‘Supergirl’ Will Probably Be Our Top Show, CW Boss Says

TCA 2016: Network remains open to more superhero dramas that fit programming strategy, CW president Mark Pedowitz says

“Supergirl” may leap tall ratings hurdles for The CW, at least if Mark Pedowitz has his way.

Pedowitz, president of The CW, told reporters Thursday that he expects the superhero drama he’s inheriting from CBS to give a huge ratings boost to his network on Monday nights.

“There’s no question it probably won’t do as well as it did on CBS,” Pedowitz said at the Television Critics Association TV press tour in Beverly Hills. “But it will probably be our No. 1 or No. 2 show of the season.”

“Supergirl” premiered last season on CBS but, in a last-minute flurry of deal-making in May, made the switch to sister network CW, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros.

The addition means that the youth-skewing CW, which programs 10 prime-time hours per week, will have four superhero dramas in the fall, including “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”

“We weren’t expecting to have four this season,” Pedowitz said, referring to the 11th-hour negotiations that put “Supergirl” in play. “At this time there are no real discussions about any other superhero characters” that might drive another CW show, he added.

However, the comic-book franchises have performed so well for the once-struggling CW that Pedowitz left open the door for others at some point.

“We believe in these shows, we believe in the auspices of the producers,” he said. “When the right ones come along, we’ll keep doing them.”

Fanboys and fangirls remain loyal to the superhero shows. And the related story universes allow ample opportunities for crossovers, which CW will take advantage of this season. “There are plenty of big ones,” Pedowitz said of upcoming crossovers.

But committing to superheroes has entailed some tough choices for CW. The quirky musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has won acclaim from critics, but it has endured low ratings and had to be moved from a prime berth on Mondays to the relative dead zone of Fridays to make way for “Supergirl.”

Pedowitz sounded philosophical about making the necessary accommodations for more popular programming.

“Would we like a ‘Homeland’ or ‘The Night Of’ that fits our audience profile?” he asked. “Sure. …. But we have found for us that high-concept [shows], that those work for us. It helps define us.

“We are,” he said, “still a broadcaster.”