The CW network is known for its alluring shows like Riverdale, Gossip Girl, Arrow, One Tree Hill, and 90210. Teens and adults alike have been glued to the network for years as they followed their favorite television characters and their trials and tribulations.
Yes, the CW has given fans some of television's most memorable moments. Many of those moments were because of excellent scriptwriting and stellar acting performances, but many of them were also because of other, less savory reasons. The sets of this network are almost as drama-filled as the shows that they produce.
The CW is notorious for making some waves behind the scenes of fans' favorite shows. No other entertainment home does drama in the backfield like the CW. Famous faces have come and gone, surrounded by controversy and allegations from the beginning to the end. And speculations have circled both the onscreen and offscreen talent, with certain scenes sparking a mad outcry from viewers and fans of CW shows.
Love it or not, the CW never leaves space for boring. Among its long list of shows, here are twenty things that happened behind the scenes of the CW that the network is not particularly proud of.
20 The Backlash From Riverdale's Tasteless Performance
Back in season 2 of the CW's popular show, Riverdale, actress Lili Reinhart gave viewers a bit of an awkward performance. In the episode, “Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil," Reinhart hopped up on stage and performed a dance for her friends as well as her family.
Fans and critics were outraged at the scene, thinking that 16-year-old Betty Cooper had no business shaking her groove thing in next to nothing for a crowd of grown folk.
The episode backfired for Betty, who was trying to tap into boyfriend Jughead's dark side. He breaks up with her in the end. It also backfired with most fans of the series.
19 Critical Comments For One CW Actress
Actress Danielle Rose Russell is the beautiful and talented lady who plays Hope Mikaelson on The Originals. She was so mortified by the criticism that she started receiving from her so-called fans over her appearance that she took to social media to address the hurtful comments that viewers had shared regarding her anatomy. The confident star let the world know that she loves her body and is nothing but proud of how she looks. Russell feels nothing but pride over how she presents herself, and we love her for being a positive role model for young women, even if her fans think otherwise.
18 Jessica Biel's Racy Photo Shoot
These days Ms. Jessica Biel is best known for being Mrs. Justin Timberlake and mommy to little Silas, but many moons ago she was pure as snow Mary Camden on a favorite CW show, 7th Heaven.
Biel spent several years sticking to the squeaky clean, girl-next-door persona, until one fateful photoshoot.
Her appearance in Gear magazine stunned fans and CW network execs alike and nearly caused the actress to get fired from the show. A 17-year-old Jessica had some serious apologizing to do to entertainment giant Aaron Spelling. To this day Biel swears her motive to do the shoot wasn't malicious nor devious, she was only exploring her womanhood.
17 Hilary Burton's One Tree Hill Departure
When Hilary Burton made it clear that she was leaving her hit television show One Tree Hill, fans and viewers wondered, "Can there even be a One Tree Hill without leading lady Peyton Sawyer?" After years of pushing back against the creator's vision of where he saw her character heading, Burton finally bid her goodbyes, but not until earning a reputation for being difficult. According to Burton, there was plenty of discomfort behind the scenes between cast and crew and cast and cast, and she had had her fill. The show wasn't ever the same without her, but she probably made the right decision for herself in the end. Nobody wants to work in an unhealthy environment.
16 Manu Benett's Run-In With The Law
Manu Bennett is best known for his roles on the CW network as well as his work in films such as The Hobbit but is sadly also known for his run-in with the law back in 2015. Bennett had been engaging in some adult beverages when things went south fast.
Another man made some pretty distasteful comments about the mother of his three children and her battle with cancer and Manu let him have it, so to speak.
After the incident, Bennett apologized, saying that he was genuinely remorseful for his actions and embarrassed for himself and his family. Even good guys have a misstep, but the situation didn't reflect well on the network.
