2012 Upfronts: The CW orders 5 new series for next season

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on May 17th, 2012

You can’t call it the Upfronts without including the network-that-could The CW. With their flagship series Gossip Girl fading away next season, The CW is prepared to reinvigorate its schedule with a grand total of five new series for the 2012-13 TV season. The three shows premiering this fall are medical drama Emily Owens, M.D., DC Comics adaptation Arrow, and a modern twist on Beauty and the Beast. Entering midseason is a Sex in the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries and investigative thriller CultJump after the break to get more information about all of the new shows including synopses, cast and creator/executive producer listings, and clips.

CW president Mark Pedowitz kicked off the presentation by stating that “This is a transformative year for the CW with bigger and bolder programming.” He shared high praise for Emily Owens, M.D. which stars Meryl Streep’s daughter Mamie Gummer. He also addressed the Ringer cancellation and plans for Gossip Girl. “I don’t think anything went wrong with Ringer,” he said. “I was happy it’s there…The show was well-crafted, well-produced, well-written, but it was a complicated serialized show. After it finished a run in the fall and came back in January, the audience went somewhere else. And it just could not find the 18-34 demo that we hoped.” He promised that star Sarah Michelle Gellar “is coming back to this network as a producer or as an actress.” Phew. On Gossip Girl‘s sixth and final season, Pedowitz said it will likely contain 11 episodes and finish its run before the holiday season. Last, the CW prez let slip that the network will wait until October for the fall schedule to air to ensure “no traction” with the other broadcast nets who traditionally premiere their shows in late August/September.

DRAMA

Emily Owens, M.D.

Starring Mamie Gummer, Justin Hartley, Michael Rady, Aja Naomi King, Kelly McCreary, Necar Zadegan

From Jennie Snyder Urman, Dan Jinks, Bharat Nalluri

Airs Tuesdays 9PM

At long last, Emily Owens feels like she is an actual grown-up.  She can finally put her high school days as the geeky-girl-with-flop-sweats behind her; she’s graduated from medical school and is now a first-year intern at Denver Memorial Hospital, where she’ll have the chance to work with world-famous cardiologist Dr. Gina Beckett – and where, not-so-coincidentally, her med-school crush Will Rider is also an intern.  So why does everyone keep warning her that the hospital is just like high school?  Emily soon finds out the hard way – her high school nemesis, the gorgeous, popular Cassandra Kopelson, is also just starting out at Denver Memorial, and it seems like they’re rivals all over again – not only as surgical interns, but for Will’s attention.  Fellow intern Tyra Granger warns Emily that the cliques at Denver Memorial are all too familiar: the jocks have become orthopedic surgeons; the mean girls are in plastics; the rebels are in the ER, and Tyra has her own awkward place as the principal’s kid – her father is the chief resident.  Emily’s the new kid all over again, and it’s just as awkward as high school.  Only this time around, Emily will have to balance the personal and emotional turmoil of social politics with the high-stakes world of life-and-death medical decisions.   At least she has fellow intern Tyra and nerdy-but-cute resident Micah, to count on as friends.  Emily is growing to realize that although she may be a geek, she may also grow to be a great doctor, flop sweats and all.  The series stars Mamie Gummer as Emily, Justin Hartley as Will, Michael Rady as Micah, Aja Naomi King as Cassandra, Kelly McCreary as Tyra and Necar Zadegan as Gina.  EMILY OWENS, M.D. is from CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Jennie Snyder Urman (“90210,” “Lipstick Jungle”), Dan Jinks (“Pushing Daisies,” “Milk”) and Bharat Nalluri (“Tsunami”).  The pilot was directed by Bharat Nalluri.

Arrow

Starring Stephen Amell, Colin Donnell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Susanna Thompson, Paul Blackthorne (The River)

From Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, David Nutter, Melissa Kellner Berman

Airs Wednesdays 8PM

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific.  When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island.  While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was.  Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance.  As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory.  By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness.  However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city.  Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.  The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.  Based on characters appearing in comic books and graphic novels published by DC Comics, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Green Lantern,” “Brothers & Sisters”), Marc Guggenheim (“FlashForward,” “Eli Stone”), Andrew Kreisberg (“Warehouse 13,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and David Nutter (“Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Game of Thrones”).  Melissa Kellner Berman (“Eli Stone,” “Dirty Sexy Money”) is co-executive producer. The pilot was directed by David Nutter from a teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim, story by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim.

Beauty and the Beast

Starring Kristin Kreuk (Smallville), Jay Ryan, Max Brown, Nina Lisandrello, Nicole Gale Anderson, Austin Basis, Brian White

From Jennifer Levin, Sherri Cooper, Bill Haber,, Paul J. Witt, Tony Thomas, Ron Koslow, Gary Fleder

Airs Thursdays 9PM

Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective.  Several years earlier, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen.  Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her.  No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn’t an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human.  Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess.  While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002.  Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before.  For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses.  Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother’s murder.  Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.  The series stars Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville,” “Chuck”) as Catherine, Jay Ryan (“Terra Nova”) as Vincent, Max Brown (“The Tudors,” “MI-5”) as Evan, Nina Lisandrello (“Nurse Jackie”) as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson (“Make It or Break It”) as Heather, Austin Basis (“Life Unexpected”) as J.T., and Brian White (“The Shield,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as Joe.  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Jennifer Levin (“Without A Trace,” “Felicity”), Sherri Cooper (“Brothers and Sisters”), Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles,” “Thurgood”), Paul J. Witt (“A Better Life”) & Tony Thomas (“A Better Life”), Ron Koslow (“Moonlight”) and Gary Fleder (“Life Unexpected”).

