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Upfronts 2016: CW Audience Is Half Male, Says Pedowitz

The CW threw itself a 10th birthday party in Manhattan Thursday, wrapping up upfront week with a salute to its relatively short history and a look ahead. The network presented itself with a gift as well, with Supergirl holding down Mondays at 8 p.m. in the fall.

The actors who portray Green Arrow, The Flash, Firestorm, Atom, White Canary and Vixen stepped to the stage and wondered aloud who was missing from their ranks. Then Melissa Benoist, star of Supergirl, joined the league of heroes on the New York City Center stage.

“We’re excited we can bring some more girl power to the mix,” said Mark Pedowitz, CW president, who added that the network is “home to the best superhero shows anywhere.”

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2016

Following a few musical numbers from Fitz and the Tantrums, Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez, stars of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, respectively, started off the show in character, then the performers noted the Golden Globe honors they both share. The shows were Monday partners this past season, but with Supergirl moving to that day, same as it was on CBS, Crazy Ex shifts to Fridays, after Vampire Diaries.

Pedowitz noted the strides the network had taken to even out the gender balance of its viewers, saying it went from 70/30 female to male in 2011 to 50/50 presently.

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The new shows include No Tomorrow, a love story in which the male lead is quite sure the world will end in eight months and lives his life accordingly; Frequency, a remake of the 2000 film, in which a woman communicates with her dead father through a ham radio; and mid-season arrival Riverdale. The latter is set in the world of Archie Comics, but appears to have little of the jocularity and innocence that defined that franchise. A small town with secrets is as much a character as Archie and Betty.

Superstar producer Greg Berlanti is shepherding that project. Said Pedowitz, “You might think you know them, but you’ve never seen them quite like this.”

Take a peek at The CW’s ‘No Tomorrow’ and ‘Frequency’

Pedowitz also outlined some digital plans, including having the CW app on all digital platforms, and the CW Good vertical, which will spotlight worthwhile causes and feature original series My Last Day.

He also spoke of the network’s focus on year-round programming. “We now have the quality and the stability and the depth to program original series all year long,” he said.

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As Pedowitz signed off, a montage of CW shows from the past decade, including Everybody Hates Chris, Smallville and America’s Next Top Model, rolled on the screen, along with the newer ones that now define the network.