The CW lost out on the Riverdale spinoff based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch because the network was not prepared to offer producers the huge 2-season, 20-episode order Netflix offered, according to president Mark Pedowitz.
“Warner Bros had a real opportunity,” Pedowitz told Tracking Board during his network’s day at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour Sunday. “Netflix offered them a two-year deal, we weren’t ready to do that. I wish them the best.”
Pedowitz insisted the network did not pass on Sabrina, which has just cast Kiernan Shipka in the lead role, because of its in-development reboot of Charmed, spearheaded by Jane the Virgin showrunner Jennie Urman. Both shows feature young women with supernatural powers, but they’re very different, the exec said.
“We could have done both shows… We’re very high on Charmed, we’re very high on Jennie’s take on Charmed,” Pedowitz said. “I’m very happy for everyone involved [with Sabrina], the studio and Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa, the showrunner], Jon Goldwater of Archie comics, that Netflix thinks so highly of them.”
Before anyone asks, no, there are no discussions yet about any crossovers between Riverdale and Sabrina.
The network is so packed with programming this year that several midseason shows won’t premiere until April, but that just goes to the plan for the network to exist year-round, said Pedowitz: “It helps us to have shows there to promote for the following fall.”
But even still, there are no immediate plans to expand programming to Sunday nights. The network currently only programs Monday – Friday.
“There’ve been discussions [about Sunday], but no timetable,” he said. “There’s been discussions for years.”
The executive also remained high on two shows that are several seasons in and seem to be winding down. The 100 showrunner Jason Rothenberg has plans for what a sixth season could look like, and no decision about the show’s fate after Season 5 will be made until May, said Pedowitz, who added, “I’m a big fan of the show, I’ve always been a big fan of the show, so hopefully we’ll get there.”
And Arrow, the DC superhero show that birthed the network’s Arrowverse of interconnected shows, is not going anywhere either, if he has his way.
“I’m not ready for it to wind down,” he said, also touting the show’s multi-platform performance despite declining linear ratings. “As long as they can [keep going], as long as the storytelling’s there, we’d love to.”
Linda Ge | TV Editor