CW Takes Best Of WB, UPN
Not surprisingly, The CW is going with shows that already bring in the money--those top-rated shows among young adults from its two network predecessors--The WB and UPN.
"Veronica Mars"--a UPN show that was on the fence--will return at 9 p.m. paired with "Gilmore Girls" on Tuesday night, which will start at 8 p.m. The CW will keep the Thursday night WB tandem working: "Smallville" and "Supernatural."
The CW is only bringing on two new shows. "Runaway" is about a family that is on the run in the Midwest after the father of the family is wrongly accused of a murder. It will run after "7th Heaven" on Mondays, at 9 p.m.--thus establishing a family drama night of sorts for the network.
"The Game," a sitcom about the wives of professional athletes, will make its first appearance on Sunday in the midst of a comedy block, which the network says will continue to target African-American viewers. Last year's highly touted "Everybody Hates Chris" will start off the night at 7:30 p.m.
"We had very few holes to fill," said Dawn Ostroff, CEO of entertainment for the new CW. "On every night of the week we had shows that placed either first or second in demos. Determining this lineup was like playing fantasy football, but with TV shows."
Ostroff said the network would start up a number of new advertising and marketing opportunities for advertisers. One is what it calls "Content Wraps"--extra-long vignettes containing mini-stories that will be sponsor-able.
These "Wraps" will come in threes--and will run on an entire evening at 8:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m., for example. They will be serialized to conclude by the end of the evening, and will be themed around the program content of the night. For instance, CW is proposing a "Date Night" theme, where viewers follow a couple that is about to go on their first date.
On first blush, one veteran media executive didn't believe the CW could get a premium for these Content Wraps. The media executive said if a marketer's message was only 30 seconds long before and after a 30-second piece of content, it probably should be priced just as a 30-second commercial. But, the executive added, it depends how the content is incorporated into a marketer's message.
The CW will also start up a online effort called "Famous for 0:15," where viewers can build their own promos online that will air on the network. Ostroff also said these 15s could be used for advertisers' promos and music videos.
Shows that didn't make the cut: WB's "Everwood," "Twins," and "What I Like About You," "Related," "Pepper Dennis," "Living with Fran," "Charmed," "The Bedford Diaries," and "Modern Men." For the UPN, the shows left on the editing table are: "Love Inc.," "Eve," "Cuts," "Half & Half," "UPN Movie Night," and "One on One."
CW also announced a mid-season show--a Kevin Williamson drama called "Hidden Palms"--and gave "Reba' a 13-episode order.
THE CW 2006-2007 PRIME-TIME SCHEDULE
8:00-9:00 p.m. "7th Heaven"
9:00-10:00 p.m. "Runaway" (new show)
8:00-9:00 p.m. "Gilmore Girls"
9:00-10:00 p.m. "Veronica Mars"
8:00-9:00 p.m. "America's Next Top Model/Beauty and Geek"
9:00-10:00 p.m. "One Tree Hill"
8:00-9:00 p.m. "Smallville"
9:00-10:00 p.m. "Supernatural"
8:00-10:00 p.m. "Friday Night Smackdown!"
7-7:30 p.m. "Everybody Hates Chris"
7:30-8 p.m. "All of Us"
8-8:30 p.m. "Girlfriends"
8:30-9 p.m. "The Game" (new show)
9:00-10:00 p.m. "America's Next Top Model" (encore)