The unprecedented COVID-19-based shutdown of the film and television industries has had some very weird effects on the world of broadcast TV, from Zoom-based reunion specials, to massively truncated seasons, to James Spader’s animated jowls. And now the news that The CW is going to try to shove an entire season of TV into the first half of 2021, because that’s apparently the only way we’re going to get back to business as usual, provided that business is a thing that’s ever going to be usual again.
This is per Deadline, reporting on a faux up-front the network held today, outlining its plans for the near-but-no-less-terrifying future. (For the unfamiliar, upfronts are the big annual meetings where network execs, stars, ad buyers, and the press all get together to hobnob about the upcoming TV schedule/get their germs all over each other.) Specifically, network president Mark Pedowitz announced that The CW’s “Fall 2020" schedule will actually kick off in January of next year, at which point it’ll then run full seasons of its shows through July or August—before jumping right into the “next” season in October of that year. All of which sounds super stressful for everyone involved in the production, but also presumably less stressful than being out of a job/catching a deadly virus.
Speaking of: This is all, of course, still tentative, based on just how Fury Road things get by the time Fall 2020 rolls around. “We take an optimistic view at the moment,” Pedowitz told reporters, while also acknowledging that there are plans in place to scrounge around for already-produced English-language entertainment to spackle in gaps in the schedule. That’s the same tack they’ve already taken to fill up this year’s programming block, where they’ll be tossing the already-filmed Swamp Thing, Dead Pixels, and Tell Me A Story—plus the still-needs-to-be-shot series finale of Supernatural. (After all, they need to clear Jared Padalecki’s schedule for the Walker: Texas Ranger reboot to debut just a couple of months down the line.)
You can see the full January 2021 schedule for The CW—which includes several “fingers crossed” new series, including Walker and Superman & Lois—below:
The CW January 2021 schedule:
8-9 PM — All American
9-10 PM — Black Lightning
8-9 PM — The Flash
9-10 PM — Superman & Lois
8-9 PM — Riverdale
9-10 PM — Nancy Drew
8-9 PM — Walker
9-10 PM — Legacies
8-9 PM — Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9-9:30 PM — Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:30-10 PM — Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8-9 PM — Batwoman
9-10 PM — Charmed