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The CW Wants To Be The "Chicks Watch" Network

Illustration for article titled The CW Wants To Be The Chicks Watch Network

The latest Gossip Girl ads push the "OFMG" factor right in your face — and use a little creative Photoshopping to do it, points out blog Crime Scene Improvisation. Will digitally removing Blair's bathing suit result in more viewers? Dawn Ostroff, president of the CW, probably hopes so: The television network is not doing too well, reports Forbes. The number of viewers was down this past season — probably partly because of the writers' strike in Feb, partly because of its "fickle demographic" — 18-34 year olds. But just because a show has buzz doesn't mean people are watching. "Gossip Girl is one of the big mysteries of the television universe," Ms. Ostroff says. Gossip Girl only has 2.2 million viewers (by comparison, American Idol has 27,7 million). How is it that the show has "legions" of fans, loads of fan sites and a steady stream of "news" about its stars when the ratings are so low? "We have to figure out a way that all of those different viewing habits are getting counted," Ostroff adds. She'd also like to tweak the network's focus, and guess who she wants to concentrate on?

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Young women. Just call it Chick World. Female-friendly programming is what the CW is all about now. "We have talked about building a brand, about having flow," Ms. Ostroff explains. So wrestling show Friday Night Smackdown has been canceled. This fall, 90201, fashion-reality show Stylista and Valentine, a new hour-long romantic comedy about Greek gods playing cupid, will build on the audience drawn in by Gossip Girl and America's Next Top Model. The network is also going to launch its fall season earlier: September 1, three weeks earlier than other networks.

Lifetime, which calls itself the network for women, has changed from its previous Not Without My Daughter victim TV formula to a new bride-centric blueprint. CW's trying to lure "young women" with sex, scandal and fashion instead of crime and nuptials. (As a fan of GG and ANTM, I have no problem with this.) But: Do you think it will work? Will women flock to the CW? And if you were a woman running a network aimed at women, what shows would you greenlight?

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CW Focuses On Young Women [Forbes]

Innovation At The CW [Crime Scene Improvisation]

Related: Gossip Girl Taking It To Another Level [TVGasm]

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DISCUSSION

eleanorrigby-old
EleanorRigby

Speaking as someone who has read all the Gossip Girl books (and wanted a GG movie or something for years), I would have greenlit the series years ago. I can't decide if it gets more or less viewers and/or criticism because it is being done in the post-O.C. and My Super Sweet Sixteen era. I'm interested to see how the new 90210 does because it's hard to determine when viewers will tire of shows about rich kids.

It's also interesting that The CW wants to be known as a network for young women when a lot of their content and shows seem to be primarily aimed towards young males (not to be stereotypical, but I don't know many females who have stuck with Smallville).