Beverly Hills, Calif. — Every year, The CW gets grilled about its target demo at the Television Critics Association summer press tour and every year, network President Mark Pedowitz identifies some area of the demo that needs shoring up and points to a couple of programs that may do that.
And they just might. But that doesn’t mean the CBS-owned channel will ever stray too far from making frothy shows featuring incredibly beautiful people to appeal to younger viewers.
They may talk 18-to-49 but many loyal viewers of shows like “Arrow,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Vampire Diaries” are younger than that.
The CW unleashed a bevy of pretty shows and pretty people on the stage of the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom.
The odds-show-out for the fall is “Reign,” a Canadian co-production about the early life of Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) who, as a child, played with the future king of France and is already penciled in to marry him later on to forge a political alliance between Scotland and France.
Toby Regbo (“Treasure Island”) plays Prince Francis, and, according to my much better-versed friend Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News, is nothing like the real Frankie, who was younger than Mary and rather sickly.
Regbo is a neo-Teddy-boy with sea-green eyes and artfully tousled hair.
Kane and all the ladies of the French and Scottish courts look like they’re planning to make a pit stop at Greystone Manor on their way to the castle. Who knew they had electric lipstick shades back in the 16th century?
There are lots of other historical inaccuracies beyond hair and makeup, which seemed to concern some TCA members, but from my POV, it ain’t Simon Schama. Nostradamus is hanging around, up to his old prophetic tricks, and some characters are completely invented.
That said, what distinguishes “Reign” is that it has a more expensive look than most CW shows. Someone even said it looked like it belonged on Showtime, CW’s more respected sibling.
The channel has a couple of other sexy offerings for the fall, such as “The Tomorrow People,” exec-produced by Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “Everwood”), and Julie Plec (“The Vampire Diaries”).
The series stars Robbie Amell (“Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous”), cousin of “Arrow’s” Stephen Amell.
Amell plays Stephen, a young man who discovers he has strange powers that make him part of a superior mutation of human beings called the Tomorrow People. The Tomorrows want him to be part of their ranks to fend off evil forces. Luke Mitchell, Peyton List, Madeleine Mantock and Aaron Yoo are among the pretty cast.
Wonder if the CW will ever try a crossover ratings gimmick and overload the screen with Amells?
The channel takes a bigger bite out of the vampire franchise it’s created through “The Vampire Diaries” with “The Originals,” also from Executive Producer Julie Plec.
The show is set in New Orleans, which is now controlled by new vampires, much to the displeasure of the Originals, the original vampires.
Into the bloody power play comes Klaus Mikaeson (Joseph Morgan), who’s welcomed back to town with open arms by the current king of the vamps, Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), who was Klaus’ protege. Klaus, Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt) are all original vampires.
“The Originals” will premiere Oct. 3 along with the season premiere of “The Vampire Diaries.”
“Reign” hits the air Oct. 17. “The Tomorrow People” premieres Oct. 9.
Actors Robbie Amell (left) and Peyton List participate in “The Tomorrow People” panel at the CW Summer Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills, Calif.×
Actor Charles Michael Davis (from left), executive producer Julie Plec and actors Joseph Morgan and Claire Holt participate in “The Originals” panel at the CW Summer Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills, Calif.×
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