15 Unsavory Finger Pointing At Ed Westwick
Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick was most certainly a smoldering bad boy in the eyes of many young ladies, but his reputation was significantly tarnished when three separate women came forward to let the world know that they believed Westwick had acted in a concerning manner towards them. Westwick was adamant that the claims were false and stated he had never met the women. Four years later Westwick's name has been cleared in the eyes of the law, and he will not face charges regarding the claims of the women, but it's still tough to live something like this down.
14 Taylor Momsen Became An Entirely Different Person
Taylor Momsen portrayed the Gossip Girl character Jenny Humphrey in the first season of the show. She was young, pretty, and pure. One season later Momsen looked as if she had spent the summer with Marilyn Manson.
The new and not-so-improved rocker chic bad girl persona wasn't merely a facade though.
Momsen became a real pain to work with on set. She was let go from the show and dove head first into the world of rock and roll with her lady band, The Pretty Reckless. Years later it seems that everything shook out here the way it was supposed to.
13 The 90210 Cast Found Out They Were Being Canceled... On Twitter
It's never going to be a good day when your show gets canceled. No matter what way you end up hearing that news, it is going to sting. Some methods of delivery are softer and more compassionate than others though. The cast of the CW's 90210 received word that they were no longer employed through Twitter, of all places. Actress AnnaLynne McCord was not only upset with how the news got disseminated but was also fit to be tied at how her character's final farewell went down. She was so miffed that she went as far as rewriting the ending and sharing it with fans on Youtube.
12 The CW Boss Gets Booted (For A Good Reason)
Nothing says come work with us like the boss getting booted for misconduct. Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer on Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, got canned by Warner Bros. Television because of the slew of people coming forward with unsavory stories regarding him.
Kreisberg is adamant that he never said or did anything to make the workplace a toxic or unpleasant environment, but the studio felt differently about that.
Whatever went down, there was enough evidence for Warner Bros. to say no more! Other producers picked up the slack for Kreisberg's former series because after all, the show must go on.
11 90210's Jennie Garth Threw Serious Shade At The New Cast
Welp, is it any real surprise that one of the OGs of Beverly Hills 90210 had a little something "constructive" to say about the reboot? Nah! Jennie Garth played the original Kelly Taylor and according to her, nothing ever compared to the first. She spoke up on Sirius XM's "Just Jenny" show about her blunt feelings for how the new 90210 show was going and help nothing back. Garth said the new cast didn't have that great chemistry, (that obviously her cast did we are guessing). We can't help but wonder what the ladies and gents of the reboot thought about that snipe.
10 Reign Got Into Deep Water Over Historical Inaccuracies
The CW show Reign is entertaining, enticing, and not exactly a favorite amongst historians and even some fans. It seems many out there thought that the Mary Queen of Scot's portrayal should have stuck a little bit closer to the actual happenings.
It's no hidden fact that with Reign some serious liberties were taken in the name of entertainment.
So, the show and the station got slammed for moving too far off of the beaten path so to speak. But in all fairness, the show was supposed to be a combination of highly entertaining and loosely based on fact material. In that case, the goal was probably achieved.
9 The Gossip Girl Gals Couldn't Stand One Another
Blake Lively and Leighton Meester's Gossip Girl characters were notoriously fashionable, cutthroat, and two-faced. To this day the pair is one of television's most recognizable "frenemies." It turns out that while they both had to stretch themselves to make their characters come alive, they didn't have to work too hard to achieve one element of their acting. The girls had the whole friends one minute, and the opposite the next down to a science. It's said the two were never all that fond of one another once the cameras stopped rolling. The pair has not been photographed since the show ended, clearly proving they weren't all about staying in touch.
8 America's Next Top Models Behaving Badly
Ms. Tyra Banks loved to gather up some of the country's unique, beautiful and controversial unknown faces, throw them in a house together, and see who came out on top on the hit show America's Next Top Model. For fans and viewers, the scene was fascinating.
They tuned in each week to see which fashion-savvy girl would claw her way to the top of the modeling mountain, leaving torn frocks and fake lashes in her wake.
