The CW’s president Dennis Miller(left) with President of Entertainment Brad Schwartz

The most Canadian network in America closed the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour last Thursday in Pasadena. The network was The CW, which is programmed by a former Toronto lad, Pop TV president and the podcast guest, Brad Schwartz.

“It’s so great to be back here at TCA and see you all again,” said the Entertainment President. “It is especially thrilling to be here on the very last day, when you are at your zenith of exhilaration and undivided attention.”

Brad’s sarcasm was well placed, but, have to admit, I was one of the Canadian reporters who skipped his session. I had to scurry back across the border several days earlier but I had a pretty good excuse — we’re moving.

Thank you, therefore, to the CW’s PR department for kindly forwarding transcripts from the session — although doing that is a TCA no-no not present and accounted for. That I am quoting from the session anyway, well, as Brad did for much of his executive session patter, I blame CHAT GPT.

Schwartz has only been at The CW a little over a year but already he has completely made over the place. Hamstrung when Warners yanked much of their superhero DC Comics shows back under their own digi-tent, Schwartz cut deals for American football and LIV golf to fill his schedule.

He also raided the hell out of every Canadian TV network.


Wild Cards cast members (l-r) Jason Priestley, Vanessa Morgan, Giacomo Gianniotti and executive producer Michael Konyves

Sullivan’s Crossing and Children Ruin Everything were imported from CTV. Family Law was picked off the Global schedule. CBC’s Run thhe Burbs had a brief run on The CW.

The CW isn’t just a buyer now, however, they’re a partner. Wild Cards, seen in Canada on CBC, is off to a strong start already in America on The CW. Schwartz says it is averaging “over one million viewers a week, is repeating strong, it’s killing it on streaming, and it’s growing every week.”

Wild Cards we did from scratch with the CBC,” Schwartz told TCA members. “That was a show that they found that we fell in love with, and that we developed together, both teams working side by side.”

The American money gave Wild Cards, created by Michael Konyves and executive produced by Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan (Private Eyes), along with Blink 49 Studios, a stronger hand.

“When it came to casting, there wasn’t budget to cast the people that we got, right?” said Schwartz, indicating podcast #132 guests Vanessa Morgan from Riverdale and Giacomo Gianniotti from Grey’s Anatomy. “So that was something that we could bring and we added breakage in order to get those two amazing pieces of talent. So it’s a better show for CBC, a better show for us.”

Son of a Critch‘s Malcolm McDowell (left) and Mark Critch

Son of a Critch is a series Schwartz scooped off CBC’s schedule in Season One. “Those first two seasons we just picked up what was already done, what was already magical. And for Season 3, and hopefully of Season 4, we have come in, and now we’re a part of those shows and our team is giving notes and kind of helping develop that show further. But that was certainly started as a CBC show that we picked up.”

Mark Critch (brioux’tv podcast guest #42) and Malcolm McDowell (podcast guest #55) charmed critics who attended this last day of winter press sessions. Critich explained his series was based on his memoir about growing up on Canada’s East Coast.

“It might be a very unique show about this little island, and in Canada, Newfoundland, and this one family. But when it comes down to it, it’s all about heart. It’s, everybody’s had those experiences, being bullied and things like that. So, it was really something that had more reach than maybe we initially thought.”

From l-r: Sight Unseen‘s Kat Troubetzkoy, Daniel Gillies, Dolly Lewis, Agam Darshi, Jarod Joseph and Niko Toubetzkoy

Sight Unseen, recently added to the CTV schedule, is another series The CW partnered on from the beginning. Executive producers, sisters and podcast 134 guests Karen Troubetzkoy and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy attended the TCA session, along with stars Dolly Lewis, Agam Darshi, Daniel Gillies and Jarod Joseph.

“CW was really involved with the show right from the development process,” Nikolijne (who goes by Niko) told critics, “and very much you know, the direction of taking things to more sophisticated, more adult kind of direction… and it really pushed the show in the direction that we wanted to go already. So, it felt like a very synergistic partnership between us and between the execs at CW.”

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