Upfront Week: CW’s Sunday Expansion Means ‘More Premium Quality Content’

30 Seconds to Mars got the CW upfront presentation going at New York City Center May 17, with Jared Leto on vocals. He acknowledged that 11 a.m. is not the normal start time for a gig.

“This is not rock ‘n roll hours at all,” he said. “Hitting those high notes is a bit of a stretch.”

30 Seconds played two songs. “If you wanna get a little crazy it’s up to you,” said Leto. “But I know you have your suits on.”

Rob Tuck, CW executive VP of national sales, stepped on stage next. He talked about the network expanding to Sunday nights, which means “more premium quality content that only further expands The CW footprint across our multiplatform network.”

Regarding the multiplatform aspect of The CW, he spoke of the network’s long-term initiative to measure viewership on all screens. “We’re happy that the rest of the industry is catching up with us,” said Tuck.

The Riverdale cast then stepped out, and introduced Mark Pedowitz, CW president. He singled out CW affiliates for their support, including the expansion to Sundays. He said the network “sets trends and defies the status quo.”

A trailer from All American, about an African-American teen from Compton who is recruited to play football in Beverly Hills, and must balance both worlds, then showed.

That was followed by a clip from the Charmed reboot, about three sisters who are witches.

Pedowitz then talked up Julie Plec’s Legacies, taking place in the world of Vampire Diaries and The Originals. “Wild twists and turns” were promised by the cast.

Pedowitz then boasted about CW shows’ social media footprint, singling out Riverdale. Black Lightning, he added, showcases the network’s focus on diversity and inclusion.

A trailer for In the Dark, about a hard living blind woman, then was shown, followed by Roswell, New Mexico, about the relationship between an alien and a human. Both will air in the midseason.

Other midseason offerings include Jane the Virgin, The 100 and iZombie.

Arrow star Steven Amell spoke of a superhero crossover event in the fall, when Batwoman will be introduced.

Pedowitz mentioned how Supernatural will reach its 300 episode this season. The show premiered in 2005.

Meanwhile, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, to air on Fridays, will wrap after the new season, its fourth. Jane the Virgin and iZombie too will end after this coming season.

Fifty minutes after it began, the tidy CW presentation was done.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.