The CW – Pilots and Cancellations for 2012-2013

I promised I’d continue the discussion on TV show pilots in the future, and now, a month later, I’m finally getting to it. But what a difference a month can make! Many of these pilots have now signed major cast, so we can get a far better idea of what the show will be like.

And for every show a network picks up, another must depart, so we’ll be looking at which shows aren’t likely to get another season. Since scripted shows are this site’s focus, I’ll ignore any changes to unscripted shows and assume they’ll have the same amount of hours next year.

To make things a little easier as I get started, I’m beginning with the lowest-rated broadcast network with limited hours, the CW.

For 2011-2012, the CW has nine regular-season scripted shows, all hour-long dramas. Three are freshmen (Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart of Dixie), and one is in its final season (One Tree Hill). Ringer is heading for cancellation, and Hart of Dixie isn’t far behind. Sophomore Nikita isn’t much better, but being on a Friday may give the show some leeway, and Gossip Girl hasn’t left the danger zone.

That means there will be 3-4 (or even 5 if the network wants to make drastic changes to improve in the demo) slots open for new shows next season. The CW has ordered 8 pilots, and most look like strong contenders.


A modern retelling of DC Comic’s Green Arrow, this show has a strong cast and good buzz (especially for a superhero that looks like a caricatured Robin Hood). Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen, with Susanna Thompson (Kings) and Willa Holland as his mother and sister, Katie Cassidy and Paul Blackthorne as his love interest and her father, and Colin Donnell (Pan Am) as his best friend. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a dearth of superhero shows, which may give Arrow an extra edge to make it to series. And having a Warehouse 13 vet helping helm the show should only help.

Beauty and the Beast

A pretty odd choice for a remake show, but since it’s only “loosely based” on the 1980s procedural and stars Kristin Kreuk and Austin Basis, the show may do okay. Since Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, I’m going to at least check this out if it makes it to series. Fairy tales are in right now, but I have no clue what direction this show plans to take.

The Carrie Diaries

I had no interest in this show whatsoever until I heard it cast AnnaSophia Robb, whose acting I’ve loved since Bridge to Terebithia. I still don’t think I’ll watch. Sex and the City plus the 1980s? Ugh. And even if it does make it to series based off the other show’s (and movies’) popularity, the demographic that would likely watch it aren’t going to be very familiar with a show that aired a decade ago.


Mysterious disappearances surrounding a cult TV show? Sorry, but I need more than a minor character from Veronica Mars (Alona Tal) showing up to perk my interest.

First Cut

Medical shows don’t really interest me, and I’m not familiar with Justin Hartley (the CW show Smallville’s Green Arrow) or Mamie Gummer. Michael Rady I know as Kostas on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I don’t even remember Kelly McCreary’s brief appearances on White Collar. Working at a hospital being like high school all over again could work, but I fear the concept would either disappear or be overplayed.

Joey Dakota

Romantic time-travel musical sounds a bit far-fetched, and the name of the show sounds like a cross between the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. I’m not familiar with Amber Stevens or Leah Renee, the only cast announcements made so far. I’ll check it out for the novelty if it makes it to series, but I think it’s unlikely.

The Selection

“An epic romance set 300 years in the future which centers on a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.” That was intriguing enough. Then I found out it was being headed up by Angel and Dollhouse scribes Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. I’m not familiar with leads Aimee Teegarden or Ethan Peck, and I’ve only seen Sean Patrick Thomas in a few episodes of Ringer. Still, I’m definitely rooting for this one, even though many are claiming it sounds too similar to The Hunger Games.


The Help. New England resort. J.J. Abrams. That’s pretty much all that’s known about this show so far.


If I had my choice on which pilots make it to series, I’d pick The Selection, Arrow, and Beauty and the Beast (in that order). Based on buzz and cast, I’m guessing First Cut and The Carrie Diaries are more likely to be picked up than the remaining Cult, Joey Dakota, and Shelter.

What shows do you think the CW should pick up, and which shows should it cancel?

Update: cancellation and pickup verdicts for the CW here!

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6 thoughts on “The CW – Pilots and Cancellations for 2012-2013”

  1. Mondays:
    08:00 – The Carrie Diaries, Gossip Girl (13 episodes finals)
    9:00 – Hart of Dixie

    08:00 – First Cut (fall season), 90,210 (13 episodes finals)
    09:00 – Beauty and the Beast

    8:00-Arrow (fall season),
    9:00 – Shelter (Fall Season) Reality Show (mid season)

    08:00 – The Vampire Diaries
    09:00 – Cult (Fall Season), The Selection (Mid Season)

    08:00 – The Secret Circle (fall season), Nikita (mid season)
    09:00 – Supernatural

    I think it would be a smart grid, cancel Ringer, Gossip Girl and 90210 a final season of 13 episodes.

    1. I agree that both Gossip Girl and 90210 need to be given final season orders of 13 eps each.

      This is how I would do the lineup:

      First Cut

      Beauty and the Beast / 90210 (Midseason, Final Season)
      The Secret Circle

      The Carrie Diaries / Gossip Girl (Midseason, Final Season)
      America’s Next Top Model

      The Vampire Diaries
      The Selection


  2. The Carrie Diaries? Seriously? Carrie plus her teenage years plus the 80s sounds unwatchable. Sex and the City’s audience (which includes me) would not be similar to Carrie Diaries and your right, the audience it will have is too young to know about Sex and the City. Also, it sounds too similar to 90210 and Gossip Girl.

    Arrow sounds awesome. Although, I am afraid that choosing Green Arrow as a superhero was a bad choice. Whenever, I think of Green Arrow and the CW, I think of Smallville and that show is impossible to top. However, like you said there is a demand for superheroes.

    First Cut? I can’t imagine a medical drama on the CW. Talk about mismatched. I know that Rachel Bilson is a doctor on Hart od Dixie, but it doesn’t contain much medical mumbo-jumbo. It is mostly centered around love triangles.

    As for the Selection, sounds too furturistic and sci-fi for the CW. Although, the sound of it is appealing. Its likeness to The Hunger Games might actually help it in ratings and it would be a nice pair with Vampire Diaries. It does sound more appealing than The Secret Circle, which did not do well in the thursday timeslot.

    And finally Beauty in the Beast… which I am a little biased towards. I didn’t like Kristen Kreuk in Smallville and was glad when she left. Plus, this drama sounds like it is trying to infringe on ABC’s Once Upon A Time. But I am open to the idea.

    My idea on this is a trade for a trade. As I mention replace The Secret Circle with The Selection and keep it paired with Vampire Diaries. Replace Nikita’s badass self with Arrow and move it to Tuesdays with Supernatural or keep it on fridays. I have a feeling Ringer might not get the boot, and if it doesn’t pair it with Gossip Girl or America’s Next Top Model on Monday or Wednsdays.

  3. I would like to see Hart of Dixie as it is the one show that I watch on the CW. If the CW wants to get more audience for Hart of Dixie maybe they should change the day of the week it is seen on. I do like the NCIS tv shows as well as all the CSI tv shows as well.

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