"Veronica Mars," "Everwood" and "One Tree Hill" each have passionate, vocal fan bases. None of them is particularly big, but given that the new network was unlikely to keep all three around, the execs had to be prepared for a flood of garment-rending, invective-filled complaints about why one show was saved over another.
Those complaints will be coming from "Everwood" fans. The critically hailed family drama was left on the outside Thursday when The CW officially announced its schedule, while "Veronica Mars" and "One Tree Hill" earned spots in the lineup.
Nearly all of the new network's schedule is made up of existing shows from UPN and The WB, which merged to become The CW. Only one new drama and one comedy will join the schedule, with another drama ordered for midseason.
Part of the reason the new crop is so small is that an 11th-hour change of heart resulted in the return of "7th Heaven," which will begin its 11th season in the fall despite having aired its "series finale" last week. (The CW can possibly explain that the episode was its finale as a WB series; the Frog played a similar linguistic game when "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" departed for UPN.)
The new drama is called "Runaway," and it stars Donnie Wahlberg ("Boomtown," "Saw II") as a man who's wrongly accused of murder. He and his family go on the lam while working to prove his innocence. Leslie Hope ("24," "Commander In Chief") also stars.
The new comedy is "The Game," a spinoff of "Girlfriends" that was introduced in an episode earlier this year. The show focuses on the girlfriends and wives of professional athletes.
Both "Veronica Mars" and "One Tree Hill" will be supported by strong lead-ins. "Veronica" will follow "Gilmore Girls" on Tuesdays -- a pairing mentioned way back in January, when the formation of The CW was announced. "One Tree Hill" will stay on Wednesdays, where it will follow the consistently solid performer "America's Next Top Model."
As for "Everwood," the show has reportedly shot multiple endings, including one that will wrap up some of its ongoing stories, in anticipation of this season possibly being its last. The show's finale is scheduled for Monday, June 5.