At yesterday’s upfront presentation for the Fall schedule, CW President Dawn Ostroff had the difficult task of being optimistic about some of the struggling network’s long-running shows.
One Tree Hill has lost stars Chad Michael Murray, and Hilarie Burton, Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has repeatedly said that season 5 will be the last one, and Smallville is entering season 9 abandoned on Fridays. That recipe might spell disaster for some who could see all three major shows endings after this year, but Ostroff thinks differently.
One Tree Hill
Ostroff told reporters that they “tried to get them to stay,” referring to Murray and Burton, which doesn’t quite go with the YouTube video of Murray saying it was a financial issue.
However, Ostroff also holds out hope because she recognized creator Mark Schwahn’s ability to keep the show fresh after so many years. Indeed the four-year time jump between seasons 4 and 5 helped to save One Tree Hill and breath new life into an aging high school teen soap. The only question is whether he can do it again.
From the beginning, creator Eric Kripke has said that he has a five-year plan for the series, which would make this upcoming season the last one. Ostroff isn’t so quick to give up, however, saying that nothing is certain and they’ll just have to see what happens.
On the bright side, Ostroff was complimentary of the creative direction the show went this season with the angels, and more importantly for a network president, she was pleased with how this effected the ratings. The average episode rating went up from last season and the season 4 premiere, “Lazarus Rising,” was the show’s highest rated episode since the first season.
Does this mean Supernatural is definitely coming back for season 6? Certainly not. It means that the door is not closed so if this year Supernatural continues to grow and do even better, Ostroff wouldn’t mind keeping a show on the rise over shows that are going down.
Similarly, there has been speculation that season 9 will be Smallville‘s last one. For that matter, people thought the same thing about seasons 7 and 8. Despite the Friday night move, Ostroff won’t say whether or not Smallville is over after this, only that she’s hopeful that it won’t be.
While Ostroff is optimistic about these three shows because it’s her job, fans should be optimistic because the CW doesn’t have much else. The network only has nine original hours of programming on its schedule next season, and a network can’t really afford to lose one-third of its lineup in a single year, especially with those are some of the network’s highest rated shows.
The upcoming season may be the last for One Tree Hill, Supernatural or Smallville, but Ostroff knows that if they all go, the network will be in serious trouble one year from now.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)