Question: After watching parts of the WB's farewell Sunday night, I have to say that the WB's attitude over the years had definitely changed. I for one really liked the old WB with Michigan J. Frog. Wow, so many good shows at once. I remember how the WB was determined to get that target teen audience, and they did it in every way possible. The last few years, the WB really lost its way with the addition of all those older-skewing shows like Blue Collar TV and Related. These weren't necessarily bad shows, but they weren't a good fit for the WB. Do you think that if the WB hadn't steered away from the teen crowd, it would've remained profitable?
Answer: Hard to say, though the real hurdle to profitability for both the WB and for UPN (about which I received precious few letters of regret or farewell) was that both mini-networks were going after the exact same demo, in effect cannibalizing the audience. The problem for such a narrowly targeted network is that, even when the shows are
The question has hovered over UPN and WB since both "weblets" launched in 1995: Is there room for both?
The resounding answer came, with no warning, Tuesday morning: no. Instead, UPN and WB will merge into a new entity, known as the CW (conventional wisdom? country western?), in the fall.
The business implications are beyond me to comment upon — as in: In markets like mine, where there is both a UPN and WB affiliate, which channel becomes CW and what happens to the other? — but there does seem to be some logic in the notion of merging the best of both networks' schedules to create a truly viable fifth broadcast network with higher market penetration.
It's way too early to know for sure which UPN and WB shows will survive and how they'll be programmed to fill the six-night, 13-hour schedule (patterned on WB's). But if I had to put together a CW schedule from what exists now, keeping in mind that there will likely be new shows in the fall from the developme
Question: What do you think of the major changes WB has made to its schedule? Moving Related to the post-7th Heaven slot makes sense, but what are they thinking when they show reruns after One Tree Hill? It seems like that would make a bad situation worse. I'm also confused by the changes on Fridays. I understand trying to find an audience for Twins by moving it after Reba, but why chuck Living with Fran and show a repeat of What I Like About You? As much as I enjoy What I Like About You, it is the network's lowest-rated comedy, and I don't see how showing it twice would help anything at all. Please help me make sense of all of this.
Answer: Thanks for reminding me that What I Like About You is still on the air. Who knew? And when it comes to WB's double-runs, you left out Supernatural repeats airing after Charmed on Sundays (replacing Blue Collar TV). The reason for most of these changes is simply a matter of cutting their losses until it's time for another try come mid-season. When a
WB has benched for the time being both Living with Fran and Blue Collar TV, although both shows will remain in production. Melanie Griffith's Twins (the show, people) will take over Fran's slot, while an encore airing of Supernatural will be offered up to the 17 people who were choosing Blue Collar over the Housewives on Sunday at 9.
We're at the midway point of press tour and that can only mean three things: At least half of the journalists here have started recycling their underwear; the backlash against the host hotel has reached a fever pitch; and folks are starting to place bets on which shows are going to be axed first. (My pick? CBS's ghastly John Goodman sitcom Center of the Universe.) Helping TCA members celebrate Hump Day is WB, which previewed its fall schedule Wednesday for the increasingly cranky press corps. Here's a rundown of all the day's memorable moments.WELCOMING REMARKS9:10 Keith Marder
, WB's joyfully antagonistic communications director, kicks off the day with his traditional press-tour comedy routine. First up is a joke about former WB chief Jordan Levin
, who Marder says left the network to figure out who starred "in the reality version of Crossing Jordan
." It bombs, but he assures us, "It will get better."