Smackdown a Gilmore Girl

Two struggling networks, UPN and The WB, have decided merge their companies and form a new network, The CW (the C for CBS and the W standing for Warner Bros). Both networks have had a few successful shows, but mostly they were small fish in an ocean of sharks like ABC. The network will debut September 18, 2006 and will have a mixed line-up from The WB and UPN's more popular shows. The line-up includes well-received shows from UPN -- Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, America's Next Top Model, Veronica Mars, and Smackdown. The WB's contributions for CW are: Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill and 7th Heaven.

I believe that UPN's viewship deflated when it lost Star Trek: Voyager, Roswell and finally, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These were what attracted a large audience, even though BtVS and Roswell were not originally a part of UPN. The only show that really held UPN afloat afterwards was the largely popular Smackdown. UPN never could find its niche. Was it a sci-fi network, a comedy network? The WB, on the other hand, was bogged down with production costs for their sci-fi dramas. It was quite expensive for the effects on BtVS, which ultimately led to UPN purchasing it. Despite a huge campaign of fans sending bottles of tasbasco sauce to The WB in an effort to save Roswell, the show was cancelled and picked up by UPN.

UPN lacked good shows that captured viewers, while The WB was struggling financially despite a range of high-rated shows, such as Angel and Gilmore Girls. The production costs for 7th Heaven continued to grow, due to the rising price of the actors, now in their 10th year. It was speculated that 7th Heaven would finally be axed after a decade because although it pulled in ratings for the network, the budget was becoming overwhelming. With the merge of UPN and The WB, the decision has been put to rest to give 7th Heaven an 11th season.

Gilmore Girls has also danced with the question, "Will there be another season?" For now, the answer is yes. The show had lost a number of viewers in the third season when Rory went off to college. There was less innocence about the show and it felt stiff seeing the two main characters, Lorelai and her daughter Rory, talking to one another over the phone. Gone were Rory's private school outfits and long hair, gone was Rory's best friend Lane always around. Don't get me wrong, the characters were all still on the show, but it had a different vibe with Rory living an hour away at Yale and the mother/daughter bond stretched thin, with Lorelai busying opening her inn (The Dragonfly) and Rory adjusting to college.

Despite critical acclaim and numerous wonderful reviews, Veronica Mars failed to reach many viewers and Smackdown seemed to be the only heavy-hitter for UPN. With one network failing on the budget side and the other failing to captivate audiences with its programming, it seems more than logical for the two to merge, creating a good mixture of a line-up that will entice viewers to watch shows they might not have otherwise. If you'll notice, Gilmore Girls will be premiering Tuesday at 8pm, it's original timeslot on The WB, followed by Veronica Mars to help "prop" the following show. This tactic is used quite often by networks, putting the more popular show on first and the one that needs help right after. Viewers seem to watch what follows a popular show. I can't say why. I wouldn't be surprised if we caught a few pop-culture references on Gilmore Girls regarding Veronica Mars. The WB did this same thing with having Jen on Dawson's Creek mention that she had to go home because "Roswell is on in 5 minutes". And guess what? It did help a little with Roswell's viewership.

So, just a reminder, The CW kicks off September 18th and if you want to check out their grab bag of shows or watch episode clips, or just check out their line-up, go to The CW Television Network.


Cool blog, interesting information... Keep it UP » » »

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