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Upfronts 2017: CW Charts Path From Broadcast Net to Multiplatform Player

Upfronts 2017: Complete Coverage

The band Muse started off the CW upfront, performing new song “Dig Down.” The track is central to a new network “image campaign,” explained Rob Tuck, executive VP of national sales at The CW, moments after the performance.

He was joined onstage by Caity Lotz of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Melissa Benoist of Supergirl. Donning a cape, he suggested he join the network’s superhero crossover episode as a character called Salesman, but the ladies shot it down.

Mark Pedowitz, CW president, then took the stage, talking about the network’s shift from broadcast entity to multiplatform player. “The CW lineup is better and broader than it’s ever been,” said Pedowitz.

Watch Trailers for The CW’s ‘Dynasty,’ ‘Black Lightning’ and More

He offered a peek at new military drama Valor.

Next up was Gina Rodriguez, star of Jane the Virgin, talking about “inclusion and equality” on the CW’s air and describing Pedowitz as “stupendous” for his efforts on that front.

Dynasty of course got a close-up, with attendees seeing a sizzle reel and a peek at the cast onstage.

Related: CW Releases Fall Schedule, ‘Dynasty’ On for Wednesdays 

“It is going to be deliciously decadent,” promised Pedowitz.

Pedowitz then spoke of the network’s multiplatform attributes and its “360 degree” approach, with assists from Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and other digital platforms. The average age of a CW TV viewer is 45, he said, while a digital user is 26.

Pedowitz mentioned how CW Seed was revealed at an upfront presentation five years ago and has emerged as a digital player in terms of original content.

He then gave up the stage to Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin and Vincent Rodriguez of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for a musical number. The show shares Fridays with Jane the Virgin.

The CW mid-season features The Originals, iZombie and Life Sentence, with the latter’s video showing. Lucy Hale stars. She called Life Sentence “funny and charming and heart-warming.”

Greg Berlanti’s drama Black Lightning too had its video shared with the crowd. It’s headed for mid-season too. Star Cress Williams said he is excited to introduce “a different kind of hero” to viewers.

Pedowitz then spoke of The CW’s ability to connect “everywhere our viewers are, and everywhere you want to reach them.” And, just short of an hour after starting, that was it.