CW upfront notes: 'Smallville,' 'Supernatural,' '90210'-'Melrose' crossovers
"Smallville" is moving to Friday nights in the fall, but that shouldn't be taken as a sign that the network's longest-running current series is on its way out.
"No," CW Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff says. "First of all, it's way too early" to talk about at the moment, as the show's producers haven't yet mapped out the storyline for season nine. "But no, it's not the last season," she adds. "Hopefully not." (For what it's worth, star Tom Welling has reportedly signed on for two more seasons.)
"Smallville's" former Thursday-night companion, "Supernatural," is entering its fifth season in the fall -- and according to creator Eric Kripke's original blueprint for the show, five seasons would tell the whole story of the Winchester boys. As with "Smallville," Ostroff says it's too early to make a definitive statement on whether the show could go on longer.
"We'll see how the season goes," she says. "But they did a really good job creatively this year, and I think it really paid off in the ratings." "Supernatural" really was in a groove this season, but last week's finale basically set up the coming of the apocalypse. After Sam and Dean battle Lucifer, are there really any other demons to slay, so to speak?
Another veteran show, "One Tree Hill," is dealing with the departures of Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton from the cast. Ostroff is sorry to see them go, but she also thinks their leaving represents an opportunity to freshen up the series.
"We tried to get them to stay, and we would have been thrilled if they wanted to," Ostroff says. "I think the show moving into its seventh year was very open to sort of reinventing itself. One thing I have to give [creator] Mark Schwahn a lot of credit for is he's kept the show fresh all these years. ... I think Mark is excited about maybe bringing on a few new characters, which is what we're going to do now that we're finishing the pilot process.
"If you look at shows like 'ER' and [others] that go on for many, many years, a lot of these casts go through different people, and it really helps to keep shows fresh. So we're said to see [Murray and Burton] go, and grateful for everything they did for the show, but excited about moving on and seeing who else is going to join the cast."
The original "Melrose Place" was spun off from "Beverly Hills, 90210," and since the new "90210" takes place in the same world, we were wondering if there's a possibility for characters from that show to pop up on the new "Melrose," or vice versa. Answer: Very possibly.
"We actually have talked about character crossovers," Ostroff says. "It's not in the pilot, but I think there will be a lot of opportunities for us to do it."
That could pose a paradoxical problem, though, if Rob Estes ever comes near the apartment complex. Estes played Kyle McBride for much of the original "Melrose Place's" run, and he now plays West Bev High Principal Harry Wilson on "90210." So if Harry ever showed up at Melrose Place in search of, say, his daughter Annie (Shenae Grimes), the entire fictional universe could collapse on itself.
But this is "Melrose Place" we're talking about here. Who's up for an evil-twin story?