CW Picks Up Rachel Bilson and Sarah Michelle Gellar Shows, Kevin Williamson's Secret Circle

The CW is finally showing it’s hand this upfronts season, and the cards they’ve drawn look mighty familiar — and we mean that in the best possible way.

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Sources confirm to TVLine that the network has given the greenlight to four new series — coincidentally starring a handful of former CW/WB stars — for the 2011-12 TV season: The Secret Circle, a supernatural drama from The Vampire Diaries executive producer Kevin Williamson; the small-town medical dramedy Hart of Dixie; reality series H8R; and the previously announced Ringer, a thriller plucked from CBS’ development slate.

Secret Circle follows a young woman (played by Life Unexpected‘s Britt Robertson) who moves to a new town and soon realizes that not only is she a witch, she’s a member of a generations-old coven and holds the key to an impending battle between good and evil. Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Gale Harold (Hellcats Queer as Folk) also star.

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Rachel Bilson (The O.C.), meanwhile, leads the Everwood-esque Hart of Dixie, which tells the story of a New York-based doctor adjusting to life in a small Southern town after she inherits a local medical practice. Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) and Jaime King (My Generation) co-star.

The CW is expanding its reality roster, as well, first with H8R, an hourlong Mario Lopez-hosted docu-series that pairs celebs with the common folk who “hate” them. Additionally, the network has ordered Re-Modeled, which follows modeling industry vet Paul Fisher on his journey to form one massive agency called The Network. The Frame is also on the way, which is being touted as a viewer-controlled social experiment where ten groups of two people each live in a single room and get voted off each week.

And as mentioned last week, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will make her triumphant return to TV in the buzzy Ringer, wherein she’ll play Bridget, a young woman on the run from the mob who thinks she’ll be safe posing as her wealthy twin, Siobhan. Unfortunately, said sis has a bounty on her life as well. Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected) and Nestor Carbonell (Lost) also star.

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33 Comments
  1. Courtney says:

    I support this! Especially Sarah and Rachel’s shows. I am excited for The Secret Circle but I am not a fan at all of Britt. So we’ll see how that goes, I love Kevin Williamson so I have major faith. I hate how they picked up ANOTHER reality show when I am sure there was another scripted drama in there that could have worked.

    • viewer says:

      Psyched they renewed Nikita (a little worried if they move it to Friday night though and don’t keep it with VD). Just about the only thing I watch on CW these days (although I did get sucked in VD a little bit, it’s slightly girly at times but tolerable and does have some cool stuff) and it is actually my favorite show even including all channels.

      Yeah great to see RB and SMG back on the screen, cute and talented.
      It’s been ages since Buffy ended. Now if only they could bring back KB and continue Veronica Mars (this, Buffy, Seinfeld and Lost were the best TV shows ever; Sarah Connor Chronicle was awesome too and Nikita has been shaping up really nicely).

      I don’t know a thing about Secret Circle but it could potentially be cool.

  2. Josh says:

    My favorite actress Sarah Michelle Gellar back on TV. Can’t wait for this to premiere!

  3. thelstrikeman says:

    The CW has under contract my two favorite actors : Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gale Harold. But I’m really not a fan of the network so I’m quite scared…
    The Secret Circle seems awful and Ringer shoulbe on cable tv in order to have total script’s freedom.

  4. Steve says:

    (Doc Hollywood – Michael J. Fox) + Rachel Bilson = Hart of Dixie

  5. Angela says:

    I can get behind all of these new programs! Very excited to SMG back on TV!

  6. Leah says:

    I’m sad to say, but Ringer just doesn’t sound interesting to me. :(

    I will try to watch the Rachel Bilson show though. Love her!

    • Oh Hum says:

      Honestly, interesting concept, but smething does seem t quite right to me – which I know why, but there you go.

      I wonder what Pam Veasey is going to do now the ringing has been picked up go to the new show or stay the show runner for CSI NY? I think she did the polit for 3 rivers as well but stayed with CSI NY when that got picked up.

      • Oh Hum says:

        pardon me Sleep depreviation! I meant The Ringing is an interesting concept but something about it does not seem quite right about it.

  7. Jason S. says:

    Glad CW us bringing Brit Robertson back. She is an amazing actress! kind of funny Sarah is crawling back to the CW after quitting Buffy for movies! Karma is a bitch!!! Should have stuck with Joss and maybe she’d have a part in the Avengers movie!!

    • murley says:

      she didn’t quit buffy. the show ended after 7 seasons with her there until the end. she chose not to reprise her role in angel but that gave way to the amazing cordelia centric episode in season 5 so i don’t mind at all! i am looking forward to her new series (especially since my name is bridget) and the secret circle since i absolutely love the vampire diaries and like dekker from the sarah connor chronicles.

      • Jason S. says:

        From what I heard Joss wanted to do an eighth season but Sarah wasn’t interested!!

      • Tavis says:

        Yes, SMG was supposed to be in Angel’s 100th episode, but when it didn’t work out, she was going to appear in The Girl in Question. However, she was off filming The Grudge in Japan, so that fell through. SMG has said she was available for the finale, but the Angel producers didn’t want the final episode to be about Buffy. They could have shot the finale first and the second-to-last-episode last with SMG appearing as Buffy, but they chose not to.

