In the vast void of summer TV, is there a place for new, scripted shows?
We’ll find out this year, when the CW network makes a huge push. This summer, it will start the seasons of eight scripted shows (including “Dead Pixels,” shown here) … return two others after long rests … and continue five spring shows that overlap deep into the summer.
That follows the 2020 slump, when the COVID lockdown crippled networks’ summer schedules.
For this year, networks are planning a return to normal. But that means reality shows – “America’s Got Talent,” “Bachelorette,” “Big Brother,” etc. – plus a pile of ABC games. Broadcast networks are avoiding new, scripted shows in the summer … except for PBS on Sundays and CW almost every day.
During the lockdown, CW began buying foreign shows. Some flopped — one was yanked after one episode – but others will be back. It also delayed the start of its season until January.
Now it has a strong stockpile of scripted shows for the summer. That includes:
– Shows bought from other countries. “Coroner” (returning July 15) and “Burden of Truth” (Aug. 19) are Canadian … “Dead Pixels” (July 18) is English … “Wellington Paranormal” (July 11) is from New Zealand, produced by the duo that makes the Emmy-nominated “What We Do in the Shadows.”
– One new series it was able to hold until summer. “The Republic of Sarah” debuts June 14.
– Two other shows that had mid-season runs in previous years, but now start in the summer. It will be “In the Dark” on June 9 and “Roswell, New Mexico” on July 26.
– “Stargirl,” which debuted last summer, drawing praise. It returns Aug. 10.
– Two of the CW’s bigger shows, which are taking long breaks. “Riverdale,” which still has 10 episodes, returns Aug. 11; “Supergirl” returns Aug. 24, for the last 13 episodes of its final season.
– And several shows that started late (or took long breaks), letting them overlap into the summer. They include “Dynasty,” “Legends of Tomorrow” and the CW’s three first-season shows – “Walker,” “Kung Fu” and “Superman & Lois.”
The plan generally has each summer arrival debuting after a new episode of one of the overlap shows.
On Wednesdays, for instance, a new “Kung Fu” at 8 p.m. June 23 leads into the “In the Dark” opener at 9. On Sundays, a new “Legends of Tomorrow” at 8 p.m., July 11 leads to two “Wellington Paranormal” half-hours at 9; a week later, the 9:30 slot goes to “Dead Pixels.”