A year ago, the former stars of the WB and UPN found themselves uncomfortably mingling on one stage for the first upfront of the new CW network. They looked like the kids at the wedding of two single parents.This year, the CW took a step toward developing its own personality, shedding the aging Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars (the longest-running unsuccessful show in prime time) and All of Us (the weakest link in its lineup of urban sitcoms). The network is even taking the teen out of teen-angst drama One Tree Hill. When that show returns in mid-season, the characters will have been fast-forwarded to their lives after college.The network is replacing All of Us with Aliens In America, a comedy about a Muslim exchange student coming to live in Wisconsin. It looks funny and a little provocative. Who would have thought the CW would have the first sitcom to deal with post-9/11 attitudes?Tuesday at 9 pm brings Reaper, about a slacker whose parents sold his soul to the Devil, played with a br...
Tyra Banks courtsy The CW
The question that has been keeping no one I know on the edge of their seat: Whats next for the CW, coming off its mostly dismal freshman year, in which the biggest news was made by posting closing notices on shows that had long ago peaked or lost much of their buzz (7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, the latter still apparently having an itty-bitty chance of midseason resurrection). A year in which the closest thing to a new breakout hit that didnt originate on either the WB or UPN was an insipid Pussycat Dolls reality showslated for a midseason return, begging the question: How many Pussycat Dolls do we really need?It took the CW long enough to get busy in the reality game, which is actually rather puzzling considering its target demographic of young females has been weaned on the format on MTV, VH1, as well as the bigger networks. Americas Next Top Model has long been a signature show, first for UPN and now CW, and now the network is getting serious ...
The trades are now reporting that The CW has greenlit new seasons of Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill, Girlfriends and The Game, while All of Us is all done with. (Everybody Hates Chris earned a third season order earlier this spring.)There's no official word yet, one way or the other, regarding the fate of one plucky Veronica Mars though the Ausiello Report, of course, has more on that see-saw sitch. Matt Webb Mitovich
File this one under Last Week's News: My Take, as this story broke while I was on vacay yet merits discussion. The annual "clutter report" issued by MindShare finds that among the Big Four, ABC litters its typical hour with the most nonprogram content 15 minutes and 38 seconds' worth, a 12-second increase from its previous average. NBC came in second with 14:58, followed by Fox (14:40) and CBS (a lean, mean 13:51).I surfed around and couldn't find the CW's overall average, but as far as specific programs go, Supernatural is a most dubious No. 1 (tied with What About Brian) among all network offerings, ceding a full 17:50 of each hour to ads and in-house promos. In other words, nearly 30 percent of each Supe' hour has nothing to do with those Winchester boys. Who's the real demon now?Rounding out the "top" five cluttered programs were All of Us (17:40 per hour's worth), Housewives (17:35) and The War at Home (17:30/not nearly enough).
America's Next Top Model
The CW, the green offspring of the merged WB and UPN networks, is now five weeks old. That's a lifetime to the 18- to 34-year-olds it's targeting, so the Biz thought it was a good time to ask the CW's entertainment president Dawn Ostroff how it's going.
TVGuide.com: How do you assess the year so far?Dawn Ostroff: I think we're pretty happy with where we are. We got off to a solid start. What we said all along is that what we really want to see by the end of the season is to have a little bit of growth over what UPN or WB would have had. Right now we have a little bit of growth over them in 18- to 34-year-olds. We knew the migration was going to be a huge undertaking. The best way to describe it is that it would be as if you woke up one day and 67 percent of the country was told, "Oh, you're going to see CSI on a different channel." It's a big ordeal to move all of these viewers, tell them there is a new network, and tell them you need to find a new show on a new s
Question: I know it's still summer, but have the networks announced tentative dates for their season premieres?
Answer: As of now, the only network not to announce premiere dates is CBS, which will likely launch most of its new and returning shows the weeks of Sept. 17 and 24.
Here's how the others shape up: The season kicks off early on Fox, with Prison Break and Vanished on Aug. 21; then the limited reality series Duets on Aug. 29; Justice and Bones on Aug. 30; House and Standoff on Sept. 5; the comedies 'Til Death and Happy Hour on Sept 7; Nanny 911 on Sept. 8; Cops and America's Most Wanted on Sept. 9; Fox's animated comedy lineup plus The War at Home on Sept. 10; and MADtv Sept. 16. (The O.C. won't return until after postseason baseball on Nov. 2.)
On ABC, 20/20 officially kicks off Sept. 8; Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 12 and 13; Wife Swap premieres Sept. 18; Grey's Anatomy and Six Degrees on Sept. 21; Ugly Betty and Men in Trees on Sept. 22; Extreme Makeover: Home
Aside from that egregious Everwood snub, CW's fall schedule is close to perfect. Monday: 7th Heaven, RunawayTuesday: Gilmore Girls, Veronica MarsWednesday: Top Model/Beauty and Geek, One Tree HillThursday: Smallville, SupernaturalFriday: WrestlingSunday: Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us, Girlfriends, The GameAlso, Reba received a last-minute 13-episode reprieve, which pretty much means Everwood is the only bubble show that didn't make the cut. Dawn Ostroff's got some explainin' to do.Speaking of Everwood, I've been trading e-mails with exec producer Rina Mimoun and she wanted to offer a "final thank you to all our fans for all their hard work and effort. I'd love to give a giant cyberhug to everyone who has been so amazing to us."The one silver lining here is that, as you know, Mimoun and her team prepared for the worst and shot an alternate series-finale ending. So at the very least, our beloved Everwood will get a fitting send-off. Little consolation, I know.Off to Madison Square ...
Brad Garrett, 'Til Death
After attending the networks' upfront presentations all week, the Biz has this analysis of the coming season. (Click here for next fall's grid and new-show descriptions.)
CWYou've got to wonder what went wrong in CW's new-series development process if the network had to bring back 7th Heaven — even though the show lost a reported $16 million for WB this past season.
But the decision to have CW's inaugural schedule made up of established shows from WB and UPN may end up being a blessing. Many of the shows have small but rabid followings, and promoting new shows on a new network will be tough. The fans of shows like One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars will track them down on their own. Viewers in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that CW targets don't watch networks, they watch shows. (According to recent survey, only one in four 1
Kevin James, The King of Queens
This week the networks began meeting with ad-agency execs to talk about what's in development for the 2006-07 season. That means it's time for producers of current shows with less-than-robust ratings to start worrying about getting picked up for next season. Here's what industry insiders are telling the Biz.
ABC: The network's comedies are having a tough year in the ratings, but you can't cancel all of them. Rodney, Hope & Faith, Crumbs and Less than Perfect aren't likely to make the cut. According to Jim, George Lopez and Freddie have a chance of returning. Since ABC has two more hours to program in the fall now that football has moved to NBC, shows that would otherwise be doomed have a chance. We're talking Invasion and Commander in Chief. Their survival depends on the strength of the network's new-program development.
CBS: Another season of The King of Queens depends on whether the n
Question: I'm new here and I like Smurfs, so be gentle: Any information on Ghost Whisperer?
Answer: Hey, there's no shame in liking Ghost Whisperer. The shame would be in watching it live every Friday night instead of FauxVoing it and going out. That would be really embarrassing. In any event, there's tons happening in the April 7 episode, beginning with the arrival of Duane Martin (All of Us) as a love interest for Aisha Tyler's Andrea. He plays a high-school teacher who dabbles in spoken-word poetry. Also, Jennifer Love Hewitt's TV mom, Anne Archer, returns when Melinda takes a spill and winds up in a coma. When she comes to, she discovers that she can no longer see dead people and fears that she has lost the gift forever.