Dawn Ostroff is a Twit and not the Twitter Kind

SMALLVILLE is being moved to Friday Nights!

VAMPIRE DIARIES getting the SMALLVILLE spot!

BODY POLITIC not picked up! (now told yet)

LIFE UNEXPECTED picked up for mid-season.  (this was formerly known as LIGHT YEARS and is one of the worst pilots ever made ever).

Update:  This is a leak by the CW PR team.  The reason in my mind is to guage outrage from SMALLVILLE fans and if they’re loud and upset this might not last.  The games networks play…

2nd Update:  LIFE UNEXPECTED will air in the mid-season.  Thanks to Nikki Finke for that tidbit.

3rd Update:  I seem to have ruffled some feathers at the CW, so they’re telling me I’ll find out tomorrow when everyone else does about the midseason pick ups.  I suppose I can go to some of the producers of the shows, but that might look a little fishy.  Right now I’m thinking it’s 80% chance it’s LIFE UNEXPECTED picked up and 20% BODY POLITIC made it, with me hoping and praying for that 20%.

4th Update:  BODY POLITIC is dead.  LIFE UNEXPECTED formerly LIGHT YEARS is now picked up and called PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED.  I’ll give it one thing, the new name is snappy, the show though is the worst pilot to be picked up in the history of television.  This makes HERMANS HEAD look like a masterpiece.  I could go on and on with comparing it to horrible shows you may have unfortunately seen once, but why remind you?

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55 responses to “Dawn Ostroff is a Twit and not the Twitter Kind

  1. Since Body Politic is dead now, is there ANY hope whatsoever of the presentation leaking at all? I’ve been following this show like mad for over 2 months and I’d kill to see what they filmed for it.

  2. If it’s not picked up expect to see it on iTunes and other outlets much like the CW has done in the past with pilots they didn’t pick up.

  3. What a baffling decision–from the people who have seen the pilots, I’ve heard nothing good about Light/Life Whatever and only praise for Body Politic. A show like BP that skews youngish but isn’t a soap could have been the CW’s chance at being a real network.

  4. Julia, don’t get me started on this. MELROSE PLACE is a disaster. THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE is what it is, and for what it is I think it’s more promising than any of the tween aimed shows that are new or already on the network. VAMPIRE DIARIES is a cheap TWILIGHT ripoff and I don’t know if that crowd will enjoy the ripoff. They might. Kevin Williamson knows how to deliver for the tween crowd.

    BODY POLITIC though would have been perfect if they were going to go more adult and also try for more male tweens. That plan was finally tossed aside though and the result is it’s on the outside right now looking in. I’d still pick it up but that’s just me.

  5. How does Dawn still have a job? She fails to market and promote a brilliantly scripted show in Reaper just because it does not appeal to the Women demo and now puts one of its highest rated shows to Friday?

    Why do WB and CBS stick with her

  6. She gives really, really great…

    PR. She believes that she has been held back with her true plan so she was really given free reign for next season and the result is all female demo targeted shows except SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL and she kicked SMALLVILLE to Fridays.

  7. I will laugh when the network goes under. How do any of them run a network? I have absolutely no knowledge of how the business works and I could make better decisions. If you’re network is failing, you don’t pick up the same old crap you’ve been airing–you take risks and go for the cast/shows that can bring in outside viewers.

    Maybe I’m just biased because Body Politic is the first pilot ever that I’ve wanted, but I’m just baffled at a network that will pick up what The CW has and not pick up a show with such obvious potential to bring in viewers. Do they not realize the cult-like following of semi-older viewers that Veronica Mars, Friday Night Lights, Terminator, etc. have. Those audiences would tune into Body Politic for the cast alone. And if the pilot is as good as you, and others, have said, those audiences would stay.

    I wish there was some chance it could still be on the table when these other shows inevitably fail.

  8. *your

    Thanks for the info, by the way, even if it makes me very bitter. I was going to check out Beautiful Life and VD just to see, but I definitely won’t be now.

