UPN and WB to fold; CW Coming Soon

It was the news that caught the entertainment industry off guard: Both the UPN and The WB network’s will cease operations in September. But… Their programming will merge into a brand new network called The CW. CBS and Warner Bros. will each own 50% of the new network.

The CW is expected to be available in 95% of the country when it launches, with Tribune Broadcasting (The WB’s big affiliate partner) and the UPN affiliates already agreeing (separately) to sign a 10-year affiliation agreement with the new network. I *think* this could mean some markets could wind up having two The CW channels. That’s actually a good think, because if you don’t like the The CW programming on channel 4, maybe it’ll be better on channel 9! (pictured to the right are Leslie Moonves of CBS, and Barry Meye of WB, annocuning the merger.)

The CW will incorporate The WB’s current scheduling model, which includes primetime programming 7 nights a week, plus weekday afternoon and Saturday morning programming blocks. Altogether, the The CW will air thirty hours of weekly programming.

What shows will make the move over to The CW? That’s all up to Dawn Ostroff, the new Top Creative Executive for The CW. She’ll be able to move whichever UPN or WB shows that she wants over to The CW. You can expect the top-rated programs from each network to move over, such as:
– America’s Next Top Model
– Veronica Mars
– Smallville
– Gilmore Girls
– Supernatural
– Everybody Hates Chris
– Reba
– WWE’s Smackdown

The UPN and WB will continue to independently broadcast their stations until The CW launches this September. Until then, programs on either network will remain untouched by this new announcement.

In case you were wondering, the “C” stands for CBS, while the “W” stands for Warner.

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