At today’s executive session for the Television Critics Association, The CW president Mark Pedowitz addressed a lot of questions about “Battle Royale.” His network is developing a series based on the Japanese novel about high school kids in an elimination competition to the death.
“It’s amazing what happens when you just have a phone call and a discussion,” Pedowitz said. “We’d love to do it. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a deal with producers. Right now it’s just a discussion.”
Interestingly, when a reporter (Daniel Fienberg of Hitfix.com again) asked Pedowitz if he was really going to do a show about teens killing each other post-Aurora, Pedowitz indicated that there would be some changes to “Battle Royale.”
“We’re not planning to do anything that we cannot get on the air,” Pedowitz said. “The answer to that question, no we’re not going to go in that direction. We’re going to wait and see how things develop.”
After the panel we followed up with Pedowitz, asking what would make it “Battle Royale” if it’s not about teenagers being forced to kill each other. Pedowitz would not comment further. “At this point in time all we’re at is a discussion about development. We have not gone any further than that.”
Still as contender at The CW is “The Selection,” a pilot Pedowitz initially rejected for the season, also based on an elimination premise. From the Kiera Cass books, “The Selection” is about a young woman in a competition to become the queen of a futuristic kingdom.
Pedowitz says that both shows could still exist on The CW if development proceeds. “Sure, different audiences for different things, different places. One is much more romantic in its form because of the Bachelor type of dating situation. The other one is more competitive and it’s closer to a Hunger Games situation. ‘Battle Royale’ comes with a nice cult following as you know and might’ve been a predecessor of a lot of the things we see today.”
During the panel, Pedowitz confirmed he sent “The Selection” back for revision. “The producers did a really good job. We had an embarrassment of riches what we ended up picking up. It wasn’t where we wanted tone wise. The producers are going back and rescripting. We hope to see something soon and move forward.”
If Pedowitz decides to green light the new version of “The Selection,” some parts will be recast. “Not everybody will come back. A couple people will come back if we can get it to go and hopefully it’ll be the right thing.”
He also compared “The Selection” to The Hunger Games and “Game of Thrones,” which may on the surface seem quite different. “Well, if you realize there’s court intrigue. ‘The Selection,’ the original script and original pilot is about a king, a queen and a prince. That seems a lot like ‘Game of Thrones’ at times.”
While discussing potential shows, Pedowitz also confirmed some details about the upcoming season of "Supernatural." He confirmed Misha Collins was back for a “minimum of 8” episodes.
Pedowitz also gave hope for even more future seasons of “Supernatural.” “There’s always conversations that happen. I am a big ‘Supernatural’ fan so I hope it stays on as long as I’m still here.”