As usual, The CW batted last during upfront week, showing off its new slate Thursday morning at the New York City Center.
But network president Mark Pedowitz ended this week-long slog of presentations for ad buyers (and reporters) with the best present possible gift: An upfront that lasted under an hour. The brief show featured trailers for new series “All American,” “In the Dark” and their reboots for “Charmed” and “Roswell,” as well as a bit of news for its “Arrow-verse” (more on that below), but sadly no Gina Rodriguez.
Read TheWrap’s five takeaways from the final upfront presentation of 2018 below.
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Holy contractually obligated performance, Batman
It just wouldn’t be a CW upfront without a rock band to kick off the proceedings. And this year it was 30 Seconds to Mars (who feature a fairly famous lead singer in Jared Leto) to delight the crowd with a pair of new singles, including “Walk on Water” and, what many weary ad buyers have probably thought after this long week, “Rescue Me.”
“We’re the early morning breakfast band,” said Leto, who added what anyone would say after having to play loud music at 11 a.m. “This is not rock ‘n’ roll hours.”
Taye Diggs slams his former shows?
Taye Diggs, one of the costars of drama “All American,” appeared to throw some shade at his former TV gigs. Though he didn’t call anyout by name, he told the crowd that, though he’s been on an upfront stage many times before, “this is the first time that I’ve actually been proud.”
Ouch. Let’s hope he won’t have to take that back if he finds himself on another upfront stage next year.
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In introducing CW’s “In the Dark,” a show about a blind woman and her guide dog, Pedowitz referenced the networks’ CW Good initiative and its work with Guide Dogs of America. Before running the trailer for “In the Dark,” Pedowitz showed off a brief clip of puppies. “This is just a shameless excuse to show you these puppies again,” he admitted. While Perry Mattfield was able to come on stage after the trailer, she had to go solo because the dog, was unfortunately, not in attendance.
Heading to Gotham City
The CW did not have a new DC Comics-inspired series to show off this year, but the network is still had a new superhero to unveil. Stephen Amell, who kicked off CW’s “Arrowverse” with “Arrow,” was on stage to announce that the network will finally head to Gotham City (just don’t expect the Caped Crusader to show up … yet). For its annual four-series crossover event, the CW will also introduce Batwoman, although we don’t know yet who will play her.
Pedowitz also touted the performance of its rookie drama “Black Lightning” and brought out the cast, including star Cress Williams. “It’s a gift for all of us to be in Black Lightning,” Williams told the crowd. “An African American superhero striking a cord with audiences all around the world it’s a powerful thing.”
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CW has some “pun” promoting its new Sunday lineup
The CW wants you to know that’s primetime lineup will extend to Sundays next season. Like really know. How? Well, as attendees were exiting the building, there were numerous people passing out Sundaes.
That’s a wrap from the 2018 upfronts, now we wait until the fall (or midseason) to see which of these shows will be back this time around next year.
Related stories from TheWrap:
CW’s Annual DC Crossover Will Include Batwoman, Visit Gotham City
The CW Boss on Starting Up Sundays Again: We Wanted ‘Shows That Empowered Women’
The CW Schedule: ‘Supergirl,’ ‘Charmed’ on Fall Sundays; ‘Jane,’ ‘iZombie’ to End in Midseason