President of The CW Mark Pedowitz Talks BATTLE ROYALE Series, Bringing DR. HORRIBLE to TV, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, SUPERNATURAL and More

     July 31, 2012


As part of The CW portion of the TCA Press Tour, network president Mark Pedowitz took some time to talk about their new fall (including Arrow and Beauty and the Beast) and mid-season line-ups (including The Carrie Diaries and Cult).  During the interview, he spoke about what went into the decision to cancel Ringer, the possibility of The Selection still getting ordered to series, the rumors that they’re planning to do something with Battle Royale, how Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along ended up airing on the network, and what fans can expect from the upcoming seasons of Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Nikita and Hart of Dixie.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

mark-pedowitzQuestion: What went into the decision of deciding not to go forward with Ringer?

MARK PEDOWITZ:  It was a combination of the complexity of the stories and it not performing as well as we hoped, on the digital online space and social media space.  That said, the fans are still writing me.  They want it desperately.  Sarah Michelle [Gellar] and I have had many discussions since May.  She’s happily pregnant now.  I’m waiting for her to give birth.  The one thing the two of us did come away with is that, when she’s ready, she would love to come back, and we would love to have her at The CW, either as an actress or as a producer.

Do you regret having two shows that are so similar in tone and story, as you do with Arrow and Beauty and the Beast?

PEDOWITZ:  No regret whatsoever.  The audience will find what the audience will.  Beauty and the Beast is another romantic love story, inspired from the 1980’s CBS version. 

Why did you decide to launch The Carrie Diaries and Cult as mid-season shows?

carrie-diaries-anna-sophia-robbPEDOWITZ:  With The Carrie Diaries, we wanted to give Gossip Girl a send-off, and we felt it was better to do that in the fall.  We will run 10 episodes this year, and it will end in mid-December.  We felt that, to get The Carrie Diaries out of the clutter of the fall, the best time to launch it would be mid-January.  And the goal for both The Carrie Diaries and Cult is to run them with 13 episodes straight.

What can you say about the rumors that The CW is planning to do something with Battle Royale?

PEDOWITZ:  It’s amazing what happens when you have just a phone call and a discussion.  We’d love to do it.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to make a deal with the producers, and we’ll see where it goes.  But, at this point in time, it’s just a discussion for development.

Considering what Battle Royale is about, are you really considering having a show that’s about high school kids killing other high school kids?

PEDOWITZ:  At this point in time, it’s only in development, and we’re not even actually in development.  All that existed was a phone call.  And we’re not planning to do anything that we cannot get on the air.  So, the answer to that question is, no, we’re not going to go in that direction.  We’re going to wait to see what happens and how things develop.

You passed on The Selection for the fall season, but there’s talk of re-tooling it for mid-season.  What didn’t work for you that you’re trying to fix, and would Battle Royale negate The Selection?

battle-royalePEDOWITZ:  The producers did a really good job.  We had an embarrassment of riches with what we ended up picking up.  It just wasn’t where we wanted it to be, tone-wise.  The producers and writers have gone back and are re-scripting as we speak.  We’ll hopefully see something soon or make a determination about whether to go forward.  I’m a big believer in the show.  I really wanted a show that had a Game of Thrones/The Hunger Games tone, and we hope it’s The Selection.  If it’s not, then we will look at another arena, in terms of that.  Battle Royale comes with a nice cult following, as we all know, and might have been one of the predecessors of a lot of these things that we see today.

How did you decide to bring back Supernatural and Hart of Dixie, and where are those shows going this season?

supernatural-imagePEDOWITZ:  There was no question about Supernatural.  The guys are great.  The show is great.  We felt that it deserved another crack, particularly as a lead-out from Arrow because it did so well when Smallville was there.  So, we’re big believers in the show.  Hart of Dixie really found its legs.  In terms of where those shows are going, the love triangle on Hart of Dixie will continue.  And in terms of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), there will be a lapse of time before Dean gets out of Purgatory, and Sam will have been on his happy way, for a period of time, without hunting for anything.  It will take off with the two brothers, once more.

Can you talk about getting Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along at The CW?

PEDOWITZ:  Well, I have been a big fan of Dr. Horrible.  I actually tried to acquire it when I was at ABC Studios, for the ABC Digital Player.  We are primarily going to re-edit it for TV.  And hopefully, if Joss [Whedon] does another one, we’ll get a crack at doing that.  So, it’s basically what has been online for the last couple of years, but it’s a re-edit for a 42-minute piece. 

Did you approach Joss Whedon, or did he approach you about doing that?

Dr Horribles Sing Along Blog imagePEDOWITZ:  I was pro-active.  I made the phone call.  I said, “Would you like it on television?”  That’s literally what happened.  He was busy filming  The Avengers, so I went to his agent. 

What can you say about what’s coming up this next season for The Vampire Diaries?  Will there be new cast members since some of them bit the dust?

PEDOWITZ:  There are always new cast members, and those who are dead can always come back to life.  As you know, the season ended with Elena (Nina Dobrev) becoming a vampire, and the goal is how she adjusts to her being a vampire.  Does she follow Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) path or does she follow Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) path?  Does the vampire bloodlust get her or not?  It’s a great cast.  It’s a great show.  I have nothing but praise for (executive producers) Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. 

nikita maggie q xander berkeleyDo we know who Elena’s sire is?

PEDOWITZ:  Well, it’s Damon’s blood that helped her, but they never discovered who their actual sire was for Stefan and Damon.  They think it’s Klaus (Joseph Morgan), but they’re not quite sure.

What can you say about Nikita, for this upcoming year?

PEDOWITZ:  Well, Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Ryan (Noah Bean) are running Division.  They will be searching out the rogue agents.  It’s a little bit of a Scooby-Doo gang now, so Nikita (Maggie Q) is not just a lone assassin, trying to avenge everything.  She’s part of a team and family, and she and Michael (Shane West) will continue their romantic interest.