'Mars' out at CW

Published May 18, 2007

The CW canceled the cult hit Veronica Mars and will try to pick up steam in its second season with series about snobby rich people and a bounty hunter for the devil.

The network had already ended the long-running family dramas 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls. Thursday the ax fell on Veronica Mars, which stars Kristen Bell as a wisecracking teenage private eye.

The CW had been talking with Mars creator Rob Thomas about bringing back the show but having it flash-forward: Veronica would be out of college and working for the FBI. Thursday, CW president Dawn Ostroff told TVGuide.com that the show is dead, "but we're talking about something else. I don't know if it's going to be anything." Thomas, however, said no one had talked to him about a non-Mars project.

Corporate parents CBS and Time Warner had hoped the CW could become a fifth major network by combining the best of its predecessors, the WB and UPN, but it has often slipped behind Spanish-language Univision in the ratings in a disappointing first year.

The new Gossip Girl, from The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz about a group of prep school teens in Manhattan, will be given the biggest push. The CW scheduled it for Wednesday at 9 p.m. after its top-rated program, America's Next Top Model.

The only new comedy, Aliens in America, is about a high school student trying to adjust to a Pakistani exchange student. Life is Wild is a drama about a New York City family spending a year at a South African game reserve; it loosely parallels a British show, Wild at Heart, airing on BBC America.

In Reaper, a 21-year-old's parents have sold his soul to the devil, and he's assigned to track down escapees from hell. On Sunday, the network will debut The CW Now, an entertainment newsmagazine, and Online Nation, about what's hot on the Web.

The network is saving One Tree Hill for midseason. When it returns, the action will be moved ahead four years; the missing time will be filled in by online diaries. Also at midseason, the CW will bring on a reality show, Farmer Wants a Wife, about a country guy choosing among 10 women fed up with big-city prospects.


TV previews

Here are the fall schedules the networks released Thursday. New shows are in capital letters:


Fox 2007-08

MONDAY: 8 p.m., Prison Break; 9, K-VILLE.

TUESDAY: 8 p.m., NEW AMSTERDAM; 9, House.

WEDNESDAY: 8 p.m., BACK TO YOU; 8:30, 'Til Death; 9, Bones.

THURSDAY: 8 p.m., Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?; 9, KITCHEN NIGHTMARES.


SATURDAY: 8 p.m., Cops; 8:30, Cops; 9, America's Most Wanted.

SUNDAY: 7 p.m., The OT; 8, The Simpsons; 8:30, King of the Hill; 9, Family Guy; 9:30, American Dad.

CW 2007-08


MONDAY: 8 p.m., Everybody Hates Chris; 8:30, ALIENS IN AMERICA; 9, Girlfriends; 9:30, The Game.

TUESDAY: 8 p.m., Beauty and the Geek; 9, REAPER.

WEDNESDAY: 8 p.m., America's Next Top Model; 9, GOSSIP GIRL.

THURSDAY: 8 p.m., Smallville; 9, Supernatural.

FRIDAY: 8 p.m., Friday Night Smackdown!

SUNDAY: 7 p.m., ONLINE NATION; 7:30, THE CW NOW; 8, LIFE IS WILD; 9, America's Next Top Model reruns.