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Dawn Ostroff Reveals Veronica Mars Plans
Special report by Yellowqueen22

At the Winter 2007 TCA Press Tour held on January 19th, 2007, CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff answered many questions about Veronica Mars as well as the future of the network.

In her opening comments, Ostroff announced that the network was pleased with the growth in Veronica Mars' ratings. “We’ve said from the beginning that we were being realistic with our expectations because we knew that it would take some time for our viewers to actually find The CW,” Ostroff said in discussing The CW's goal of building momentum and an audience base. However, Ostroff made it clear that she and the network is happy with the ratings, “since our launch, we’ve had stead ratings growth for many of our series as viewers continue to find us. Shows like… Veronica Mars… have had some of their best ratings ever.” Additionally, Ostroff mentioned Veronica Mars as a model for moving into a new life after high school storylines when discussing the future of One Tree Hill if it comes back next year.

Additionally, Ostroff announced that Veronica Mars episodes will be streamed for free on The CW network the day after they air on the network. This announcement is part of The CW attempt to “expand into new media” and “impact how viewers watch television and interact with The CW.” The site’s video player has a tear away feature, which, according to Rick Haskins, allows the user to “resize the video player to any size that they want, and then they can have it reside on their desktop. So they can actually be watching programs while answering e-mails, IM'ing, talking on the mobile, or, dare I say, working.” Also, the video player has a send-to-a-friend feature, which “allows the user to send any specific moment of the show they’re watching no matter how small or how large it is.” So beginning with this week’s all new episode of Veronica Mars, “Show Me the Monkey,” you will be able to watch the episode on The CW’s web based video player at CWTV.com on Wednesday.

Sadly, Dawn Ostroff also announced that Veronica Mars will be going on hiatus for eight weeks, while the new reality series, The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, airs during the Veronica Mars time slot. The hiatus will begin on March 6th and continue for eight weeks. However, when Veronica Mars comes back, it “will come back with five stand-alone episodes.” Each of the five episodes will work separately and run without hiatus for five weeks. Ostroff confirmed that the new stand-alone format for the final five episodes is not “an admission that the show is in a little more trouble” or that the network is “not happy with the numbers.” In fact, Ostroff repeatedly told reporters that the network has “been really happy with the quality” and that “the numbers have been better than they ever were in the history of the series. Ostroff went on to explain the reasoning for the stand-alone episodes, “it’s really just a way to experiment and see if we can make the show closed-ended so that people aren’t intimidated to come in. And it just is more accessible to viewers, and that’s really what’s motivating it.”

On a brighter note, Ostroff mentioned that the prospect for a fourth season is hopeful due to the improved numbers Veronica Mars has achieved on The CW. “Well, you know, it’s funny because I feel like I’ve answered that question every year,” said Ostroff when asked about the possibility of a fourth season for Veronica Mars. She went on to say, “And it’s still on the air, and I’m still here. But I think that, you know, more than anything, Veronica Mars is a show that we are proud of. And I have to say all of your support for that show has meant so much to the survival of the show. I think Rob continues to do an unbelievable job in just evolving the series. And you know, hopefully we’ll have good things to talk about. When you look at the number, Veronica Mars has actually had its best numbers ever since The CW’s been in existence.”

On a final note, Ostroff confirmed the possibility of pairing the new Kevin Williamson drama Hidden Palms with Veronica Mars in the future. The pairing was discussed due to the similarities between the shows, since both are young serialized shows with a mystery and horror element to it. When asked about the decision to pick up Hidden Palms and the structural elements it has in common with Veronica Mars, Ostroff replied, ““It’s funny because, really, when we looked at Hidden Palms, we just looked at it for what it is. Again, it’s the characters that felt very compelling to us. It was the setting that felt very compelling; Kevin’s ability to create a great series that really strikes a chord with the young audience. Those were the things that we looked at.”

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