Thursday, May 18, 2006

The CW's Fall 2006

The final upfront of the week comes from the new CW network. The network (which has a new logo which vaguely reminds me of the "noodle" logo from Canadian National Railways) is an amalgamation of the old UPN and WB networks. As such the normal categories don't entirely apply. Still, here's what we've got.

Cancelled: The Bedford Diaries; Blue Collar TV; Everwood; Living With Fran; Modern Men; Pepper Dennis; Related; Survival of the Richest; Twins; Cuts; Eve; Get This Party Started; Half & Half; Love, Inc.; One on One; South Beach; What I Like About You; Charmed.

Retained: 7th Heaven; Gilmore Girls; Veronica Mars; America's Next Top Model; Smallville; Supernatural; Friday Night Smackdown!.

Moved: Everybody Hates Chris; All Of Us; Girlfriends; One Tree Hill.

New: The Game; Runaway

The CW also has a new drama called Hidden Palms available for midseason. America's Next Top Model will be replaced by Beauty & The Geek when it's season ends; and the network has reportedly ordered 13 episodes of Reba for midseason. The network will also be repeating theirSunday night comedies between 5 and 7 p.m. on Sunday nights

Complete Schedule: (New shows in Capitals.)
8:00-9:00 p.m. 7th Heaven
9:00-10:00 p.m. RUNAWAY

8:00-9:00 p.m. Gilmore Girls
9:00-10:00 p.m. Veronica Mars

8:00-9:00 p.m. America's Next Top Model
9:00-10:00 p.m. One Tree Hill

8:00-9:00 p.m. Smallville
9:00-10:00 p.m. Supernatural

8:00-10:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!

7:00-7:30 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris
7:30-8:00 p.m. All Of Us
8:00-8:30 p.m. Girlfriends
8:30-9:00 p.m. THE GAME
9:00-10:00 p.m. America's Next Top Model (Encore Presentation)

Runaway is the story of a family that is on the run from the law because the father is falsely acused of the murder of a co-worker. The family, which includes two teenagers and an 8 year-old has to stick together under tough conditions. Stars Donnie Wahlberg, Leslie Hope, Dustin Milligan, and Sarah Ramos.

The Game is a comedy about the adjustments that the girlfriend of a new NFL player has to make as she learns how NFL wives play the game behind The Game. Stars Aldis Hodge, Coby Bell, Tia Mowry, Hosea Chanchez, and Wendy Raquel Robinson.

Not much to talk about here. The number of new shows indicates a certain conservatism but the number of cancellations indicates a wholesale reboot. This is what happens when networks amalgamate. Runaway has an intriguing premise and might well benefit from having 7th Heaven as a lead-in as they seem complimentary. Of course 7th Heaven's very existence is a result of the amalgamation since the CW network can afford the fees that the WB couldn't. The Game sounds like it would probably work better as a one hour drama rather than a half hour comedy but I think that show is already available on cable. From a personal point of view, although I understand the motivation, I find the Sunday night comedy block aimed specifically at African-Americans limiting. The announcement says that it represents their "strong commitment to diversity" but I think it can be interpretted primarily as an cuynical effort to grab at the market. Of course this comes from a Euro-Canadian so your opinion may vary.

Finally, The CW didn't pick up the Aquaman pilot that had been in preparation for The WB, supposedly because of weak stories. The trailer for Aquaman is currently available online (although who knows for how long) and quite frankly it doesn't look too bad to me but what do I know. I think Aquaman will probably go down in history as one of those lost opportunities that maybe shouldn't have been passed on, like the WB's attempts at reviving Dark Shadows and Lost In Space.

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