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Plus: A Vampire Diaries-Originals crossover!
At this rate, Supernatural might be the one to break Gunsmoke's record.
CW President Mark Pedowitz said Sunday at the Television Critics Association winter previews that he expects a 12th season of the long-running drama -- and probably more.
"Both Jared [Padalecki] and Jensen [Ackles] are having a blast," Pedowitz said. "As long as they're having a blast, it's a great thing. The show is performing better than it did last year, as well as you could ever hope. ... I'm very hopeful that we'll see it again."
The CW made no official renewals Sunday, but Pedowitz reiterated his support for not only Supernatural, but iZombie, which he says has a "very good shot" at Season 3, and most vocally, the critically acclaimed, but low-rated Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
"At the moment, I wish I had more optimistic [ratings] statistics. I don't. What we do have is great faith in the show, great faith in the showrunners and the creators, Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom. We believe in the show. We stand by the show," Pedowitz said, adding that he has no plans to make a "homogenized version" of the show in hopes of attracting more viewers. "We believe there is a place on our schedule today for a show like this and we're going to give it a chance to get seen. You can't beat quality like this. ... The fact that Rachel is nominated [for a Golden Globe] is a testament to what they've done. ... I wish the numbers were better. We have the goods with the show and we have a quality Monday night with Crazy Ex and Jane the Virgin."
Here's what else Pedowitz discussed at the panel:
The Vampire Diaries and The Originals: The Salvatores and Mikaelsons will meet again later this season with another crossover. "Not of the size and scope that we do for Flash and Arrow," Pedowitz said. "It has to make sense. If they don't make sense story-wise, don't do it, don't force it. The audience can tell." As for the series' moves to Fridays starting on Jan. 29, Pedowitz assured that the shows were not being sent out to pasture. "It's a move to strengthen Friday night. We made a strategic shift on Thursday night to make it male-skewed, going with Legends of Tomorrow and The 100," he said. "We were happy to do that. This way, I think, coming into midseason, is the best schedule since I've been at The CW ever."
Girl (super)power? None of The CW's superhero series feature a female lead and unfortunately, Pedowitz said there are no plans "at this moment" for one. But he was quick to point out that there could be spin-off opportunities with any of the female characters from the Arrow-Flash-Legends-verse, including the titular character from Vixen, the animated Arrow-Flash spin-off. (Vixen, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, will appear on Arrow this season and could join Legends, Pedowitz said.) "We have, particularly on Arrow, Caity [Lotz] and Willa [Holland] playing great characters. On Flash, you see Danielle Panabaker's character Killer Frost," he said. "There's an opportunity with this. There will be a moment in time. I don't know when it's going to come."
And when it does come, Pedowitz is not worried about superhero overload because he doesn't believe we've reached peak superhero saturation yet. "I don't think we've seen a stoppage of people watching these shows," he said. "In terms of whether or not we'll have to drop [a show to add another], not necessarily, you just create a rotation."
Don't expect any procedurals: They'll leave that to their pals at CBS. "We learned the hard way the audience we tend to attract doesn't come to us for procedurals," Pedowitz said.
America's Next Top Model: Pedowitz revealed that Cycle 22 wasn't meant to be the final season, but after conversations with Tyra Banks, they mutually agreed that it was time for the long-running series to end. "I wanted Tyra to tweet it out and get it out there for the fans," Pedowitz said. "America's Next Top Model was an iconic show. It kept the lights on for many, many years in many, many forms."
Big names coming: Kevin Smith will direct an episode of The Flash later season, while Broadway legend Lea Salonga will guest-star in the season finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and sing the last song of the season.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, the parent company of The CW.)