The CW shook up its entire prime-time schedule, moving many established programs to new nights, while announcing one of its flagship programs, "Gossip Girl," would return for just a half-season run before ending its tenure on the air.
The network, owned jointly by CBS Corp. and Time Warner , is working to increase the size of its audience by gradually moving beyond the young-female demographic that tunes in to programs such as "America's Next Top Model" and "90210." It also faces a difficult challenge in that the young viewers it seeks to attract often watch video programming via nontraditional means, which crimps the shows' traditional TV ratings .
The new fall slate includes more action-themed programming that could appeal to a broader swath of viewers. CW said it would move the veteran series "Supernatural" to Wednesdays, where it will be preceded by "Arrow," an action series based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. What's more, the network said it would keep "Nikita" on the air, continuing on Fridays.
The schedule also is notable for what it's missing: comedies and a reality series. The CW has had little success with launching new entries in the genre, with one recent effort, "H8R," becoming one of the first cancellations of last season. The network's other efforts have often focused on making over young teens in hopes of helping them achieve romance or other goals. Meantime, the CW has chosen to focus on one-hour dramas when every other English-language broadcast network is putting increased emphasis on sitcoms.
"Gossip Girl," the soapy teen series based on the Cecily von Ziegesar novels, will end its six-season run in the first half of the new season, the network announced, and will be replaced with "The Carrie Diaries," an early take on the characters from "Sex and the City," in January. Both shows will air Monday at 9 p.m., and will be preceded by "90210" at 8 p.m., a new night for that drama.
On Tuesday, "Hart of Dixie" will return for its sophomore season at 8 p.m., followed by "Emily Owens, M.D." starring Mamie Gummer as a young doctor who finds working in a hospital is a lot like high school. Ms. Gummer is the daughter of actress Meryl Streep.
Thursdays will continue to feature "The Vampire Diaries," which starts at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., the CW will launch "Beauty & the Beast," a fantasy-oriented drama about a female homicide detective who crosses paths with a mysterious man who harbors a dark secret.
Fridays will feature the network's long-running "America's Next Top Model" at 8 p.m., a new night, followed by "Nikita" at 9 p.m., a new time slot.
One new drama, "Cult," is slated as a mid-season replacement. The drama focuses on an investigative journalist who seeks a missing brother amidst the dark world of the fans of a strange TV program.
In a twist, the network said it would launch all its programs in early October, an attempt, perhaps to find some clear space among the tens of new program launches by all the TV networks in the fall. The shows will start later than most, and, in fact, later than the CW typically starts programs. In years past, the network has started its programming earlier than others, in late August or early September.