'Beauty and the Beast' is 'very profitable'; CW promises 'Arrow'-'Flash' crossovers

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The CW's day at the 2014 TV press tour began with network president Mark Pedowitz taking questions from reporters. Topics discussed ranged from "Jane the Virgin" and the question of diversity to the "Beauty and the Beast" renewal to questions about "Arrow"/"The Flash" and "The Vampire Diaries"/"The Originals" crossovers and more.

Why 'Beauty and the Beast' is coming back

When it gets down to it, there are two reasons why the low-rated "Beauty and the Beast" got renewed for Season 3: a dedicated fan base and big international ratings.

"'Beauty and the Beast' had a very engaged fan base. It has a very big international following," Pedowitz says. "It's a very profitable show for everybody."

Some might ask why the the final Season 2 episodes got pushed to the summer -- a move many saw as a prelude to cancellation -- and the answer is again simple. "We had to put two midseason shows on ... and we needed space," Pedowitz says. "We're going to use 'Beauty and the Beast' at midseason or summer next year."

What can fans expect when the show does return? It sounds like a couple of months will have passed since the events of the Season 2 finale. Catherine and Vincent will still be together, but they have new challenges to face. "They're out in public. They're a couple," says Pedowitz. He offers a small tease for the upcoming stories as well, regarding Vincent being a medical doctor: "He'll get his license back."

'Jane the Virgin': Comedy and diversity

To say that Pedowitz is excited about "Jane the Virgin" might be an understatement. He got many questions about diversity and this unusual pilot and answered all positively.

"Diversity has always been a top priority. I believe our shows should reflect what our country looks like," Pedowitz says in answer to the question of why he wanted to bring in a show like "Jane," which has a predominantly Latino cast. "It is something I believe in -- we're an immigrant nation and without that we're nothing."

Why "Jane the Virgin"? Basically the title popped out when The CW was pitched a bunch of telenovela concepts. Then they liked the comedy and felt it would help to open Monday nights on The CW. Add in that "The Originals" is female-skewing, and The CW felt that the show belonged there.

Cancellations and ratings

While happy that The CW is not just a "teenage-girl" network anymore, Pedowitz isn't discounting anyone on his perennially ratings-challenged network. "I'm just happy to have viewers," he jokes.

That said, The CW does look at digital numbers a lot, since the network doesn't think the sampling for the Nielsen ratings is broad enough. But including digital numbers doesn't save everything -- "The Carrie Diaries," "Star-Crossed" and "The Tomorrow People" are examples of that.

Each of these now-canceled shows did get a digital boost, but that wasn't enough. In the case of "The Carrie Diaries," the on-air numbers never increased enough to save the show after digital numbers brought about Season 2. "The Tomorrow People" missed the mark on both online and on-air numbers. And "Star-Crossed" -- despite the 90 boxes of pasta fans sent to Pedowitz last week -- simply didn't have the numbers for The CW to keep it.

Crossovers

With the premiere of "The Flash" this fall, The CW will have two spinoffs and their parent programs on at the same time. That of course means that crossover episodes are an option.

For "The Flash" and "Arrow," it sounds like a lot of crossovers of characters are planned. Pedowitz hints at many characters moving between the shows. New and existing DC Comics villains are also expected.

For "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals," both shows will begin with characters trying to get back into their respective towns. On top of that, "When it is organic, we'll do a couple of crossovers," Pedowitz promises.

Photo/Video credit: The CW