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Superhero shows 'have their time' as new CW leader outlines plan to make network 'bigger and profitable'

The new CW regime has outlined their plans to reshape the network , moving beyond its previous slate of DC Comics-inspired superhero shows in an effort to make the present ) Broadcasters controlled by Nexstar profit 2023.

Former Pop TV President Brad Schwartz, now The CW Entertainment President, and Network President Dennis Miller (no, not the that one) talked about Nexstar’s first fall schedule For the previously youth-biased network, Thursday shared how they plan to use foreign acquisitions, impromptu series and LIV golf to expand the network to Details to attract new and returning viewers and repeat customers.

“We’re delighted that The CW is now in the hands of Nexstar, a company with more free cash flow than Paramount and almost as much as Fox,” Schwartz said. Telling reporters to stand on stage in New York, the assembled media (and via Zoom) grilled the executive about the network’s overhaul. “The CW is now run by a broadcaster with the sole goal of building a strong brand and developing an emotional attachment to as many viewers as possible. Broadcasting is their core business. Our goal is to do what’s best for viewers, stations and advertisers The CW will no longer be built for the benefit of the two content studios.”

The latter dig was aimed at CBS Studios and Warner Bros. Television, the CW’s former co-owners. Owners, now everyone retains only .5% stake in the network they built The rest goes to profit

Station group Nexstar took full control of The CW late last year, ousting longtime CEO Mark Pedowitz and his senior management team, and shifting to a model where It wants to make network profitable changes by 1235486774.

Miller and Schwartz canceled All but two of the CW native originals – All American (fall schedule) and Walker (Midseason) – and three more – Superman and Lois, Gotham Knights Mission and All American: Homecoming – waiting for their future decision. This comes after a particularly brutal preseason last year in which The CW eliminated nearly half of its Pedowitz roster and the company spent years nurturing a network designed to be profitable for its owners, not as an independent broadcaster.

specifically asked about the future of Superman & Lois – the remaining two One DC Comics show is still in a bubble — a business model that Schwartz says no longer works for Nexstar’s vision for the network.

“They’ve been a hallmark of The CW for a long time. As we look forward and work to make this network bigger and more profitable, frankly, as much as we love these shows and they have their time, but they’re not working online,” Schwartz said.

Instead, The CW is placing its fall schedule on shows already airing abroad, canceled cable shows (AMC’s 49st Street) and the rejected reality show (HBO Max’s FBoy Island). Miller and Schwartz explain that this model was designed to maximize CW’s revenue. About Gotham Knights, Superman & Lois and Homecoming is expected to come “soon,” as Schwartz said he talks about them with producer Warner Bros. Television every week. At the same time, all three films cost less than most of the imports that Schwartz repeatedly touted during his time Sullivan’s Crossroads Both expensive – plus a pre-demo on Thursday.

Under Pedowitz, The CW’s audience age group is 18-49 Fares like Riverdale and Nancy Drew . Under Nexstar, Schwartz and Miller plan to focus on the older audience among advertisers’ coveted adults 24-49 Demographics but vowed not to turn away viewers who made the broadcaster’s previous content an appointment.

“The young adult audience isn’t booking broadcasts today,” Miller said, noting that it was a “great strategy” that has evolved into demos now selling at higher prices Local originals such as Euphoria, Stranger Things and Wednesday . “Those viewers have given up broadcasting, so we must have an opportunity to grow that audience.”

The Hollywood Reporter Asked if they expected low-cost foreign acquisitions to use them as filler on the schedule before Pedowitz, Miller argued that those shows, starring the likes of Patrick Dempsey and Brendan Fraser, had no marketing or priority consider.

“For us, we found acquisitions that could be big shows,” said Schwartz, who is president of Pop TV Schitt’s Creek for American audiences. “I don’t think ‘acquisition’ is a bad word. Sullivan’s Crossing cost as much as any other show. We think these are Huge hit show. To me it doesn’t matter who does the show. The question is: will people watch it?

“I don’t differentiate between homegrown development and acquisition,” he continued “We picked shows that we thought had a chance to do well. Sullivan’s Crossing probably bigger than anything on The CW last year, FBoy Island probably bigger than anything on The CW in the last year. Fleabag is a buyout, Bodyguard is an acquisition, Squid Game from the rest of the world. Every show we acquire, we strike a deal to be creatively involved in the future. We want to be co-producers; we want our show to be in awards shows. “

While The CW has the rights to seasons already in production, Schwartz has opened the door to producing more seasons as a partner with other studio producers. But first , our goal is to expand the network beyond the current younger demos.

We can market to other shows,” when asked about the network’s current lack of superhero programming, He said.

With two DC Comics shows up in the air, Schwartz called them “expensive,” noting that they aren’t directly profitable for The CW (although they are for Warner Bros.) ). Schwartz said that “we didn’t have the right to watch the previous seasons” of the three bubble shows, noting that Nexstar “spent millions of dollars” to launch Superman & Lois and Gotham Knights. “It frustrates us because you can’t tell people to catch up with Superman and Lois It’s on HBO Max, and it’s the 24 number one priority there,” he said. “It’s too hard. If you want to do business on the show and connect that show to audiences around the world, you need to have the whole library.”

Looking to the future, Schwartz outlines With a string of improvisations and original and scripted fare such as Sophie Turner in a co-production, Joan , a German import The Swarm, and former A spinoff of the TNT series The Librarians , which he hopes will be the network’s next franchise. (Read more about Schwartz’s scripting strategy here .)

“We It has to be in the way we look at content,” he said. “We can’t write a check for $10 million per episode for a show with dragons. We have to build efficiently through co-productions, and we’re looking for acquisitions that can translate into co-productions.”

Schwartz also vowed that the CW wouldn’t cut LIV golf, which the network played last weekend in a critical The postseason performance aired after a rain delay of two hours, as he hoped the addition of sports programming would bring new viewers to the network.

“The CW brand has such a passionate connection with a small audience and we’re going to try to keep them. But we have to get bigger and bigger,” he said, noting that The process starts with adding new viewers, keeping them engaged with the network longer and returning to it more often. “As great as the CW has been, it doesn’t have a lot of new people and it’s just talking to the same people over and over again. LIV Golf is bringing new viewers and new viewers to The CW and we’re focused on 12- 49 Demo and want to extend to Older version.”

DISCLAIMER: Lesley Goldberg is married to Gotham Knights Co-creator Natalie Abrams.




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