One particular season of contestants seemed particularly ruthless. According to The New York Post, the 2008 cycle of ladies trashed their six million dollar Tribeca loft, causing a whopping $500,000 worth of repairs.
7 Not All Of The Gilmore Girls Cast Heard The Show Was Getting Canceled
What is it about the CW not managing to tell an entire cast gracefully that their show had suddenly hit the skids? The young 90210 cast was notoriously told that they were donezo by way of social media, but they weren't the only cast members to receive bad news in a tasteless way. According to murmurings, the actors and actresses on Gilmore Girls had some hang-ups regarding how they discovered that they were fired. Some of the entertainers were told about the show's run coming to an end, but not everyone. Not everyone on this set received equal consideration when it came to terminating contracts.
6 The One Tree Hill Marriage-Divorce Debacle
These young One Tree Hill stars were the Prom King and Queen of our television dreams... until they weren't. It seemed too good to be true when we all heard the news that the beautiful costars decided to take their real love to the next level and make things official by walking down the aisle.
Their union lasted five short months before Bush filed for an annulment by fraud.
After their annulment got denied and the two began their divorce proceedings, they still had to work on set together every day until 2009 when Murray left the show. Awkward.
5 Vampire Diaries Triangle Of Love
Everybody loves a good vampire romance, and when The Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder came forward and showed the world that their love was real, fans of the show went gaga, and network execs knew that they had hit the jackpot. The two went as far as getting engaged before Ian decided that Nina wasn't the vampire for him. The pair split in 2013 and by 2014 he was committed to Nikki Reed. Those two did make it to the altar in 2015. Thankfully, Ian and Nina managed to remain friends post-break-up, which seems nothing short of a Hollywood miracle.
4 Arrow's Flopped Stance On A Touchy Subject
Arrow took on one of the country's most widely debated topics in one particular episode, and the result was confusing at best. The episode opens with a big event, but then the remainder of the episode drags on as the writers were obviously not ready to take a stance on the issue.
Are they pro or against? What's the message here? No one could tell and it was frustrating.
People were miffed by the whole premise and the writers' inability to convey the message in a light that felt timely and obvious. Perhaps they learned a lesson here: stick to the fluff and the superhero jazz and stay far away from heated topics that deserve deeper level thinking and understanding.
3 Reign Makes Viewers Livid Over One Particular Scene
Reign contains too many suggestive scenes to count. Every episode has some suggestive love scene: a partner switch, deception, or motive. The loose historical drama functions on making fans gasp and raise eyebrows, coming back each week for more tantalizing material. Writers maybe took things to far when they had Mary, Queen of Scots, undergo a serious event at the hands of the enemy forces. The scene was over-the-top for the CW and viewers seemed split on what they thought about the plot element. Some fans thought the show could have done without and others applauded their ability to portray it in a way that felt respectful to the victim.
2 The 100 Upsets The LGBT Community
The 100 gave us our beloved Lexa. Plenty of fans adored the character and all that she stood for, so they were understandably mortified when Lexa was offed. She wasn't an isolated case though. Several open television characters were being written off of popular shows, causing the community and its allies to speak out and take a stance against television networks writing off LGBT characters.
After all, what year are we living in when characters on TV can't imitate real life?
GLAAD's director of entertainment research and analysis, Megan Townsend, had plenty to say on the topic, which you can brief yourself on HERE.
1 Katie Cassidy's Leaked Photos
Arrow actress and daughter of legendary David Cassidy, Katie Cassidy, endured the ultimate embarrassment when private images off her phone were leaked to the public. Katie got caught in very compromising situations that probably sent her father, as well as the television executives, into a legit tailspin. While she is not even close to being the only actress to have her business leaked to the universe, it wasn't a great thing for the network to have to work around. You can bet that there was some serious cleanup control taking place over at the CW.
Sources: LA Times, Elite Daily, Daily Mail, Us Magazine, Revelist