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, February 25

The Conners - "Bad Dads and Grads" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dan starts to bond with his younger half-brother (guest star Noel Fisher), but he can’t get over the fact that their father paid for Ed Jr.’s college education, something he refused to do for Dan. Jackie hits it off with a fun married couple (guest stars and real-life husband and wife Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey), so much so that they “invite” her into their relationship. Harris and Mark do not react well to the news that Darlene is trying to have a baby with Ben.

Bless This Mess - "Völsung and the Beef Boy" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When faced with choosing between meat judging (his dad Beau’s preference) or playing music (his shared bond with Mike), Jacob realizes he must figure out what his passions are on his own. Meanwhile, Rio takes driving lessons from Kay, but their friendship hits a bump in the road when Kay learns that Rio has secretly been getting lessons from other townspeople.

mixed-ish - "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Johnsons welcome an African American family that has just moved into their mostly white neighborhood. Santamonica doesn’t get along with the new neighbor’s daughter, until she gives Santamonica attitude. Meanwhile, Rainbow is excited to celebrate her one-month anniversary with Bryce, but he tells her some devastating news.

black-ish - "You Don't Know Jack" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jack joins the robotics club and Dre worries it might be a detrimental failure for him after already being cut from the basketball team. Ruby embellishes a story for Diane’s school project.

Schitt's Creek - "The Presidential Suite" (Pop, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny and Moira spend a night at the presidential suite in the new motel, while Alexis receives a surprise visitor.

Miracle Workers: Dark Ages - "Dark Ages: Holiday" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Al and Prince Chauncley struggle to deal with their families over the holidays.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 24)

Tuesday, February 25

  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Catch Nick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He also talks about The Voice on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Juliette Lewis (Camping/I Married Dora) - Juliette drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Adam Pally (Indebted/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) - Adam visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Karen appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tommy Davidson (Between Brothers) - Tommy is a guest on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse stops by The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Big Day) - Leslie is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Spencer (Significant Others) - Chris appears on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason talks about Frozen 2 on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series

12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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