What television network does Satan want you to spend your time watching? On Thursday May 17, around noon, the Prince of Darkness wandered onto stage at the Theater at Madison Square Garden and confirmed what theologians have long suspected. He wants you to watch the CW
Admittedly, Thursday’s ringing endorsement didn’t come directly from the big man himself but rather from his latest small-screen stand in: the actor Ray Wise. This fall, Mr. Wise (ne Leland Palmer) will be playing the part of Beelzebub in a new situational comedy, called “Reaper,” which will air Tuesday nights on the CW.
The deviltry at the CW upfront presentation to advertisers had kicked off an hour earlier.
Around 11:00 a.m., the leggy hellkittens known as the Pussycat Dolls cranked out a gyrating performance of “Don’t Cha.” Afterwards, CW President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff took the stage. “Thanks for making me an honorary doll,” she joked. “Don’t I wish!”
Ms. Ostroff proceeded to explain that for the CW (a fledging network, which CBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment formed last year by mashing together UPN and the WB) the devil is in the demos. She noted that her network is the only one that exclusively targets 18 to 34 year old viewers.
A youthful theme was in the air.
In the lobby, a guy in a Dodgers hat painted a mural involving a really dope set of gold rims. A D.J. spun bass-heavy music. Models pranced here and there.
Back at the main event, Ms. Ostroff noted that the network’s most popular show, “America’s Next Top Model” would be returning for another season. Host and supermodel Tyra Banks sashayed on stage. She was joined by some lesser known models from the show. Ms. Banks did her best not to be too catty. “It’s not just retouching!” said Ms. Banks. “They’re pretty! They’re cute!”
Ms. Banks departed, and Ms. Ostroff ran through the network’s slew of new shows, including a drama called “Life is Wild,” about a Manhattan family moving to South Africa; “Aliens in America” about a Pakistani Muslim exchange student moving to Wisconsin; and a new reality series titled, “Farmer Wants a Wife.”
“The name pretty much says it all,” said Ms. Ostroff.
No arguments here!
Ms. Ostroff proceeded to give a now perfunctory pep talk about the importance of CW’s digital reach and interactive presence on the web. “We’re turning our mouse potatoes into couch potatoes,” she said.
Bill Morningstar, CW’s head of sales, took the stage. He talked up the network’s innovative models of advertising, including a new type of advertisement known as a CWickie.
“Not that kind of quickie,” said Mr. Morningstar. “Let’s keep it clean.”
But pretty soon, things were getting down and dirty again, as Ms. Ostroff introduced the network’s most promising new show of the season, “Gossip Girl,”—a drama, produced in part by Josh Schwartz (the erstwhile creator of The O.C.), focusing on the cliquish, coquettish lives of Upper East Side preppies behaving badly.
“This show is going to do for Manhattan what the O.C. did for Orange County,” said Ms. Ostroff.
Hear, hear! It’s about time somebody put this “Manhattan” place on the map. Why not the CW?
Satan, no doubt, will approve.