  9. LOL Nick.

    I often wonder why as WB and CBS own half of TheCW and CBS is home to nearly all WB shows and CW the other half..why dont WB just kick Dawn out and put all WB shows on there? It could be bigger than Fox

  10. Honestly, the fact that they’re trying to blatantly rip-off Twilight, explains a lot about their casting, since the dark haired female lead and the younger brother look ripped out of the latest Twilight poster instead of having any basis in the book. The main female there is blonde & blue-eyed. The script also felt like it was a remake of a remake of a remake. They’ve already pissed off the fans of the books with all the changes and the casting and somehow I doubt any Twilight fans are going to transfer their love of RPattz to ‘Twilight the tv series’.

    I loved the Body Politic script and was really looking forward to seeing Minka Kelly, Jason Dohring, Brian Austin Green and Gabrielle Union on my TV screen every week. Out of all the CW pilots I read, it was also best, so it seemed like it should be shoe-in to me!

    I wanted to spork out my eyes after I read The Light Years! Lame-ass Lux is not appealing in any way and I thought both of her parents were losers. Maybe that’s the premise of the show, but you’d think they’d want to give you at least one main character that you care about…I haven’t cared less about any characters in a pilot since Bionic Woman, when Jaime was bitching about her life being saved.

  11. Chrissy, I’m not sure what they’re thinking. I still have my ties to the CW but I feel for the good people who work there. That network is destined for failure. VAMPIRE DIARIES has to succeed or they’re pretty much screwed.

    BODY POLITIC is a solid program that they may still pick up for mid-season, just right now I haven’t heard yes or no on it.

  12. Anita, what can I say besides the fact that she’s incredibly obtuse. It startles me that someone can’t create a viable 5th network right now. USA and TNT are doing a better job than the CW and that is disgraceful.

    Give me the Network, pay me based on success only. I guarantee a massive turn around and fast. Of course tons of people make those claims, but I’d actually deliver. It’s not as hard as they make it out to be.

  13. I’m glad the decision hasn’t been made yet, because honestly, if they pick up LIFE, UNEXPECTED instead of BODY POLITIC, which has a great cast and great script, I will still watch SUPERNATURAL, but the rest of my unallocated viewing hours will be spent watching the new pilots that air on other networks, like FLASH FORWARD, GLEE and maybe EASTWICK for that guilty Desperate Housewives with Magic! vibe.

    Considering there’s some limo sex, among other things in BODY POLITIC and the 20 somethings are sexy, gorgeous and live together in the same brownstone, it’s perfect for the CW. It’s MELROSE PLACE for the East Coast (but with a better script and cast).

    If the CW wants 12 yr viewers rather than 18-34 yrs with great incomes, that’s their choice, but you’d think the advertisers would want to entice those that have money to spend, to actually watch their commercials on the CW and buy their products.

  14. Thanks for the info, Nick C. I’m still clinging to a tiny shred that they’ll at least keep it as an option when everything else fails (of course, by then, the cast will have found other work). I understand the money situation, but I’m shocked that they’d cancel all of their programming and then continue to air ANTM encores, especially when they’ve given up Sundays as it is.

    And, I agree, I have three teaching degrees, but hand me this network and I’d get it up and running. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but, honestly, you need to get a feel for what audiences want to see, and everywhere I’ve looked, people have said the same thing–they don’t want the same old crap. (Not to mention that if there was ever a time for a show about young adults in politics, it’s right now.) They want something smart, something different, and, definitely on The CW, something that appeals to an audience older than fifteen.

    Then again, I’m preaching to the choir here. If only an online campaign would work like it did for Chuck…too bad the show doesn’t have quite that much interest. 😉

  15. I think what helped Chuck gain fans is that, you know, people have actually *seen* the show…they didn’t have to hunt down the script and read it 😉

    So glad CHUCK is back! 🙂 Do you think we’ll find about BODY POLITIC today? I know the MELROSE PLACE cast was still in LA this morning, meeting the EW people, but I don’t know what time THE CW upfront is tomorrow?

    Honestly, if they pick up LIFE UNEXPECTED instead of BODY POLITIC, I will lose all hope for The CW as a network. I’ll just be glad that SUPERNATURAL is the only show I still watch on that network, unlike two years ago when literally most of my TV shows were on there.

  16. With the CW PR people I could turn that network around in 1 season, guaranteed. They can convince people they’re doing good when they’re losing more money this year than last year. I love that spin machine they have. Think about it if it was used for the power of good!

    We should know about BODY POLITIC tonight at the latest. I’m expecting news shortly. Nikki Finke is all over it too. If I don’t get to it, she will.

