The CW heads into fifth season with some attitude

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Give us a C! Give us a W!

The CW’s latest teen-angst drama, ‘Hellcats,’ about a bunch of cheerleaders with bad attitudes, gave the executives at the network and its parent companies CBS and Warner Bros. something to cheer about. The show drew 3 million viewers and performed well in the key female demos the network targets.

Although one solid debut (it built on its lead-in ‘America’s Next Top Model’) does not a season make, it’s good news for the CW, which this week launches its fifth season. There were plenty of doubters that the network, which was born out of the merger of the WB and UPN networks, would last this long. While it still hasn’t made a profit, its shows have become successes for its two parent companies. For now that may be enough.

‘It is the assets that really make the money,’ said CW President Dawn Ostroff in an interview. ‘When you look at what we make for our parent companies, it certainly is big in the plus column.’

This season, the CW will carry 10 hours a week of original prime-time programming, including the much-anticipated remake ‘Nikita,’ starring Maggie Q as a lethal spy. The network is also getting aggressive in putting its shows online with full commercial loads. While that may be a turnoff to some viewers, Ostroff recognizes that if networks are going to embrace all platforms, they have to do it without completely compromising their traditional advertising revenue streams.


For more from Ostroff on what’s in store for the CW this season, read our interview in the Los Angeles Times.

-- Meg James