The CW unveils four trailers for new shows including the on-brand ‘Black Lightning’ and ‘Dynasty’ and the way-off-brand ‘Valor.’
Broadcast television’s upfronts week reached its conclusion on Thursday (May 18) with The CW’s presentation to advertisers.
Although The CW may have lower programming volume than its network chums, the network’s 2017-18 output manages to capture many of the spring’s development trends in micro. There’s a remake of a popular brand from decades past (Dynasty), a rah-rah drama about military heroism (Valor) and, of course, a superhero show (Black Lightning).
To repeat for the last time: Over the course of this week, I’ve been doing quick reactions to all of the trailers being presented in New York City. This is the first step in a process that will continue with my Take Me To The Pilots series during the summer and then the actual reviews that will arrive in the fall. It’s all about using every piece of the buffalo. It should go without saying that these aren’t reviews of actual pilots that I haven’t seen, but rather responses to how the shows are being chopped up as sales pitches in a multi-billion dollar fiesta of advertising.
And now, let’s get to my rankings of The CW’s trailers.
Since there are only four of them, this won’t take long!
4) Valor – Far be it for me to tell The CW to stay in its lane and stick to what it does well and not bow to the trends that speculate that there’s going to be an appetite for shows like Seal Team and The Brave this fall, but it’s going to take a lot more conditioning before I see a trailer like this from The CW and don’t go, “Huh?” It’s got all these weird signifiers of reality, with suggestions of actual military situations and operations, but it’s got all the grit CW-blasted away so that Matt Barr looks hunky ripping off his shirt and so you never forget that Christina Ochoa’s character is both a badass warrior and totally kissable. Then there’s the Big Bad Conspiracy in the background that I’m hoping will involve aliens, because otherwise I’m going to be left trying to take seriously a show that seems to have put more effort into choosing the perfect maroon berets than filling out its supporting cast. This trailer was enough to make we wonder both how it was in The CW’s development pipeline at all and then how it made it onto the air. I’m almost looking forward to seeing the full pilot to find out if it gives a better indication. I like Supergirl a lot. The show this trailer suggests doesn’t go with Supergirl at all.
3) Life Sentence – This is at least back to on-brand for The CW, though after No Tomorrow became one of the few CW fall launches in recent years not to at least get a back-nine (Frequency joined it), I’m not sure about doing a show that’s essentially the inverse of No Tomorrow. Instead of “What would you do if the world was ending?” it’s “What…