The CW Pilot Rundown: What's the Billboard?

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The Vampire Diaries is on fire. Case in point: these ridiculously hot magazine covers.

But few, if any, other shows on The CW are particularly buzz-worthy these days. Gossip Girl still satisfies its niche of fans, but it's literally the lowest rated show on television. New programs such as The Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie? Solid, but none are breakout hits.

That's why CW’s development head Thom Sherman says he had one question for anyone who pitched him pilot ideas for this fall: What's the billboard?

The CW

The following programs must have passed this test, as each has received a green light and will soon go into production. Not all will make the 2012-2013 schedule, but which do you most hope to see on the network later this year?

Beauty and the Beast: It's "a contemporary grounded [love story]," says Sherman, adding that the female lead will be a cop and the beast will help "from the shadows," not always appearing as an actual beast.

The Selection: Based on the upcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, this drama is set 300 years in the future and has drawn comparisons to The Hunger Games, "apt" comparisons Sherman notes, elaborating:

“It’s a dystopian North American society that’s one vast kingdom after a world war has changed everything. But it also has palace intrigue and a prince looking for his princess among the various territories he overseas. Our goal is for the quality to be like a show you’d see on a premium cable network.”

Joey Dakota: A time-traveling filmmaker must go back and save the life of a rock star with whom she has fallen in love. Says Sherman:

“It’s a big swing for the fence. It’s a wonderful script by Bert Royal, the writer of Easy A. It’s a lot of fun with musical elements to it...  It’s romantic, sexy and funny and there’s also a murder mystery."

Shelter: From the team of Mark Schwahn and J.J. Abrams, an "emotional and character driven [series] with a small weekly franchise element since it’s set at an inn, so you have weekly guest characters coming in.”

The Carrie Diaries: Self-explanatory Sex and the City prequel, although Sherman compares it to Smallville because "it’s an origin story - how she started writing, how she came to love Manhattan. Basically how we frame the show is, ‘Carrie at 16 found her first love and it’s not a boy - it’s Man-hattan.’ The other unique aspect is obviously the time period.”

Arrow: Will star Stephen Amell as the classic comic book character, someone Sherman describes as "very grounded, like a Jason Bourne."

Cult: Will star Jessica Lucas and an uncast blogger who investigate deaths that appear to be based on a TV show. Sherman refers to the project as “a twisted and sophisticated story."

First Cut: A younger version of Grey's Anatomy, with a nerdy medical school student looking to start fresh in a hospital

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(second post)
Also...Cult could be interesting. I don't know. Maybe Carrie Diaries, First Cut, Shelter, and Joey Dakota just sound incredibly LAME. I will be embarrassed if they go to air. Blechh!

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As long as they don't cancel my Ringer and Nikita! I need my Nikita and Ringer! What I'd like to see is Beauty & the Beast... THEY CAST KRISTIN KREUK (LANA LANG FROM SMALLVILLE), SO OF COURSE I HOPE IT DOES WELL! I will watch for her facetime alone. The Selection sounds interesting to me because it's vastly different from most stories. It's romantic and tragic (a secret love denied by society) with a fantasy element (set in the future with a totally different social setting) to it. As a hardcore fan of the former Smallville, I appreciated Justin Hartley as Green Arrow. I preferred old-school Smallville, but I most-of-the-time enjoyed Green Arrow. Arrow has potential... For one thing, they could bring in guest stars that detracted the focus AWAY from the main hero. They could bring in Superman. They could have Smallville guest stars like Justin Hartley, Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Michael Rosenbaum, Aaron Ashmore, Jonathan Schneider, Annette O'Toole, John Glover... The problem with the guy they picked: He’s cute, but he doesn’t look the part of Oliver Queen. Cult could be interesting too! Carrie Diaries, First Cut, Shelter, and Joey Dakota just sound incredibly LAME. I will be embarrassed if they go to air.

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wow none of these sound remotely interesting to me.
i can see how the carrie diaries would bring in viewers, but how many seasons could they possibly get from that? there's a time limit on that one. The first few episodes would be great and they would lose watchers and have poor ratings for a second or even third season. that's my prediction.
Why does this network get rid of (or ruin) the best shows? I loved melrose place, and it was cancelled. I never got to find out who killed that lady ): and secret circle is awesome, why would they go after that show? What's getting boring is vampire diaries. how much more can they draw from that plotline? I feel like they aren't doing anything to satisfy the religious watchers! like I'm pretty sure there are more chair fans than dair fans in gossip girl, and why hasn't alena gotten with damon yet?
PS why isn't ringer in trouble? that series is awful.

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Cult, with Matt Davis who plays Alaric Saltzman in the Vampire Diaries!

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I'm excited for Shelter! Looking forward to Mark Schwahn and J.J. Abrams working together. Hope it survives

Aries93

I am with @N+S_Fan. They all sound horrible and I don't think I'll be tuning into any of them. Arrow MAY grab my attention for the pilot, but I highly doubt I'll be watching it afterward.
I just wish The CW would give out earlier renewals now for their current shows.

Nsfan

TBH they all sound terrible. The Carrie Diaries and Arrow are the only two which don't sound like a an absolute joke

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They better renew Hart of Dixie.

Jasonr

I'm so excited for the shelter!

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these all sound terrible and first cut really wasn't that what scrubs was about?