        • Jason S. says:

          None of that proves it wasn’t Sarah’s decision to end Buffy at season seven!!! Joss just decided to make people believe it was his decision to avoid controversy but ultimately with Sarah not wanting to resign everyone decided it was time to end it as without Buffy there is no show!! What really sucked was that Eliza also turned down a Faith spinoff

  8. Liz says:

    Yay! I can’t wait for Ringer, Hart of Dixie, and Secret Circle! All three sound awesome!

  9. Tavis says:

    I predict Secret Circle will follow Vampire Diaries on Thursdays; Supernatural will move to 8 on Fridays followed by Nikita; H8R will follow America’s Next Top Model on Wednesdays; and Hart of Dixie and Ringer on Tuesdays.

  10. lacey says:

    It it weren’t for RB and SMG I probably wouldn’t check out Hart of Dixie and Ringer, but for them I will give those shows a chance. Secret Circle sounds kind of interesting, though since it stars Brit Robertson I’m having doubts. Whether it was Britt or just bad writing, I did not like Lux and wished the show focused less on her drama.

  11. Christina says:

    The CW has me excited. I’ll be checking out Ringer and Hart of Dixie for sure, and give Secret circle a chance.

  12. Tavis says:

    The sexy and talented Wilson Bethel is starring in Hart of Dixie, so I’m excited!!!

  13. Romain says:

    I never watched Life Unexpected so I only know Brittany Robertson from her brief part in Scream 4. I think she’ll do great as the lead in The Secret Circle, which I hope turns out just as good as The Vampire Diaries. It also has a couple of very solid supporting actors in Natasha Henstridge and Gale Harold going for it.

    I’ve been a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar ever since I first saw her on Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the late nineties. I’m more than happy to welcome her back to a weekly television series. Hope the show is a hit, I love the concept and both names Bridget and Siobhan.

  14. JLCollins says:

    I hope The Secret Circle does well as it is one of my favorite LJ Smith series. However, I am not sure I can bring myself to watch the butchered version of these wonderful books. I loved Brit in life unexpected but I can’t see her as Cassie.

  15. Lauren says:

    So that one about the two sisters fighting zombies didn’t happen? I was hoping to see that paired up with Supernatural, thought it sounded cool. Oh well, I’d rather have Secret Circle and Ringer. I’ll probably tune in to Hart of Dixie, but it doesn’t sound like Everwood at all to me. Maybe as a hot young people Everwood.

  16. Walter says:

    The Secret Circle books are really good. If they follow the storyline of the books it will be awesome, but they probably won’t… Though I do love Kevin Williamson’s story telling. I’m kind of torn about Britt Robertson, but they have Gale Harold and Phoebe Tonkin, who is a fantastic Austrailian actress. And of course ….. Buffy’s back! Although the plot of the series is so… specific. There’s not many ways they can go with it or stories they can tell. I can’t imagine it lasting creatively more than four seasons, five tops. Maybe they’ll surprise us. I will try Hart of Dixie, but I can’t imagine I’ll like it. I have high hopes for you next year CW. Don’t disappoint.

  17. PaulH says:

    *sigh*

    I feel bad for SMG, because she signed up for Ringer believing it would air on CBS. But she wound up being doublecrossed in the end, and is now stuck with the CW. If I were her, I’d leave the show, but in the end, the mortgage has to be paid and sometimes you’ve gotta take what you can get. Her career choices in the past don’t put her exactly in a good bargaining position. All I ask is that you read this and think about what’s happened. ABC Studios pulled out of co-producing Ringer because they “could not support the economics of a show on the CW.” Doesn’t that tell you something? Reduced budgets per-episode, reduced salaries, and ratings 1/3rd or even 1/5th of what Ringer would’ve gotten had CBS honored its commitment and didn’t demote it. This has disaster written all over it.

  18. Michelle says:

    I love Rachel Bilson and Scott Porter! Can’t wait to see this show.

  19. Mick says:

    Good moves by the CW finally. The problem with the Secret Circle is Williamson has made it clear he is not leaving TVD , so he is basically Big Brother is watching for the network and doing some much needed overhaul but what happens when he is not there daily? Ringer has a MUCH better chance at the CW than at CBS (the procedural network) with a built in fan base and lower expectations ratings-wise.

  20. Ellen says:

    I’m very excited for Hart of Dixie; love Scott Porter! Yesss!

  21. eo says:

    Rachel Bilson needs to thank her lucky stars that she is close to Josh Schwartz. He is the only one willing to give her acting work. He’s cast her in so many of his pilots and finally one got picked up, even though she seems woefully miscast in the role. Can you imagine Rachel playing a doctor?

  22. echo says:

    Rachel Bilson +10086

  23. esther says:

    You should update your renewal scorecard

  24. Stephanie says:

    Okay considering the slew of good drama pilots The CW had lined up to choose from, I’m highly disappointed that it went for three reality shows, none of which sound remotely interesting. I understand that reality shows are cheaper to produce than dramas but come one you couldn’t have traded one of those pointless reality shows for one drama like Awakening or Heavenly? You always let me down CW…

  25. Girish Winchester says:

    Love Rachel Bilson & SMG. Now with the new Hart Of Dixie, Ringer, Secret Circle & the awesome Supernatural, Vampire Diaries and Nikita, seems like CW has my full attention!