It was hard to concentrate at The CW's 2010-11 upfront presentation because I was still riding high from the news that next year will be the final season of Smallville and and that One Tree Hill and Life Unexpected will move to Tuesdays, which means that I can ignore the network entirely on that evening. I was jolted out of my reverie by Katy Perry on stage, screaming about being hot and cold and daisy dukes and whatnot. Glad I perked up, though, because it was just in time to see her wig nearly slip off. I also got to check out her signature "dance" move: inching her skirt up while walking. You don't see technique like that on So You Think You Can Dance, that's for sure. As for the actual upfront, it was short and to the point, marred only by some awkward banter between stars of different shows airing on the same nights (Chace Crawford and AnneLynne McCord should never have to read live from a Teleprompter ever again). As for The CW's two new fall shows... well, at least they have pretty people in them.
Not sure what this show has to offer that I can't get from watching Bring It On or Make It or Break It, aside from Aly Michalka (of Aly & AJ fame) and Ashley Tisdale (of High School Musical infamy). Aly stars as Marti, a pre-law student who used to be a former gymnast and who hates cheerleaders. But sure enough, in order to stay in school and keep her scholarship, she has to join the competitive cheerleading team. Ashley plays Savannah, cheer captain extraordinaire, who exists to make Marti's life hell and get her team to another world championship. Not sure even Sue Sylvester could save this squad, much less producer Tom Welling (no, that's not a typo).
The CW's other fresh dramatic offering will either suffer from being in an overcrowded Thursday at 9 PM timeslot, or get a boost from its lead-in, The Vampire Diaries, the network's most popular show. While this new series based on La Femme Nikita seemingly lacks the wow factor of the movie (the original, not the one with Bridget Fonda), and doesn't have the previous TV show's icy cool Peta Wilson, it does star Maggie Q, who seems keen on stepping into Jennifer Garner's shoes as the next TV action queen. The show has a bit of an Alias vibe, minus the mythology, kicking off with a dead fiancé and Nikita out for revenge. It's not exactly breaking any new ground, but it does look like it could be fun. (And hey, I thought Diaries looked cheesy at least year's upfront, and it turned out to be the most consistently great show of the past season.) Here's hoping that Maggie Q brings some of the personality she exhibited on stage at the upfront (where she charmed everyone with her self-deprecating jokes about how much hotter her CW colleagues are) to this tough-girl role.
For midseason, The CW will roll out a reality series that bears the unfortunate title, Shedding for the Wedding. It's from the Biggest Loser producers and features overweight couples competing for a dream wedding. Even some of the advertising folks in the audience groaned at that one. Fortunately, there was no preview available for us to see.
The only other real news from this upfront (aside from finding out that 90210 is the most DVR'd show on TV -- seriously, who knew?) was that the next season of America's Next Top Model will be offering the cover of Italian Vogue to the winner. Guess having Andre Leon Talley on the panel does have its benefits. But will they get the actual cover, or just the back of the magazine, like Seventeen gave them? The suspense will kill us all summer long. XOXO.
Check out our initial reviews of CBS' new fall and midseason shows.
Watch TWoP's editors discuss the shows that deserved to get cancelled in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable news channel:
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