Some extra news and tidbits from The CW’s panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour:
-Network president Mark Pedowitz discussed the upcoming Vampire Diaries spin-off, which will follow Klaus (Joseph Morgan), one of the founding fathers of New Orleans, and the Original Family. “The genesis of that came from a conversation with Warner Bros. and Peter Roth at the time. I’m a big believer if you have something that’s working and you can incubate [it], it’s a good way to get pilots on the air,” Pedowitz told reporters. “We’re basically going to go and focus on the Original family.”
“The [lead] character will be Klaus,” Pedowitz confirmed. “Hopefully some of his siblings will come along. Klaus is just a great character and the Original family has such great dysfunctional family dynamics, we felt that was a great way to take the show.”
Phoebe Tonkin, meanwhile, will join the spinoff as Hayley — a move that effectively takes her out of the running for the role of Wonder Woman in The CW’s upcoming origin story pilot, “Amazon”. “At the moment Phoebe will be coming on board to the spinoff,” Pedowitz says, going on to praise her work on the short-lived series “The Secret Circle.” “We wanted to have her on The CW family. At the moment we haven’t thought about her in terms of Wonder Woman, but we have thought of her for the spinoff.”
Pedowitz says that the goal is to set the series predominantly in contemporary New Orleans, though flashbacks aren’t out of the question. Via: Zap2It
Other news, via via TV Guide:
-The network has no plans on going forward with an adaptation of the beloved Japanese film/novel and Hunger Games forerunner, Battle Royale. The story follows a group of school children confined to an island and forced to kill one another to survive. Though earlier reports had the network on-track to developing the project, Pedowitz confirmed that the series wouldn’t be moving forward. Although Pedowitz did attempt to obtain the rights to the book, “we were not able to do anything”, said the network honcho, adding that his interest in adapting the violent, gun-infused novel predated the tragedies in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn. “We are not planning on doing anything with Battle Royale. … Nothing happened.”
-In related news, the network does plan on moving forward with The Selection, another Hunger Games-esque project that failed to get picked up last year. The series is said to be edgy, but without nearly the violence of Battle Royale, or even The Hunger Games. Pedowitz, a very hands-on network prez, says he’s reworked the script to the series, adding that it remains in contention for a spot in next year’s lineup. “It’s very well done,” he said.
-New reality series are in the works. Pedowitz claimed that the network renewed Oh Sit! and Breaking Pointe as part of a strategy to load up on “more original programming so we are on the air on the summer.” This summer will also see the addition of two new unscripted competition shows: The Hunt, in which contestants are deposited into the wilderness with no supplies, and The Perfect Score, in which contestants take compatibility tests to find the perfect mate. The network also intends to remain committed to America’s Next Top Model, the latest cycle of which will include male models. “The show is a strong utility player,” said the network president.
-Web series are also in development at the network, as Pedowitz remained enthusiastic about the prospect of adding original online content, such as animated series Gallery Mallory, featuring the voices of Justin Hartley and Misha Collins, as well as a series featuring Hart of Dixie star Wilson Bethel.