What will be corrupting your daughters this fall.

What will be corrupting your daughters this fall.

What will be corrupting your daughters this fall.

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May 22 2009 2:08 PM

Scenes From the Next CW

What will be corrupting your daughters this fall.

Closing out Upfronts Week, the CW—something of a Magnolia cupcake at the end of a promotional feast—did its thing at the theater at Madison Square Garden. Three years into its existence, the network has settled comfortably into its brand identity. Its mission is to dazzle women of the Facebook generation—"Every minute somebody tweets about Gossip Girl," they said—and also magazine editors in New York. Indeed, the presentation kicked off with a video boasting of the glossy covers from which the Gossip Girl stars have glinted. These include Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People, Entertainment Weekly, Allure, Lucky, Nylon, New York, Details, W, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Teen, Seventeen, Gotham, Cosmo, CosmoGirl!, CosmoGirl! Prom, and Page Six Magazine (RIP). Check newsstands next month for Blake Lively on the front of Hamster Fancy.

Ms. Lively and her colleagues have, in their hype-magnetism, imbued the CW with philosophical purpose, not to mention a marketing campaign, "TV to Talk About." CW President Dawn Ostroff called the show a "network-defining cultural phenomenon." The CW—noun (singular) 1. Broadcaster of glam melodramas for chicks. A sneak peek at what will be corrupting your daughters this fall:

  • The success of the 90210 remake paved the way for an update of Melrose Place, another Aaron Spelling-produced touchstone of my wasted youth. Sydney Andrews is now the landlady at the Spanish-revival apartment building, collecting rent like a malicious Mr. Roper. Her tenants include a venal publicist, a wanton med student, and the wastrel son of Dr. Michael Mancini, still skeevy after all these years. The pool in the courtyard gets the Sunset Boulevard treatment in the pilot. Which Spelling soap will the CW reprise next? Models Inc.?
  • Scratch that—The Beautiful People has the Models Inc. angle covered. Catwalks, catfights, you know the drill. With Elle Macpherson as the boss lady at the modeling agency and Mischa Barton again trying to prove she's an actor rather than a paparazzi-camera ham.
  • ( Twilight + sibling rivalry) x Dawson's Creek = The Vampire Diaries.

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In conclusion, Ostroff summoned to the stage her current and future stars. Hers is a network where no drama is complete without a knee-buckling exhibition of male abdominal muscles, and the CW trotted out the talent like so much pop-cult chattel ready for inspection. Elle gave good sartorius, and Tyra presented the clavicles of Teyona, and Blake's romper afforded even the cheap seats a new intimacy with Blake's nymphae. Thus were next year's lineups loosed upon the TV business, slouching toward conference rooms to be whored.

Troy Patterson is Slate’s writer at large and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.