CW offers your daily fix of teen drama, wit

first_imgThe CW was in seventh heaven after it announced its new 2006-07 prime-time lineup Thursday. But the Burbank-based network – the result of the merger of The WB and UPN – has to be wondering whether it will emerge as a new television powerhouse or whether viewers will be confused by its new initials, expecting to tune into a Toby Keith concert. Retaining seven UPN series and six WB programs, The CW, which is expected to start in September, unveiled only two new series and one midseason replacement show. CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff called the ability to cherry-pick programs from both networks to form the new lineup “a programmer’s dream.” “Hidden Palms,” the network’s sole midseason replacement series, is a teen melodrama in the mold of “The O.C.” or “One Tree Hill.” UPN and The WB premiered within five days of one another in January 1995, and both long struggled financially. The WB achieved profitability in the 2002-03 season, but its fortunes have since flagged as ratings have been stagnant. Formation of The CW was announced in January by CBS CEO Les Moonves and Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer, who had overseen UPN and The WB, respectively, and first discussed merging the two properties in November 2005. In March, the network announced it would be headquartered in Burbank, between CBS’ impending Studio City home and the Warner Bros. studio. This fall, The CW will move into the second phase of the Pinnacle tower, which is under construction at Olive Avenue and the 134 Freeway. The WB had called Burbank home, while UPN was based in Brentwood. To date, The CW has signed deals with 160 affiliates covering 92 percent of the country, representing broader reach than either The WB or UPN had managed on their own. David Kronke, (818) 713-3638 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“These shows will perform better together than they did apart,” she declared, explaining that they will no longer be competing against one another for the same youthful audience and, combined, allow for a more compatible schedule flow. One surprise from the network was the return of the long-running family drama “7th Heaven.” WB executives had already announced would not be returning because although it was the highest-rated show on either network, its costs were considered prohibitive. Also noteworthy was Ostroff’s decision not to bring The WB’s “Everwood” to the new network but to keep “One Tree Hill,” which was a lower-rated series. UPN programs coming to The CW include “America’s Next Top Model,” “Friday Night Smackdown!”, “Everybody Hates Chris,” “All of Us,” “Girlfriends” and “Veronica Mars.” Though “Veronica Mars” has struggled to find an audience, Ostroff pointed to the passion of the critical darling’s fan base – including the fact that fans hired a plane to fly a banner over the network requesting the show’s renewal – and the chance to pair it with The WB’s “Gilmore Girls” on Tuesday evenings. Both series feature wry young heroines who are quick with the quips and arcane pop-culture references. In addition to “7th Heaven,” “Gilmore Girls” and “One Tree Hill,” WB series that survived the cut include “Smallville” and “Supernatural.” The reality series “Beauty and the Geek” will air between cycles of “America’s Next Top Model.” The network picked up one new drama and one new sitcom. The drama is “Runaway,” which is essentially “The Fugitive” reconfigured into a family drama – a man takes his wife and kids with him on the lam when he’s framed for murder. The sitcom “The Game” is a spinoff of UPN’s popular “Girlfriends” and concerns the wives and girlfriends of professional football players. last_img read more