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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Upfronts update: The CW picks up four, Randy Jackson quits American Idol, and CBS decides women are almost as good as men

Illustration for article titled Upfronts update: The CW picks up four, Randy Jackson quits emAmerican Idol/em, and CBS decides women are almost as good as men

Here’s more upfront and general TV house-cleaning news from today.

• The CW picked up four new series, a surprisingly large number, given that the network only programs 10 hours per week and had already picked up Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. With only a couple of hours open already, these pickups don’t bode well for the beleaguered Carrie Diaries, but the network is also airing reruns of it all summer, so… who knows? Anyway, the four new dramas include The 100, which follows 100 juvenile delinquents sent back to a nuclear war-ravaged Earth to “investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet” (which probably just means “hook up”) and features Henry Ian Cusick and Isaiah Washington of all people; Oxygen, which is about an epic romance between Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegarden and a high-school alien; Reign, which follows the “untold” story of the rise of Mary, Queen of Scots, who’s hot with the kids today; and The Tomorrow People, a remake of the British series about teenagers who might represent the next stage of human evolution, hailing from Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec and Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti. Sadly for all of us, none of these shows are about werewolves. You can read more about them, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, here. [UPDATE: As per Variety's Cynthia Littleton, The Carrie Diaries and Nikita have also been renewed, which means The CW just renewed everything that was in contention. Maybe a long-lost uncle unexpectedly died and bequeathed the network with a large windfall.]


• The only reason CBS had yet to renew Criminal Minds for a ninth season stemmed entirely from the fact that it had yet to lock in all of the show’s cast members. The reason for that, at least according to Deadline, was that the show’s female stars wanted to be paid as much as its male stars are paid, perhaps thinking that their equal work should deserve equal pay or some other such insane notion, since, after all, this is a long-running ensemble drama where viewers might be interested in all of the characters and not just the ones with penises. Well, guess what, everybody? CBS says that, ha ha, that’s just not the case, because the deal to renew Criminal Minds was closed today, and Deadline reports that though the female cast members sought parity, “the two didn’t quite get there but received sizable pay increases.” CBS: striking a great blow for feminism since 1948.

• This isn’t really upfront news, but we had to stick it somewhere: Randy Jackson has left American Idol, something that keeps getting reported as “Randy Jackson quits American Idol” by other sources but which we keep reading as “Randy Jackson rage quits American Idol,” if you’d like that as a mental image. Here is more on his resignation from Entertainment Weekly. The last remaining judge who was there from the beginning, Jackson has been rumored as a potential departure for a few years now. This seems as if it might be the harbinger of a general house cleaning at Idol, which has been slumping in the ratings this year behind the surging The Voice. All we ask is that the show keep Nicki Minaj around. She’s exactly what the show has always needed. (No, why don’t you believe us? We’re serious! C’mon!)

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