The CW Boss on Staying In Business With SMG and Tom Welling, Saying Goodbye to Gossip Girl

Appearing Monday morning at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, The CW president Mark Pedowitz reflected (again) on Ringer‘s shortcomings (yet offered hope of more Sarah Michelle Gellar goodness to come), previewed the final season of Gossip Girl, outlined the network’s ongoing hunt for a Hunger Games-like series and more.

Speaking to the buzzy Ringer‘s nonetheless poor ratings performance last season, Pedowitz noted that it also disappointed on digital platforms and in the social media space – two other avenues which at times can offer afford a show a second chance. “That said, the fans are still writing me, they want it [back] desperately… Sarah Michelle and I have had many discussions… and the one thing we did come away with is when she is ready she would love to come back to The CW. We would love to have her … either as an actress or as a producer.”

Similarly, Pedowitz told TVLine that The CW is game to again offer Tom Welling a home, as a producer. Welling pitched the network as recently as this past spring, and Pedowitz hopes to hear from the Smallville alum again this coming development season.

Other topics covered in the Pedowitz panel:

* Gossip Girl, which is entering its final, 10-episode season, might wrap things up with a retrospective special à la One Tree Hill‘s own send-off. “I’m a big believer in retrospectives and a big believer in allowing the audience to say farewell to their shows,” the network boss said. “It’s important for us on this side of the fence to give a satisfactory ending.” Would the GG cast tape talking-head segments for any such special? “I hope so,” answered Pedowitz. “It would not be as good of a retrospective special [without them], would it?”

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* As evidenced by The CW’s consideration of a pilot based on The Selection young adult novel series (which is now being rejiggered after not passing muster this spring) and new buzz that the network may seek to adapt the 2000 Japanese cult film Battle Royale, some sort of small-screen-friendly variation on The Hunger Games is in demand. Speaking to Battle Royale‘s edgy themes – teens killing teens, especially in the post-Aurora climate – Pedowitz said, “We’re not planning to do anything we can’t get on the air.”

* The L.A. Complex, unlike Ringer, is performing well on digital platforms and in the social media space, and as such will air its full second season then be considered for more. Breaking Pointe, which also fell short in audience, is technically “under consideration” for a Season 2.

* On giving Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog a network broadcast (though admittedly a slightly edited one, airing Oct. 9), Pedowitz said he initiated that discussion — and in fact first made a grab for the viral video hit back when he was at ABC. “And hopefully if Joss [Whedon] does [a sequel], we’ll get a crack at it.”