The CW is sticking with what it knows best this season: Hour-long dramas directed at young and/or genre-friendly audiences, with plenty of Josh Schwartz in the mix. Five of the eight contenders are adapted, be it from comic books, other shows, or novels, guaranteeing a built in audience and a fair share of built in skepticism.
We’ve got your CW 2012-2013 cheat sheet below. Which do you think you’re most likely to tune in for on premiere night?
“Arrow”: No, it’s not a “Smallville” spin-off. Stephen Amell will star as Oliver Queen in this remaining of the DC superhero, led by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg. Katie Cassidy stars as his love interest and old flame (and Black Canary), with Willa Holland as his sister. The pilot is currently shooting in Vancouver.
“Beauty and the Beast”: Based on the 1987 series, “Smallville’s” Kristen Kreuk is the aforementioned Beauty with Aussie Jay Ryan as the Beast who saved her life when she was younger. The procedural also stars Austin Basis and Nicole Gale Anderson.
“The Carrie Diaries”: Though it’s based on the “Sex and the City” novel prequel, “The Carrie Diaries,” the show may not follow “SATC” canon precisely. Starring AnnaSophia Robb as a young Carrie Bradshaw and Austin Butler as her love interest, expect a very fashionable look at life as a teenager 1980s Manhattan. “Gossip Girl” team Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage executive produce.
“Cult”: Starring “Vampire Diaries” favorite Matt Davis and “Melrose Place’s” Jessica Lucas, this super-meta look at cult television fandom follows a blogger and a production assistant investigating murders related to a popular TV show. It’s another Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage production, co-starring Alona Tal and Robert Knepper.
“First Cut”: “First Cut” walks the line between “Scrubs” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Starring Mamie Gummer as a new doctor with a nerdy streak she can’t shake and Justin Hartley as her super-hot fellow doctor crush, this one is helmed by Jennie Snyder Urman.
“Joey Dakota”: Based on Israel’s “Danny Hollywood” this time-travel musical stars Amber Stevens as a filmmaker who goes back in time in order to save a rock star who may have been murdered in the ’90s. Spoiler alert: while she’s back there convincing him to live, they fall in love… and it has dire consequences. Craig Horner plays the title role.
“The Selection”: Billed as “The Hunger Games” meets “The Bachelor” (heavy on “The Bachelor”), “The Selection” envisions a time 300 years in the future when a poor young woman is chosen by random lottery to join a competition to marry the prince. Aimee Teegarden and Ethan Peck star as the not-so-star-crossed couple.
“Shelter”: From “One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn, “Shelter” takes place at a summer resort and chronicles the rivalries and romances of the staff and guests. Mitch, a returning staff member, finds himself thrown off course when he makes a surprising connection with Kathryn… a guest who has chosen the resort as the site of her wedding to her professional athlete fianc�.