In yesterday's installment of the MediaWorks Guide to Fall TV -- our series of video cheat-sheets to help you stay on top of the cultural/media conversation about the season's brand new shows -- I suggested that maybe, just maybe, NBC's new sitcom "Up All Night" had been focus-grouped into existence to appeal to a certain demo. (This good news for NBC's turnaround just in from The Wrap: "NBC's new 'Up All Night,' starring Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as harried new parents, scored big for the network Wednesday.")
But I really should have saved my cynicism for "The Secret Circle" -- debuting tonight at 9/8 C on the CW -- which is based on the young-adult book series of the same name by L.J. Smith.
Here's the CW's breathless description of the show:
Cassie Blake was a happy, normal teenage girl -- until her mother Amelia dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire. Orphaned and deeply saddened, Cassie moves in with her warm and loving grandmother Jane in the beautiful small town of Chance Harbor, Washington -- the town her mother left so many years before -- where the residents seem to know more about Cassie than she does about herself. As Cassie gets to know her high school classmates, including sweet-natured Diana and her handsome boyfriend Adam, brooding loner Nick, mean-girl Faye and her sidekick Melissa, strange and frightening things begin to happen. When her new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they've been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle, Cassie refuses to believe them -- until Adam shows her how to unlock her incredible magical powers. But it's not until Cassie discovers a message from her mother in an old leather-bound book of spells hidden...
Oh God! It goes on and on but I'm cutting it off there. I can't take it anymore! More supernatural teens! And on the CW, which is already home to "The Vampire Diaries," based on the book series by ... yep, L.J. Smith. Obviously this show stands a very good chance of totally rocking the entire 8-to-15 female demo -- particularly if the CW throws some sexy vampires, kittens and cupcakes into the mix. I haven't read any of the "Secret Circle" books, but I bet they're in there somewhere.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.