Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Majors News: UPN and The WB Gone This Fall, Replaced By New Network The CW


The WB and UPN networks will both cease operations starting in September 2006. CBS Corporation, which owns UPN, and Warner Bros., which obviously owns The WB, will merge into one and create a new network called The CW (stands for CBS Corp/Warner Bros.). I'm sure everyone has heard something about this by now. If not, you certainly will get the picture by the end of this story. I will cover everything here so no one will be confused.

The new CW network will either be on what is now known as your local WB or your local UPN.
  • If you live in the following markets, then you will get The CW on your WB affiliate: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, Miami, Denver, St. Louis, Portland, Indianapolis, San Diego, Hartford, New Orleans, and Albany. Those are all Tribune owned WB stations. For example New York's WPIX and L.A.'s KTLA will have The CW programming.
  • If you live in the following markets, then you will get The CW on your UPN affiliate: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, West Palm Beach, Norfolk, Oklahoma City and Providence. Those are all UPN stations owned by CBS Corp. Combining the Tribune and CBS Corp. stations, that covers more than 48% of the country. The CW is expected to reach 95% of the country.
Note: Philadelphia, Seattle and Atlanta--both have a WB station that is owned by Tribune and a UPN station owned by CBS Corp., but for all three, The CW will be on their UPN stations, so their WB stations will turn independent, meaning they can program whatever they want in primetime, such as movies, classic sitcoms and dramas, syndicated programming and more. Personally, I can't wait to see what WWOR (UPN9) in New York will do, as they will become independent because WPIX (WB11) will be turning into The CW. Hopefully WWOR brings back classic sitcoms or dramas in primetime. Maybe that will be the case, please read further down to see what I mean.

There is also another little problem in the major markets. Fox Corp. owns UPN stations in markets like New York (oh no that is my WWOR!), Los Angeles, and Chicago. Those stations are not turning into The CW, but will become independent. But Fox is eyeing those stations for something more. They could start up another programming service, and Tribune has expressed interest for their three independents (Philly, Seattle, Atlanta) in such a network. If that happens, looks like I won't get my classic sitcoms and dramas after all?

As for markets other than Tribune and CBS markets, the CW’s affiliations must still play out.
Sinclair Broadcasting and other mid-level station groups that lose their WB affiliations will be in need of a large amount of programming, Sinclair has 18 WB stations and owns or operates a half dozen UPN outlets. Sinclair owns both the WB and UPN stations in four markets: Birmingham, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Raleigh. So far, it’s known that in four other Sinclair markets, the CW affiliation will go to Tribune or CBS (Tampa, Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Oklahoma City), leaving Sinclair with at least eight stations that will have no affiliation. Still, Sinclair will likely get the CW affiliation in the majority of its markets.
The CW will inherit the WB's 100+ station group, the net's band of small-market cable-only outlets.

So what will be The CW programming hours? Well, they will use The WB's exact hours. Meaning, Sundays 5-7pm and 7-10pm; Weekdays 3-5pm and 8-10pm; and Saturdays 7am-12 noon. Sundays 5-7pm is likely going to be repeats like how The WB does right now, with new programming Sundays 7-10pm and Weekdays 8-10pm. It is likely the Daytime WB block (currently consists of ER, 8 Simple Rules) will be on The CW line-up from 3-5pm on Weekdays and Kids' WB, which will be renamed of course, will still be on the air on The CW airing Saturdays 7am-12 noon.

What will happen to all of UPN's and The WB's current shows? Well, simple, most will be gone, some will be on this new channel. Some of the shows that are rumored to be on The CW include: America's Next Top Model (UPN), Beauty and the Geek (WB), Smallville (WB), Gilmore Girls (WB), Supernatura (WB), Veronica Mars (UPN), Everybody Hates Chris (UPN), Grifriends (UPN), Reba (WB) and WWE Smackdown (UPN). Imagine if they had Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on one night! Maybe then VM can get a decent audience with a similar type of lead-in. If they use all those shows and add some news ones, they will have some of the highest rated shows from The WB and UPN. We should have a grasp of their full schedule by May, when the upfronts are held. I expect a few new shows, but mainly the best of the best from The WB and UPN will be on The CW. They will have what no other network has ever had, starting with established shows.

Now to those stations that will turn independent due to all this.
Syndicator Carsey-Werner has struck a deal to distribute the Stephen J. Cannell library both inside and outside the U.S.
The deal covers rights on various platforms, including cable, video-on-demand and the Internet, and will add thousands of hours to the distributor's library, including Baretta, The Rockford Files, A-Team, Hunter, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, Silk Stalkings and Michael Chiklis' first shield outing as The Commish.

Will the company start packaging the dramas in a block for some of the new independents created by the folding of UPN and The WB? Let's hope and pray we see these classic dramas in the primetime line-up for these stations that will turn independent. I hope we see some sitcoms on there, too. How about some shows that have not been on the air much? Silver Spoons, Small Wonder, One Day at a Time, Facts of Life, Hogan Family, Mr. Belvedere, and Diff'rent Strokes ring a bell?

I think this CW situation is good news. Both UPN and The WB were really terrible, but had some shows worth saving, and I guess now those will be on one network. The thing I'm ecstatic the most about are the stations that will turn independent. It will be very interesting what they program in primetime. I just hope the Fox-owned UPN stations don't get screwed by this and Fox takes over them. Let them remain free! The CW premieres this September (and the new independents!)


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 25

Wrecked - "The Dark Prince Returns" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
With Karen gravely injured, Owen and Danny must journey to the center of the island to defeat Chettywompwomp; Florence learns more about Karen's back story; Pack, Todd and Jess face a futile task.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 24)

Tuesday, September 25

  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Catch Sofia on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Ted is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Judy Greer (Kidding/Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Natascha McElhone (Californication) - Natascha is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Norm Macdonald (The Show Norm/A Minute with Stan Hooper) - Norm drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Jackie Thomas Show/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • The Cast of Modern Family - Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Rel - Lil Rel Howery, Sinbad, Jessica "Jess Hilarious" Moore and Jordan L. Jones are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa dishes on her new Netflix movie Nappily Ever After on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Leighton Meester (Single Parents/Making History) - Leighton talks about Single Parents on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am, on GMA Day at 1pm and on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk) - Ron talks about A Million Little Things on the BUILD Series at 4pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third Season
09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
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