The CW at TCA press tour: ‘Dr. Horrible’ debuts, ‘Battle Royale’ in the works

Director Joss Wheldon and actor Nathan Fillion attend the PaleyFest09 presentation of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog."

“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” Joss Whedon’s three-part musical starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, officially makes its television debut on Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. on The CW, the network announced at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday.

The Internet hit, about a budding super villain (Harris), was created during the Writers Guild of America strike and first ran online in 2008. Mark Pedowitz, President of The CW, admitted he’s a big fan of the musical, and said he proactively touched base with Whedon to get “Dr. Horrible” on The CW.

“I made the phone call. I said, ‘would you like it on television?” Pedowitz told journalists. Pedowitz explained that the series will be reedited for time constraints, so what viewers will see is “basically what’s been online.”

As for additional “Dr. Horrible” stories, Pedowitz is eager to bring any potential new episodes to The CW. “Hopefully if Joss does another one, we’ll get a crack at it,” he said.

In other cult hit news, Pedowitz said the network would “love to do” a series based on the bloody, futuristic thriller “Battle Royale,” a Japanese film released in 2000 with a very “Hunger Games”-like plot: The government forces high-schoolers to fight to the death.

Though Pedowitz says he is a “big believer” in the show, particularly because of the movie’s cult following and its dystopian plot, right now he says an adaptation is “at this point in time only in development. Not even in development. Only a phone call.”

Regarding fantasy/sci-fi series that are returning to The CW, Pedowitz said the new season of “The Vampire Diaries” will (spoiler alert!) explore Elena’s transition into a vampire and asks: “Does she follow Stefan’s path or Damon’s path?”.

Considering the series’ high body count, Pedowitz confirmed there will be new faces on Season 4, premiering Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. “There are always new characters,” he said. “And those who are dead can return.”

Also at press tour, The CW announced that the winner of “The Next,” a singing competition that travels the nation searching for new talent, will be awarded a contract with Atlantic Records. Premiering Aug. 16 at 9 p.m., the series features mentors Nelly, Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas and John Rich finding local talent, then bringing the singers to Los Angeles, where they will vie for viewers’ votes during live performances.

The next cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” will be the series’ first college edition, featuring 13 model wannabes who are enrolled in universities and trade schools across the country. Also new to the series is a social media correspondent, fashion blogger Bryanboy, who will share comments and video messages from viewers during judging. The season premieres Aug. 24 at 8 p.m.


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