(May 15, 2001 - New York, NY) — The WB Network unveiled its 2001-2002 primetime schedule this morning in front of 3,000 advertisers and national journalists in a presentation led by Susanne Daniels and Jordan Levin, Co-Presidents, Entertainment for The WB. The highlights of the fall schedule include five new comedies; an all-new Tuesday night line-up of “GILMORE GIRLS” and “SMALLVILLE”; the continuation of the all-original “FELICITY” hour on Wednesday night teamed with Kevin Williamson’s new series “GLORY DAYS” at midseason; and the announcement of multi-year commitments for veteran series “7th HEAVEN,” “DAWSON’S CREEK,” “CHARMED” and “SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH.” “The top priority for the network is to create a break-out comedy that can lead us to our next level of success while maintaining our advantage in the young adult and teen drama category, and I believe we have accomplished our goals with this line-up,” said Ms. Daniels. “This is the best comedy line-up we’ve ever had and it came by investing in the best level of comedy show runners we’ve ever attracted, which led to us making a record 17 comedy pilots. In comedy, it just takes one to break through to build from and we think this line-up presents us with our best shot at a comedy hit.” “The next priority going into the scheduling sessions was to ensure that Tuesday nights on The WB continue to be appointment television for our loyal fans and I believe we accomplished that in the sleeper hit of this past season, ‘Gilmore Girls,’ and the new Superman series ‘Smallville,’” said Mr. Levin. “We also believed that the Wednesday night wheel with ‘Felicity’ in all originals reignited that series, allowing it to reach its highest ratings levels ever. This year we are pairing it with Kevin Williamson’s new drama ‘Glory Days,’ continuing to make Wednesday night the destination night for 12-34 year-old women.” COMEDIES The WB programming department developed comedies to match up with “SABRINA,” giving the network the most powerful line-up of shows on Friday catering to young families. They include “MAYBE I’M ADOPTED” at 8:30 p.m., created by Suzanne Martin (“Frasier”) starring newcomer Reagan Dale Neis, Julia Sweeney (“Saturday Night Live”) and Fred Willard (“Best in Show”); “DEEP IN THE HEART” at 9:00 p.m., from Allison Gibson (“Home Improvement,” “Boy Meets World”) starring Reba McEntire, country music superstar and current Broadway sensation in the title role in “Annie Get Your Gun”; and “RAISING DAD” at 9:30 p.m., created by Jonathan Katz (“Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”) starring Bob Saget (“Full House”) and newcomer Kat Dennings. As “GILMORE GIRLS” was last year, “RAISING DAD” was developed with the support of the Family Friendly Forum’s script development fund. Sunday night will feature the new relationship comedies “MEN, WOMEN & DOGS” at 8:30 p.m., starring Bill Bellamy (“The Brothers,” “How to Be a Player,” MTV) created by Emmy-nominated writers Dan Staley and Rob Long (“Cheers”); and “OFF CENTRE” at 9:30 p.m., from hot comedy writers Paul and Chris Weitz (“American Pie,” “Antz”) and Danny Zuker (“Just Shoot Me,” “Roseanne”). The new shows will be protected by popular veteran comedies “THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW” at 8:00 p.m. and "NIKKI" at 9:00 p.m., which remain in their current timeslots. NEW TUESDAY A major scheduling move is the announcement of an all-new Tuesday night line-up with the critically acclaimed, family-friendly “GILMORE GIRLS” anchoring the night at 8:00 p.m. followed by the new Superman drama “SMALLVILLE” at 9:00 p.m. The first series to make it to air supported by the Family Friendly Forum’s script development fund, “GILMORE GIRLS,” a multi-generation dramedy for all ages, has emerged as one of the most critically praised shows on television in its first season. “The fact that ‘Gilmore Girls’ beat ‘Friends’ in female teens this May sweep and is building Emmy buzz has been extremely gratifying for a freshman series,” said Mr. Levin. “The show’s broad appeal will perfectly platform ‘Smallville,’ a project with three breakout young stars that promises to be another successful chapter of the evergreen Warner Bros. Superman franchise.” REALITY On Thursday, The WB is adding two half-hour series, “POPSTARS 2” and “ELIMIDATE DELUXE,” with the strategic goal of creating half-hour time slots in the network’s solid Monday through Thursday drama blocks. A second season and new incarnation of