The CW Stocks Up on Sci-Fi

Network Orders Four New Dramas, Renews Nikita and Carrie Diaries

Although it won’t formally unveil its 2013-14 schedule for another week, the CW on Thursday effectively mapped out the entirety of its 2013-14 programming strategy.

In addition to its previously announced pickup, The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, the youth-targeted network is going ahead with a trio of sci-fi projects and an historical drama about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.

First up is The 100, an adaptation of Brooklyn writer Kass Morgan’s popular YA book series about a group of juvenile delinquents who are sent back to Earth to determine if the planet can be re-inhabited 95 years after a global thermonuclear war sent mankind packing. Henry Ian Cusick (Lost’s Desmond), Kelly Hu (Arrow), Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Aussie actress Eliza Taylor star in this Warner Bros. Television/Alloy Entertainment co-production.

Adelaide Kane Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Next, the CW offers a sort of interstellar Romeo and Juliet meets District 9 tale in Oxygen, a new drama in which an alien boy finds love at a suburban high school. Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegarden stars with CW vets Matt Lanter (90210) and Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries).

Telepaths work together to save the world from the forces of darkness in a refresh of the trippy 1970s U.K. kids series The Tomorrow People. Star Peyton List (90210) is yet another familiar, high-cheekboned face in this one-hour drama produced by Philip Klemmer (Political Animals), Greg Verlanti (Arrow) and the presiding genius of the CW, Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals).

The lone pickup that doesn’t monkey with the time-space continuum is Reign, a hot-blooded dramatization of Mary Stuart’s rise to power in the 16th Century French court. Actress Adelaide Kane (MTV’s Teen Wolf) plays the young queen.

Having previously renewed freshman series Arrow and Beauty and the Beast, as well as returning favorites The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, America’s Next Top Model and Hart of Dixie, the CW would appear to have filled the last of its available slots. But late in the day Thursday, the network agreed to a limited renewal for its third-year series Nikita and a second season of its underperforming newcomer The Carrie Diaries.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Carrie in its inaugural season averaged 1.14 million viewers, a 0.5 rating among adults 18-34 and a 0.8 in the women 18-34 demo. Nikita is the CW’s lowest-rated series, averaging a mere 0.3 in the two target demos on Friday nights.

The CW will present its fall schedule to media buyers and advertisers on Thursday, May 16 at the New York City Center. 

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