  17. Nick, sorry if this is too personal but did you used to work for any of the networks?

  18. Ant, I’ve worked with the networks and that’s about all I’ll say on it. I have to keep my anonymity.

  19. Thanks, Nick, for keeping us updated–especially a couple weeks ago when you were the only one who seemed to realize BP actually existed. 🙂

    Anita, oh I know. lol I just wish the network realized how much interested there already is in this little show they have no faith in. I’ve checked around all the websites reporting on the CW and in the comments for every single story, about 60-70% of the people commenting are asking about Body Politic. This isn’t just JD fans anymore.

  20. Don’t want to go too much off topic, but this is about the CW. Do you know anything about a midseason pickup with the show Light Years? I just recently saw on a blog that Shiri Appleby(Liz from Roswell) shot a pilot for that show, for the CW.

  21. I just saw some clips of Life Unexpected (formerly known as Light Years) and it’s really not good. Just dull beyond belief.

  22. Yeah, I saw the same link and I thought the girl was pretty, but the show was boring. (Victor – if you liked Shirli Appleby as Liz in Roswell, you probably don’t want to see her in LIFE UNEXPECTED)..As much as I also liked Jack from Dawson’s..it wasn’t enough to make me do anything but cringe for them.

  23. You ruffled the CW’s feathers? With your blog that’s been around for all of a day? I’m kind of impressed!

    But that’s illuminating! If you can ruffle feathers by telling basic truths (Light Years is sucktastic, passing on Body Politic is retarded, Dawn should be axed), that just shows us that these people live in lala land. What? They never heard any of this before? They need a pat on the head? Puh-lease.

    I’ve got no sympathy for people who’d compare LY to BP and go with LY. I mean, even a simple comparison of the casts; there is no comparison. It’s pathetic. The CW execs (and let’s not forget Moonves) who supported this deserve as much public shaming as possible. And then a pink slip.

  24. Cammy, ha! If my blog had ruffled the CW’s feathers that would be funny. No, I’ve personally ruffled their feathers by calling Dawn out as being insane with the decisions coming out. The upfront is not going to be fun for her, there are plenty that aren’t happy. It won’t matter this is her and the CW’s last year. CBS will sell its share sooner or later.

  25. Victor, Shiri may be in it, but it’s the worst pilot I’ve seen in likely a decade if not longer. It’s horrible, gouge out your eyes bad. It’s just awful. Everyone involved with writing it should be shot and chopped into pieces and have the pieces buried in separate places so people know what happens when you create such utter crap.

    Shiri is better looking in my opinion than in the ROSWELL days though.

  26. I don’t know if I think she looked better, but I think it says a lot to say she looks as good as she did in Roswell. So did Kerr Smith (Dawson’s), but the pilot itself was embarrassingly bad.

    Nick – Do you think we’ll hear soon? It’s almost 11pm East coast time and upfronts are at 11am Eastern tomorrow. Unless they don’t plan to have anyone from their mid-season show(s) out there, they’re cutting it close…

  27. “Everyone involved with writing it should be shot and chopped into pieces and have the pieces buried in separate places so people know what happens when you create such utter crap.”

    Ouch! I was looking for the pilot, or at least a clip of the pilot and was unsuccessful, but I guess it’s pointless now, lol.

    “Shiri is better looking in my opinion than in the ROSWELL days though.”

    I noticed that when I saw her on ER. Went the same way with Katherine Heigl.

  28. Anita, I’m expecting we’ll hear something a couple hours before hand. They should have a PR out really early with all the info.

  29. By midnight Pacific, you think, or later?

  30. Victor, you can see clips for both Body Politic and Light Years here:

    http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/blink/2009/05/video_cws_life_unexpected_and.php

    Strange that they would release both right now, I think. Nick, I know they probably already made their decision earlier today but haven’t announced it, but do they pay any attention to things like blog comments at DHD or Zap2it or TV Week?

  31. iirc, Didn’t Dawn dump her highest rated show a year or two ago, Smackdown. I know it’s certainly MyNetworks highest rated show.

  32. Anita, I’d say sometime around 8am EST actually if not earlier.

    John, yes, yes they did. They claimed it was too expensive too. That however was a lie. It made more money than it cost and it was gold for a Friday Night.

