Welcome to our special pop-up TV upfronts roundup. All week we’ve been bringing you breaking news and some of the best (and worst) of TV’s dog-and-pony show. Missed one of the newsletters? You can find each digest here, along with the rest of Ad Age’s comprehensive upfronts coverage.
(And stay tuned for Friday’s final edition, with a full recap of the week.)
Quick and painless
The CW capped a week of fanfare with a fast (just the way we like it), one-hour presentation on Thursday morning at New York City Center. Given that the network renewed all of its freshman series and brought back 14 others, there wasn’t much newness to discuss. On a call with reporters earlier in the day, The CW President Mark Pedowitz explained the network’s decision to renew its series, and also discussed the channel’s place in the emerging OTT war.
Ending a week in which network presenters such as Kenny Mayne, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert took digs at advertisers for continuing to pay top dollar for low-rated broadcast TV shows, the Jonas Brothers closed out their two-song set at The CW upfront with their aptly-titled spring hit "Sucker,” Anthony Crupi reports.
The CW is expecting big things from “Batwoman,” which stars Ruby Rose as TV’s first LGBTQ superhero. Pedowitz says this “is a symbol of how The CW continues to evolve and defy convention, and push our creative boundaries. This is who we are.”
Here’s a look at the three new dramas The CW picked up for the 2019-2020 season.
Time for some predictions
As has become tradition here at Ad Age, we’ve made some educated guesses about which new series will be hits and which will flop. It’s become increasingly difficult to place bets on the success of broadcast series, mainly because what actually defines a hit has changed. (It certainly isn’t ratings, given that this season 77 of the 114 general entertainment shows, or 68 percent, will end the year below a 1.0 rating.) Every year we are left scratching our heads, asking ‘Who greenlit this?’ for shows like Fox’s “Not Just Me,” about a fertility doctor who uses his own sperm to father 100 children through artificial insemination.
Take a look at our hits and misses and let us know if you agree with our picks.
Fox’s trailer for its six-episode reboot of “Beverly Hills, 90210” has, as of this writing, garnered 18.4 million viewers across platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter since it dropped on Monday. That makes it the most-viewed trailer of those released during the upfronts this week, according to Fox. If you’re one of the few people who haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here.
So much for diversity
While networks including CBS touted their efforts to be more inclusive in their programming, roles for people of color actually declined year-over-year on the Big Four broadcasters and The CW, according to a Variety report. The biggest offenders: Fox and NBC.
CBS’s surprise upfront star: Shari Redstone
The head of CBS’s parent company didn’t take the stage during the presentation at Carnegie Hall, but at the after-party she was met by a receiving line that included incoming “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell, “CBS Sunday Morning” anchor Jane Pauley and new CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, The New York Times reports.