The CW Banks on Tyra
When Tyra Banks named her fledgling production company “Bankable Production,” it might have seemed like hubris to some who wondered what this former model could offer to the television landscape. But any doubters have been proven wrong by the overwhelming and continued popularity of her show America’s Next Top Model. Cycle Eight, which just concluded with Jaslene Gonzalez crowned the winner, was extremely popular, and fans couldn’t get enough. Its ratings for the season finale were actually up from last season’s finale.

This week, at the television upfronts announcing fall television schedules, the CW confirmed that the show will be returning to the network in the fall for its ninth Cycle. Casting has already begun, as Buddy TV reported, so the announcement in and of itself wasn’t a surprise. However, with three major shows ending on the CW (Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven and Veronica Mars), this year’s Tyra’s show has clearly made the transition from little breakout reality program to dependable go-to show to get solid ratings.

This most recent cycle of America’s Next Top Model did draw some complaints from viewers about what they felt was a relatively lackluster group of final girls. Obviously, that perception didn’t keep people from tuning in. One wonders if that feedback, though, will impact Tyra’s final casting choices for the next Cycle.

No word yet, either, on any plans to continue to include plus-size models, or if Tyra will again try to cast another modelette of Eastern European descent to reflect some of the current industry trends. Whatever she ultimately decides to do, one thing is pretty certain: people are going to be watching.

In addition to America’s Next Top Model, the CW is bringing back a few other reality programs. Beauty and the Geek, a smaller show that is nevertheless popular with our BuddyTV community, is transitioning from its previous role as a winter fill-in show to a full-fledged fall series. Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, another big favorite with BuddyTV fans, will also be back – sort of – this fall. The new season will not actually be a search for the Next Doll, rather to start another group inspired by the Pussycat Dolls.

With Tyra’s America’s Next Top Model leading the pack, it looks to be a strong reality season for the CW. Check back here on BuddyTV for all the updates and news related to your favorite shows.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of CW)