renewed, and it is likely Hart of Dixie will be as well, as a 4th season is needed for syndication. There may be one more renewal for under-performing The Tomorrow People, low-rated Star-Crossed (I know it’s a long shot, but I adore this show!), or yet-to-premiere The 100.
Last fall, after a special premiere after The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, The Originals moved to its own time slot as an anchor for Tuesday night. New shows tend to do better following established shows for their first year or so, but The Originals has done well at 8PM. One of the reasons I believe this occurred is due to 4 of the main characters being already well-established on The Vampire Diaries. A lot of spin-offs in TV today are set in the same world as the original show and are introduced in an episode or two, but it’s rare for so many main and reoccurring cast members to move to a new show.
As far as I can tell, The Flash and Supernatural: Bloodlines won’t have that advantage, so I believe they will do best airing after their respective original shows. The Originals has already shown it can anchor a night, so I would move it to the troublesome Mondays, to avoid having to launch a new show on that night. I think Reign would be well-suited to follow The Originals – the frequent historical flashbacks in the vampire show would make it the best match to the network’s only historical drama.
For the plum post-Vampire Diaries spot on Thursdays, I’d put iZombie. Both contemporary shows with supernatural creatures masquerading as humans, I hope Rob Thomas’s input will be able to keep up with Damon’s snark, and there’s the David Anders connection. I can also see iZombie as a special 13-episode season (like Sleepy Hollow), followed by a midseason new or sophomore show taking its place.
Just-needs-one-more-season Hart of Dixie can eek out its final run on Fridays, paired with the mercy-renewal/unscripted TV/midseason downgrade/so-so pilot of the network’s choosing.
To recap, how I think the CW should schedule 2014-2015:
Monday: The Originals/Reign
Tuesday: Supernatural/Supernatural: Bloodlines
Wednesday: Arrow/The Flash
Thursday: The Vampire Diaries/iZombie
Friday: Hart of Dixie/???
This schedule would also be gentle with the network’s 4 top-rated shows: 2 would stay in their original spots, one would move an hour earlier, and one would air at the same time a day earlier.
How would you schedule the CW? Which shows do you want to see renewed and which pilots would you want to be picked up?