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TVUpfronts 2017

CW showcases diversity, youth -- and catfights! -- at upfront

The CW strutted its stuff Thursday at an upfront presentation at New York City Center in Manhattan, highlighting an inclusive lineup of superhero dramas and youthful reboots.

Oh, and catfights. 

"The CW lineup is better and broader than it's ever been," said network President Mark Pedowitz, who noted the efforts to create shows with "casts that represent and reflect everyone in our audience." 

Pedowitz boasted of the CW's superhero shows, including "Supergirl" and "The Flash," and a fall crossover event that has become an annual ratings draw. He also emphasized the network's relatively young audience, with a median viewer age of 45 on linear television, 34 for video on demand, and just 26 for digital. 

"The CW has evolved from a linear to a broadcast digital hybrid into a true multi-platform success," Pedowitz said. 

The little network that could previewed two new dramas for fall. "Valor," starring Matt Barr and Christina Ochoa, is a military thriller about elite helicopter pilots.  "Dynasty" is a reboot of the '80s primetime soap from "Gossip Girl" creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

The update promises a more diverse cast and less voluminous hair than the original -- but plenty of dishy salaciousness and glamorous bickering. A clip in which the new Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies) takes a swing at her stepmom-to-be Cristal Jennings (Nathalie Kelley) and tells her to "bite me" drew an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd of ad buyers. 

The network also repeatedly touted the diversity of its lineup, which will expand in the season ahead with "Dynasty" as well as the midseason drama "Black Lightning," about a black superhero and his family. 

Introduced by Pedowitz, "Jane The Virgin" star Gina Rodriguez delivered heartfelt remarks about the importance of "shows that reflect what America truly looks like."  

"Television has the power to bring someone into your living room you might not have had to meet otherwise, which is pretty dope, right?" she said, noting the network's five female-led series. "The CW uses its platform to build bridges of understanding through inclusion and equality."

The stars of one of those female-led shows, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," also made an appearance. 

Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III and Donna Lynne Champlin sang a disco-inspired number, "We'll Never Have Problems Again," from the low-rated but critically beloved series. 

Also on the horizon for the 2017-18 season are an animated Scooby-Doo crossover episode of the long-running "Supernatural," and the midseason drama "Life Sentence," starring Lucy Hale as a young woman whose life is upended when she finds out she's not dying of cancer.

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