  33. Thing is with CW is if they do go under, will WB shop around Supernatural and Smallville? Those shows bring in the money.

    McG does an excellent job on SN.

  34. Annie, thanks for the link. I watched the preview and it was extremely boring, but if the CW is going to pick it up, maybe it’ll get better in the following episodes. But if the entire pilot is as boring as that preview, they’ll lose viewers from the start and most likely never recover.

    I love a slow move show(The Wire is one my top 5), but those shows don’t work on mainstream TV. This shows just seems like they have awful writers though 😦

  35. The way I look at it, I’m glad I don’t have any reason to watch CW. I mean, what if Body Politic were picked up and was really good and actually had decent-for-CW-ratings, and then the network was shut down? I was in a meeting with a guy from WB yesterday (not someone who would have inside information but certainly someone who would know what the thinking at WB seems to be) and he said that CW affiliates don’t even know if they’re going to have a network in a year. So better not to get attached to anything on CW.

  36. Julia, I’m telling you the plan is for CBS to sell off their stake in the Network at some point next year. If it has another strange early surge in viewership for the female targeted shows look for them to start shopping it then.

    Victor, those parts were the best parts of the pilot. That is what you do with a clip, you make a clip of the good parts. It’s awful. Just horrible.

    Ant, McG doesn’t do anything with Supernatural but cash checks. So I guess that is doing an excellent job. Kripke and Manners run the show. With Manners gone (damn it life sucks) Edlund has moved into that position and the show couldn’t be in better hands.

  37. Ah thanks for the clarification Nick. I thought McG was a producer. I do hope that SN can go past this season although the rumours are saying it might be the last.

  38. Ant, he is a producer. He hired the right people and left them alone, which in this case is producing at its best.

  39. Yeah McG is smart. He is one of the most sough after people when it comes to TV/movies. Well behind JJ Abrams and Howard Gordon.

    Any more news on Reaper? Was expecting a miracle to happen at TheCw but then again Ostroff is in charge

  40. So was it price that it came down to (Light Years would probably be cheaper) or were they serious that it was the politics that they thought would turn off their target demo? You know, the one who came out in droves to vote in the last election?

    At this point I can honestly say I’m glad there’s nothing on the CW that I already watch or now plan on watching. I just hope the full presentation for BP gets leaked somehow because I’d love to see it.

  41. “the show though is the worst pilot to be picked up in the history of television.”

    I just don’t think that it can top Cavemen(I think that was the name of the show), because that show was awful. The show might get better in time, but I won’t hold my breath. I’ll at least give it a 3 ep watch before I completely quit, or I might not watch it, because I’m not sure what it’ll be up against. I won’t watch if it goes up against Lost, Fringe, Flash Forward, or V.

  42. Heh, E! Online has this quote from Dawn Ostroff from the Upfronts today:

    “It was the toughest year we’ve ever had, figuring out what to pick up, because [our pilots] were all really, really good. We do have room for another midseason show. We have some reality and we’ll probably have another scripted drama. We’re just going to take a beat and see where we are…In all honesty, I think the Gossip Girl spinoff is the show that we would love to be able to find a place for as the season goes on.”

    She sure is hellbent on getting that spinoff for her baby.

  43. Thanks so much Nick, for keeping us updated…even if the news ended up not being in our favour. We’ll just have to wait for this to come back to bite her, which it inevitably will. People don’t want the same old, same old, and it’s going to show (across networks, I think) come this fall.

    I’m still shocked that even with no promotion whatsoever from producers, actors, or most news/gossip/blogs (except yours obviously), there are still thousands of comments asking about BP. Obviously the network is paying attention because they have an audience for that show already…despite absolutely no pre-upfront promotion. Stupid, stupid, stupid. If only the WB was still around…this show would have fit them perfectly, I think.

    One other quick question that’s been sitting on my mind, even though it’s totally and completely off topic. Nick, there were two pilots I was watching for this upfront season–BP and Masterwork. Do you have any connections with FOX at all to know what their plans are for it. It’s not on their fall or midseason schedule, so I’m assuming it’s done, but I also heard that it was way behind schedule, so I’m curious if you know anything about it. Thanks again!

  44. *isn’t

  45. Chrissy, I’m pretty sure that Paul wasn’t able to finish MASTERWORK in time, so I’ll find out about it. It did have a lot of hype a couple weeks back. I know in January they were stoked about it.

