The CW gets a new president: Dawn Ostroff to be replaced by Mark Pedowitz


Image Credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

It’s official: The CW’s entertainment president since its inception, Dawn Ostroff, will step down next month and will be replaced by former ABC Studios chief Mark Pedowitz, who helped develop hits like Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Scrubs, Army Wives, Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds.

The CW launched five years ago after The WB and UPN merged and has struggled to gain ratings traction at a time when broadcast in general has slipped. Though shows like Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries have broken through, most of the network’s top draws are aging hits that The CW inherited — like Smallville, One Tree Hill and America’s Next Top Model. Meanwhile, cable rivals going after the network’s young female viewers, like MTV and ABC Family, have proven formidable competitors, with shows like Secret Life of the American Teenager, Jersey Shore, and Teen Mom pulling serious numbers.

The network has seemed to have a tough time figuring itself out — is it the female soap network? The supernatural genre network? And then there’s Top Model, its only reality hit. Its target demo clearly loves reality shows — just look at MTV — but the network has never found another show that it was able to successfully pair with Top Model on Wednesday nights.

Next fall’s crop of CW pilots are already being shot, so turning around The CW might take awhile, even if Pedowitz hits the ground running…


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  • Jackie

    So glad she renewed ‘Supernatural’ before stepping down!

    • Flip


    • lisa


    • J


      • Tom

        gotta love that 500 yard stare

    • Melody

      Amen to that!!

  • Ina

    This makes me scared for all of my favorite aging shows. I know that ANTM is past its prime but heck if I don’t still relish every single second of modeldrama. I wish that Life Unexpected would get a come back. I know it’s long gone but I loved it.

  • Hali

    And as usual, Supernatural gets no love @_@. I second the Supernatural renewal comment.

  • Sparky

    About time – disastrous President!!

    • Mick

      Agree, she needs to go.

  • Aliya Khan

    I wonder if they named the Ostroff Centre in Gossip Girl after her?

    • Steven

      They did. The creator said it was a nod to the CW President.

  • Tvaddict

    As long as they keep 90210, gossip girl, the vampire diaries, and Nikita around I will be happy!

  • Eric Schaper

    It’s about time! While UPN was technically the higher rated network compared to WB, the shows on WB were much better. UPN was just higher rated because of WWE Smackdown, which never re-runs. The WB president should have taken over for the get-go. She should have known that no one would watch 7th Heaven with half the cast after it was initially canceled. Keeping and the dropping Everwood for a shell of 7th Heaven was crazy (it was on long enough, and it was never that great to begin with).

    • Jamie


    • Melody

      The biggest mistakes in WB history, in order: 3. The final season of 7th Heaven. 2. Canceling Jack and Bobby. and number 1 goes to: Canceling Everwood, what a great show and a huge mistake to drop it.

  • Michael

    to meantions she hated smallville

  • gerald

    The only shows I watch are Nikita and 90210. I’m happy they renewed one of them but I want both…. Nikita is a great show that gets better and better.

    • MC

      I don’t watch 90210 (loved the original), but Nikita is one of my new favorites! I really hope it gets picked up as you’re right, it’s getting better and better!

    • Jamie

      I only watch The Vampire Diaries and Nikita, but I completely agree about Nikita being a really great show that keeps getting better and better. I hope it gets renewed – it HAS to!

  • mark in nyc

    really? teh CW has a president? I just thought it was a bunch of teenagers in a room yelling things like “younger!” and “hotter, who cares if they can act!”

  • Chris

    WB, UPN, or CW, that network will be on my eternal s__tlist for cancelling Angel before its time.

    • James Marsters

      No sh!t.

    • Ian

      Angel and Jack & Bobby still tick me off. Once Smallville and Supernatural are gone I won’t care about The CW anymore.

      • Jackie

        ::sigh:: I LOVED ‘Jack & Bobby’!

  • AndErZ

    seconded…as well as Veronica Mars. Good riddance.

    • Melody

      Thank for reminding me, make that one of the biggest mistakes in CW/WB history!!

  • Flip

    Goodbye heifer who cancelled Veronica Mars!!!!

  • Lynn

    BEST. NEWS. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fortune

    Does this mean their future shows wont be geared only towards tweens & females??? Lets hope so. If Nikita doesnt get renewed, then the only shows with action in them will be TVD & Supernatural.

    • TheRock

      I think The CW will always be geared towards females. Seems like CW got a pretty good president will take time to turn CW around I think they have pretty good plots.

    • Jason

      Let’s hope the new guy realizes that, 1) half of America is not female, 2) more than half of females are not tweens, 3) men are couch potatoes who watch TV more than chicks. So, the struggling network can continue programming to a wee little demo which is being targeted by ABC Fam & MTV, or the net can develop a new identity, new philosophy and begin competing in this new TV landscape. In this case, change is good.

      • Jamie

        Completely agree.

      • Melody

        I agree. I’m a female, 32, and I can’t stand the Mon-Fri programming on the CW. I’m a girl who likes action and mystery and a whole heck of a lot humor (that’s why Supernatural is my fav show on TV). Like you said, there are already networks out there geared toward that demo, this network needs more diversity.

    • Jamie

      God, I hope so. You’r completely right about that. Without Nikita, the only action shows on the CW will be TVD and SPN. And, I’ve noticed that the shows that are on at the end of the week – those mythically driven, action shows on the Thursday and Friday night lineups do much better than the CW’s Monday and Tuesday night lineups of lame, teen soap operas. They would be insane not to renew Nikita. I think they will, but I just want the announcement already.

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