February 1, 2006Feature
This Fall on The CW
Everybody Hates America's Next Top Gilmore Geek
In a company town fueled by rumors and innuendo, the total silence leading into the January 24 announcement of a merger between The WB and UPN made for a truly surprising and unexpected business maneuver. Even more shocking is that the news came on the heels of the Television Critics Association's Winter Press Tour, when the industry's power players gather in Pasadena to discuss the immediate future of the TV biz. If ever there was a place for such game-changing information to leak out, this was it.
On the surface, The CW, a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment, seems like the ideal solution to a problem that has plagued UPN and The WB since their inception 11 years ago. The two networks have always been neck and neck in the ratings, essentially splitting the same target audience of advertiser-friendly 18-34 year-olds. By combining the best of both worlds, the potential exists to pool each network's viewers. For example, America's Next Top Model and One Tree Hill currently air opposite each other, forcing the same demographic to be siphoned into what amounts to a smaller audience for both shows. Airing on the same network could lead to viewership increases not only for these shows, but for all the shows that The CW carries over from the two networks.
While it is easy to poke fun at what the two networks currently have to offer as separate entities, CBS Corporation president Leslie Moonves's claim that The CW "will clearly be greater than the sum of its parts" may not be completely ludicrous. Yes, the combined efforts from both networks can't even fill the schedule, but imagine a network that will have something worth watching in almost every hour it programs. Of course, any new product remains to be seen and both networks have midseason shows yet to debut, but the existing shows are almost universally acclaimed and can only gain from supporting each other rather than competing against one another.
|By contrast, The CW has at its disposal an entire slate of shows that are already very much in the public consciousness. There won't be any need for the execs to twist anybody's arm to get people to watch.|
Now all they need is a name that rolls off the tongue just a little bit easier.
How about asking that frog if he's got any suggestions?
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