For programmers at The CW, adding "The Secret Circle" to its schedule must have been a no-brainer.
"The Vampire Diaries" is one of The CW's more successful shows, albeit with numbers that would get it canceled by any other broadcast network. (About 4 million viewers per week.) It's based on a series of books by L.J. Smith ... who just happens to have written a series of books about teenage witches, too.
So we shouldn't be surprised that network executives are trying to clone their vampires success by giving viewers another supernatural teen drama.
"The Secret Circle" (Thursday, 8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30) revolves around teenager Cassie (Britt Robertson), whose mother has just been killed in a mysterious fire. Cassie moves to her mom's hometown, Chance Harbor, Wash., to live with her grandmother (Ashley Crow, "Heroes").
It turns out there was a reason mom tried to get as far away from Chance Harbor as possible. It's crawling with witches. So many that, in the pilot, it seems like just about everybody in town is practicing witchcraft.
Including a group of teen witches who will gain additional powers if Cassie joins their - you guessed it! - secret circle.
Predictably, there's a bad guy (the seriously under-talented Gale Harold of "Queer as Folk") and mysteries from the past coming back to haunt Cassie.
"The Secret Circle" is OK, as supernatural teen dramas go. But nothing to get particularly excited about.
The CW is hoping that the vampire fans who tune in at 7 p.m. will stick around to watch the witches at 8 p.m. But two hours of this stuff seems like at least an hour too much.