Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And then there were 5...

So, this is may be the strangest news of the morning (and that's besides Disney finally buying Pixar). It looks like the WB and UPN will become ONE NETWORK. Announcement made at 11 AM ET. Details in Hollywood Reporter.

What does this mean for the programming currently on the networks? Well, if I had to guess, there will be a weeding out of the weak shows, keeping the cream of the crop. Scheduling will become a whole lot more interesting for the other networks too.

More news here. Looks like it will be called the 'CW Network'. The WB and UPN will cease operations in September 2006.

From the Yahoo news article:

The CW will incorporate The WB's current scheduling model, which consists of a 6 night-13 hour primetime lineup including Monday through Friday nights from 8-10 (EST/PST); Sundays from 7-10 (EST/PST); Sunday from 5-7 (EST/PST) outside of primetime as well as a Monday thru Friday afternoon block from 3-5 (EST/PST) and a 5-hour Saturday morning animation block. Together, the network will program 30 hours a week over seven days for its affiliated stations.

As the top creative executive, Ostroff will have available a line-up of some of the most popular programming that appeals to young adults in the media business. These programming assets range from hit reality series such as "America's Next Top Model" and The WB's "Beauty and the Geek," to hit dramas like The WB's "Smallville," "Gilmore Girls," "Supernatural," and UPN's "Veronica Mars" as well as UPN's hit comedies "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Girlfriends" and The WB's hit comedy "Reba." In addition the WWE's "Smackdown," which has been a mainstay at UPN, is expected to play a role in the schedule.

In addition, The CW will also broadcast the schedule of children's programming now known as Kids' WB!, a 5-hour original programming block on Saturday mornings from 7:00 a.m.-Noon, considered primetime for kids. Kids' WB! has been the broadcast network ratings champion since Fall 2000, capturing 16 consecutive sweep victories as the Number One Saturday morning kids' broadcaster.
The joint venture between Time Warner and Tribune and now CBS will prove very interesting to watch...I'll keep a watch on this story, particularly as it pertains to what shows will continue to air on the new network.

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