The Carrie Diaries

Starring Anna Sophia Robb, Austin Butler, Ellen Wong, Katie Findlay, Stefania Owen, Brendan Dooling, Chloe Bridges, Freema Agyeman, Matt Letscher

From Amy B. Harris, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein, Candace Bushnell

Airs in January

It’s 1984, and life isn’t easy for 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw.  Since their mother passed away, Carrie’s younger sister Dorritt is more rebellious than ever, and their father Tom is overwhelmed with the responsibility of suddenly having to care for two teenage girls on his own.  Carrie’s friends – sweet, geeky Mouse, sarcastic and self-assured Maggie and sensitive Walt – make life bearable, but a suburban life in Connecticut isn’t doing much to take her mind off her troubles.  And even though the arrival of a sexy new transfer student named Sebastian brings some excitement to Carrie’s world, she is struggling to move on from her grief.  So when Tom offers Carrie the chance to intern at a law firm in Manhattan, she leaps at the chance.  Carrie’s eyes are opened wide at the glamour and grit of New York City – and when she meets Larissa, the style editor for Interview magazine, she’s inspired by the club culture and unique individuals that make up Larissa’s world.  Carrie’s friends and family may have a big place in her heart, but she’s fallen in love for the first time with the most important man in her life – Manhattan.  The series stars AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer”) as Carrie Bradshaw, Austin Butler (“Switched at Birth,” “Life Unexpected”) as Sebastian Kydd, Ellen Wong (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Combat Hospital”) as Mouse; Katie Findlay (“The Killing,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) as Maggie Landers, Stefania Owen (“Running Wilde,” “The Lovely Bones”) as Dorrit Bradshaw, Brendan Dooling (“An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf”) as Walt Reynolds, Chloe Bridges (“90210”) as Donna LaDonna, Freema Agyeman (“Doctor Who,” “Law & Order: UK”) as Larissa Loughton and Matt Letscher (“Brothers & Sisters,” “Entourage”) as Tom Bradshaw.  Based on the novels “The Carrie Diaries” and “Summer and the City” by Candace Bushnell, THE CARRIE DIARIES is from Fake Empire in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Amy B. Harris (“Sex and the City,” “Gossip Girl”), Josh Schwartz (“Hart of Dixie,” “Gossip Girl”), Stephanie Savage (“Hart of Dixie,” “Gossip Girl”), Len Goldstein (“Hart of Dixie”) and Candace Bushnell. Miguel Arteta (“Englightened,” “Cedar Rapids”) directed the pilot, which was written by Harris.

Cult

Starring Matt Davis, Jessica Lucas, Alona Tal, Robert Knepper (Prison Break)

From Rockne S. O’Bannon, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein, Jason Ensler

Airs midseason

Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton has learned to laugh off his brother Nate’s relentless string of obsessions, especially his latest rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him.  However, when his brother mysteriously disappears, Jeff takes Nate’s paranoia seriously, and in the process uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show “Cult” and its rabid fans.  The only person who seems willing to help Jeff with his investigation is Skye, a young research assistant for “Cult,” who has also started to grow suspicious of the increasingly dark happenings surrounding the show.  The fictitious show, centered on the cat-and-mouse game between charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm and LAPD detective Kelly Collins, has become an obsession for its viewers – and now some of its devotees seem to be taking their fixation to deadly extremes in the real world.  As Jeff and Skye dig deeper into the fan world, they discover that the gruesome plot twists on television are much more than fantasy for some very unfortunate people.  The hardcore fans of “Cult” would kill to see what happens next…  The series stars Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Jeff Sefton, Jessica Lucas (“Melrose Place,” “Cloverfield”) as Skye Yarrow, Alona Tal (“Supernatural,” “The Killing”) as Kelly Collins and Robert Knepper (“Prison Break,” “Shameless”) as Billy Grimm.  CULT is from Fake Empire and Rockne S. O’Bannon Television in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Rockne S. O’Bannon (“Farscape,” “V”), Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “Gossip Girl”), Stephanie Savage (“Hart of Dixie,” “Gossip Girl”), Len Goldstein (“Hart of Dixie”) and Jason Ensler (“Franklin & Bash,” “Hart of Dixie”).  The pilot was directed by Jason Ensler and written by Rockne S. O’Bannon.

The CW’s 2012-13 programming schedule (CAPS indicate new show)

MONDAY
8PM 90210
9PM Gossip Girl / THE CARRIE DIARIES (in January)

TUESDAY
8PM Hart of Dixie
9PM EMILY OWENS, M.D.

WEDNESDAY
8PM ARROW
9PM Supernatural

THURSDAY
8PM The Vampire Diaries
9PM BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

FRIDAY
8PM America’s Next Top Model
9PM Nikita

[Quotes via Deadline; TVLine]

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