Tube Talk: CW considers fast-forwarding storylines

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117873008725790.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Kristen Bell is Veronica in Veronica Mars.‘);

The CW is less than a year old, but there’s already talk that a couple of CW series—Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill—might come back set a couple of years in the future if they’re renewed.

As soon as Veronica aced her first criminology term paper early this season (OK, so it was after being accused of plagiarism and clearing her name), Professor Landry encouraged her to apply for an FBI summer internship. (By the end of that story arc, Veronica had proved Landry’s assistant framed him for killing Dean Cyrus O’Dell, thereby solidifying her status as the No. 1 criminology student.) Mentions of the FBI have been sprinkled throughout the season, and in the May 2 episode, Veronica told a group of school kids she’d like to work for the FBI.

No wonder a popular Veronica Mars rumor says if the show returns, it might revolve around her new career with the FBI.

While I like the idea of Veronica working for the feds, that concept feels more like a spin-off than Veronica Mars. The novelty of the teen-age detective would be gone. Undoubtedly, our Veronica would be the smartest recruit at Quantico, but how would Papa Mars—such a key part of who Veronica is and how she sees the world—fit in with her new life? What about her friends?

(Poor Weevil has already been relegated to little more than an occasional plot device this season: Veronica needs access to the dean’s office, Weevil has the keys; Weevil discovers a key piece of evidence for Veronica’s latest case while doing campus maintenance.)

If the show gets a fourth season, I’m sure creator Rob Thomas will do right by our heroine, whether he lets her continue matriculating at Hearst College or decides to fast-forward to Special Agent Veronica Mars.

As the One Tree Hill kids graduate high school this spring, that show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, hopes they can return five years older if they get a fifth season. When I spoke to him recently, he was excited at the prospects: “It’s sort of like writing a pilot with characters you already know and love. You’d know the characters and be familiar with them, whatever journey they’re on. They’d still be young—a couple may still be in college. We’ll be able to flashback to what happened to them along the way. What were those signature moments, and how have their lives been framed by those moments?”

Schwahn said jumping forward in time is more compelling to him as a storyteller than watching the whole cast of characters go to college. “Hopefully, the powers that be and my friends at the network and the studio won’t be scared by it!” he said.

Schwahn won’t have to wait much longer. CW’s upfront presentation is May 17, then we’ll know if either of these shows is a things of the past, or if they’ll come back—be it in the present or future tense.

Programming Notes

Veronica Mars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CW.

One Tree Hill airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CW.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine, Rockford Life and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, SatelliteORBIT and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to

from the May 2-8, 2007, issue

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