CW boss Mark Pedowitz talks ‘The Flash’ and broadening out

CW president Mark Pedowitz says at the Television Critics Assn. press tour that he hopes the 2014-2015 season goes further in shedding the network's "teenage girl" image.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The CW isn’t trying to hold on to its youth.

Following a season heavy on darker supernatural fare and sci-fi projects, network president Mark Pedowitz said Friday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills that he hopes the 2014-2015 season goes further in shedding the network’s “teenage girl” image -- echoing his sentiments from the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers earlier this year.

It does so this with it the launch of two new series: dramedy “Jane the Virgin” and superhero drama “The Flash.”

“We’ve set out over the last few years to broaden out the 18-34 audience,” Pedowitz told reporters. “This year, we hope ‘The Flash’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ broaden out the audience base. I’m just happy to have viewers, in all honesty. We sell a certain way; we knew we had to broaden out our audience base somewhat.


Helping in the effort is the male-skewed, buzzed about drama “The Flash,” a spin-off of the CW’s hit superhero drama “Arrow.” “The Flash” tells the origin story of fast-moving superhero Barry Allen. And Pedowitz noted to a huddle of reporters after the panel that he thinks networks have taken a cue from his playbook.

“One of the nice things is a lot of other networks have done comic book characters based on the success of ‘Arrow,’” Pedowitz told reporters. Whether that’s true or not, the 2014-2015 season is seeing a growing number of comic book-based storytelling.

NBC will launch “Constantine,” based on the DC Comics franchises “Hellblazer” and “Constantine;” Fox will roll out “Gotham,” rooted in DC’s canon of Batman and the Gotham world; ABC has two Marvel properties with “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter”

“The fans want it, audiences like it,” Pedowitz said. “And you have source material to work with and can tell stories differently.”

Asked if he would consider adding a third DC property to its slate -- maybe “Wonder Woman” -- Pedowitz didn’t rule it out.

“If there’s one there, we will do it,” he said. “At the moment, there is no development in the works for “Wonder Woman.” If we could get the right script, we’ll do it.”

Still, Pedowitz stressed the CW isn’t aiming to be viewed as a genre network -- noting the addition of “Jane the Virgin,” based on a Venezuelan telenovela about a hardworking religious girl who is accidentally artificially inseminated; as well as its continued effort to pin down the comedy format.

“The one thing that we have learned it that audiences do not come to us to watch procedurals,” he acknowledged. Rather, viewers come to the CW “for interesting characters in serialized form.”

Twitter: @villarrealy