The little CW on Thursday announced three new dramas, including programs starring heartthrobs Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rachel Bilson, and a new reality show for fall. Not returning: Hellcats, which got the boot, and Smallville, which wrapped its 10-year run as scheduled last week. One Tree Hill will get a similar wrap, after nine years, beginning at midseason.
The CW shuffled and dealt all over its schedule, with only three shows - America's Top Model, Vampire Diaries (its highest-rated show), and Supernatural - keeping their old time periods.
Gellar's Ringer gets a strange slot, Tuesdays after 90210. The show was developed by CBS, where executives decided they had so many good new series, they would slide Ringer over to sister network CW.
Executive producer Josh Schwartz takes over all of Monday night with Gossip Girls and Hart of Dixie, the show with Bilson, who became a surprise star when she worked for Schwartz playing Summer Roberts on Fox's The O.C.
The CW gives Thursdays to executive producer Kevin Williamson, who will follow Diaries with The Secret Circle, which is also based on a series of books by L.J. Smith.
Two reality shows were announced for midseason: another one featuring models, and one that sounds like a version of Big Brother gone horribly askew.
The new fall series:
Ringer. The mob looks to whack Gellar after she witnesses a murder, so she assumes the role of her wealthy twin sister, who has the decency to disappear. Alas, other bad guys are after the sister, so it's not the safest plan. Plus, there are all those shocking secrets Sis was keeping.
Hart of Dixie. Hotshot newly minted M.D. Bilson leaves the sophisticated bright lights of New York City, for reasons one hopes will be made clear, to move to the backwater of Bluebell, Ala., to work with a grandfatherly doctor. But - oh, no! - he dies, and leaves his half of the medical practice to her. Her mean partner with the snotty daughter makes Rachel want to hightail it back to the big city, but the prospect of having to put up with her mother there keeps her in Dixie.
The Secret Circle. Another sweet young thing winds up in the boonies, this after her mother dies in what appears to be a tragic accidental fire. Turns out 1) The place is crawling with cute, young witches and warlocks. 2) Our heroine might be a witch, too. And 3) A lot of the parents are really evil. Imagine that!
H8R. Mario Lopez, who's happier about the reality-show craze than anyone on the planet because it gives him constant employment, hosts a show in which "celebrities" argue with ordinary people who can't stand them. The celebs are supposed to be demonstrating that they're not all that bad, but how can they do that if they're on a stupid reality show?
Jonathan Storm: Fall Lineup: CW
New shows in bold
8, Gossip Girl; 9, Hart of Dixie.
8, 90210; 9, Ringer.
8, H8R; 9, America's Top Model.
8, The Vampire Diaries; 9, The Secret Circle.
8, Nikita; 9, Supernatural.