The WB has set its own bar high for next year, after performing at
record-setting levels in both the November and February sweep.
To try to maintain its growth, the network has picked up two dramas and four
comedies for next fall, all produced by or in association with The WB's sister
company, Warner Bros. Television.
Fearless, from Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with WBTV,
will star Rachel Leigh Cook and air Tuesdays at 9 p.m., following Gilmore
A Gilmore Girls spinoff, starring Milo Ventimiglia, has been ordered
for midseason, said Jordan Levin, president of entertainment for The WB.
Warner Bros.' Tarzan and Jane, which advertisers and buyers received
enthusiastically, will air Sundays at 9 p.m. after Charmed, which has
delivered the best Sunday-night ratings ever for The WB.
The 7 p.m. spot will go to Smallville: Beginnings, replacing this
season's Gilmore Girls: Beginnings.
The 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday repurposed "Easyview" shows -- which The WB started last
season to great success -- will be Fearless and Everwood.
With the departure of WB staple Dawson's Creek, the network will move its
biggest hit, Smallville, to the spot, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
The Superman saga will be followed by Angel, which comes off the
bubble to return for its fifth season.
Joss Whedon -- creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as
Angel -- will return to the program as showrunner with only Angel to
focus on next year.
The WB hopes the addition of James Marsters -- Spike on Buffy -- and other
Buffy cast members will give Angel an extra ratings boost next season.
Once again, The WB will counterprogram Thursday night, airing a comedy
lineup anchored by new show Steve Harvey's Big Time, hosted by WB
Harvey will lead into WB favorite The Jamie Kennedy Experiment at 8:30
p.m. and Amanda Bynes/Jennie Garth-starrer What I Like About You at 9
New sitcom Run of the House, about a 16-year-old whose older
siblings are taking care of her after her older parents move to Arizona for
health reasons, will finish the night at 9:30 p.m.
Third-year show Reba will anchor Friday nights, followed by new
sitcom Like Family, starring another WB alum, Holly Robinson Peete, about
a single white mom and her trouble-making son who move in with her close
Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's Grounded for Life stays at 9 p.m., followed
by another new sitcom, All About the Andersons, starring comic Anthony
Anderson. It is based on Anderson's real-life experience -- he and his young son
move back in with his parents in New Jersey.
Monday nights remain intact, with veteran hit 7th Heaven at
8 p.m. and sophomore Everwood at 9 p.m.
Coming off The WB's schedule are Friday night's Greetings from Tucson
and Thursday-night midseason replacement On the Spot.
Other midseason pickups include One Tree Hill from Tollin/Robbins
and WBTV; hidden-camera show Make My Day from Monkey Television and Brad
Grey Television; satire The Help from Original Productions and WBTV; and
The Mayor, from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison in association with Sony
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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