  46. Nick, thanks so much! I figured while I was posting any way I might as well ask. 🙂

    (Still secretly hoping that BP has a chance somewhere, someday).

  47. The CW is still saying they’re looking at one more mid-season show, but Dawn wants LILLY, and others want BP. I’m not sure which it will be but right now it’s safe to just assume both are as dead as the producers think they are.

  48. Mayhaps you have some fun Ostroff dirt or gossip from the Upfronts? I thought it was weird that they had everyone from the old and new shows there except for anybody from SPN or Smallville, their top two shows. I’m surprised more fans aren’t annoyed by that.

    And what’s the deal with the GG spinoff, anyway? She’s obviously in love with it and would baby it like she does GG, so why didn’t it make the schedule?

  49. Dawn Ostroff is just the worst businesswoman TV has ever seen. I can’t believe she’d rather show America’s Next Top Model repeats on Fridays instead of a new season of Reaper.

    I hope she gets the boot soon. She shouldn’t even be allowed near a TV set. Seriously.

  50. Hold on a minute, I LIKED Herman’s Head when I was a kid!!

    I don’t watch the CW to care about the fate of most of those shows.

  51. ghettopeople, and why should you watch the CW? Which is kind of my point in the article. They make decisions that makes you go “Are they trying to kill the Network?”

  52. I’ve always wondered how a network that basically took the old WB business plan and narrowed the target audiences even more could survive so long. Good PR obviously goes a long way. 😉

  53. I’ve been following the CW upfront situation with utter disgust – everytime I think Dawn Ostroff is going to do something awesome (e.g. keep Privileged around for one more season, give Body Politic a try, pick up the GG spinoff etc), she reneges and goes for the safe way out. I can understand why she would want to put The Beautiful Life on the schedule, but frankly, having watched all the clips, Vampire Diaries looks atrocious, and has nothing to recommend to it other than Kevin Williamson and the rampant vampire craze. In my opinion, even Parental Discretion Advised looks better than that VD’s desperate attempt to garner viewers through hackneyed Twilight storylines.

    I know Privileged wasn’t getting quite the numbers it should have, but honestly, it was much smarter than people gave it credit for. Of course, since it wasn’t a runaway hit, Ostroff cut it, like she does with every show. She never bothers to give shows a chance to develop. The Body Politic looks incredible, and probably would have developed a fanbase, but let’s be honest, Ostroff would have cut it in a year anyway. She has no staying power. My only hope is that One Tree Hill will be cut midseason (’cause frankly, what are they going to do now that two of the heavy-hitters are gone?), and they’ll be able to make room for BOTH Body Politic and the Gossip Girl spinoff.

  54. Tiff, lets be honest here. REAPER did better in ratings than PRIVILEGED. 90210, GOSSIP GIRL, and ONE TREE HILL have been unable to sustain a demo rating of above 1.1. Meanwhile SUPERNATURAL and SMALLVILLE pull 20% better ratings but don’t get the promotion.

    The whole plan of aiming at the female 18-34 demo has yet to pay off. In fact they lost 33% more money last season than they were losing the season before as a network. It isn’t working. All they’re doing next season is increasing the number of shows for the targeted audience, and moving their top show that isn’t aimed at that target to a death slot on Friday.

    This is a failed experiment. Les Moonves has argued for a few years that the CW might be better off picking up the shows that CBS has to discard. He first suggested this when JERICHO was being canceled (the first time). What if JERICHO, MOONLIGHT, WITHOUT A TRACE, and ELEVENTH HOUR were all on the CW next season? That would be 2 shows that averaged nearly 9 million viewers, and 2 that averaged well over 10 million viewers all with a new home. Sure, they wouldn’t bring 100% of the audience, but even if they only were able to bring 50% (pessimistic) the shows would still be more successful than what is currently on the network.

    Having shows like that on the network would allow them to focus more on their beloved demo. The problem in my opinion is that their shows aren’t good. The reason the WB had more popular shows for that same demo is that they offered better product. If they could focus on only a couple shows, they’d be more likely to find 2 shows that could grow into hits. A hit with the blessed demo is gold. They may have it with VAMPIRE DIARIES, and they’re betting on it.

  55. Hahahaaha! Herman’s Head was baaaaaaaaaaaad.