the synergistic hit “POPSTARS” leads off the night at 8:00 p.m., followed by the new dating game show “ELIMIDATE DELUXE” at 8:30 p.m. With the limited-run nature of “POPSTARS 2,” Thursdays could eventually be another night to add comedies, possibly by midseason. “'Popstars’ was a grand slam across many divisions within AOL Time Warner,” said Ms. Daniels. “The show set ratings records for The WB, the debut single from Eden’s Crush topped the music charts and notched record downloads for AOL, and the album shipped gold, debuting in the top 10. ‘Elimidate Deluxe’ blends the quest for love with exotic locales to create a lighthearted tone akin to ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ meets ‘The Dating Game.’” The WB’s second highest-rated series, the supernatural hit “CHARMED,” returns to its highly successful Thursday night timeslot at 9:00 p.m. “CHARMED” also has been secured well into the future as The WB has extended its rights to the series through the 2003-04 season. Additionally, The WB will launch a “reality wheel” Sunday nights during the 7:00 p.m. hour beginning with the fall premiere of “LOST IN THE USA.” A new reality-based, viewer-interactive game show from the creators of “The Real World,” “LOST IN THE USA” each week pits four teams against each other in a grueling 48-hour gauntlet of tests, tasks and time trials that could take them anywhere in the U.S.A. That series will be replaced in midseason by “NO BOUNDARIES,” a new adventure reality series from executive producers Jim Jusko and Brady Connell (“Survivor,” “Eco-Challenge,” “The Amazing Race”) that follows a group of contestants on a trek across North America’s most rugged terrain. A third series will be named for the timeslot to provide all original programming on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. “For our audience, we believe reality shows are a viable form of storytelling as long as it extends the core themes and values ascribed to our scripted series,” said Mr. Levin. “The elements of empowerment, fantasy and wish fulfillment — qualities that made ‘Popstars’ a winner in upscale homes and a hit with advertisers — will be prominent in all of our reality development.” DAWSON’S CREEK & FELICITY LEAD STRONG WEDNESDAY NIGHT The WB’s Wednesday night remains unchanged with "DAWSON’S CREEK" at 8:00 p.m. and “FELICITY” at 9:00 p.m. The progressive strategy to air all original episodes in the 9:00 p.m. time slot helped “FELICITY” finish its junior year with a flourish, ranking as The WB’s top-rated program among women 18-34 and tying with “DAWSON’S CREEK” in adults 18-34. Next season, “DAWSON’S CREEK” takes a creative turn as the main teenage characters — played by James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams and Kerr Smith — head off to college. “We took a risk last season, dividing the run of ‘Felicity’ in order to deliver viewers 30 weeks of original programming after ‘Dawson’s Creek,’” said Mr. Levin. “The risk paid off. ‘Felicity’ finally took off in the ratings and ’Dawson’s’ laid claim to the 8:00 p.m. hour after the departure of ‘90210’ and saw its 18-34 and 18-49 demos soar over last season.” Again next season, “FELICITY” will air consecutive original episodes throughout the fall, and will be replaced midseason by a new drama from Kevin Williamson, “GLORY DAYS.” “FELICITY” star Keri Russell and the rest of the cast will return to finish out the season and their senior year of college with all new episodes. “We are thrilled to be back in business with Kevin Williamson,” said Ms. Daniels. “Kevin played an instrumental role in the early success of The WB when we teamed up on ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ and it’s only fitting that this next chapter be paired with his first series. The show’s lead, Eddie Cahill, had star-making turns on ‘Felicity’ and ‘Friends’ last season and is poised to be a break-out talent.” 7TH HEAVEN TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL On Monday, The WB’s 8:00 p.m. hour has belonged to “7TH HEAVEN” for six years, where it has grown into the network’s highest-rated series for four straight seasons and a benchmark for quality family-friendly programming. Next season, “7TH HEAVEN” will be touched by an “ANGEL” when the action-adventure drama series starring David Boreanaz moves to Mondays at 9:00 p.m. “'7th Heaven’ is that rare commodity in television — it not only improves with age creatively, but also continues to grow in ratings,” said Ms. Daniels. “While ‘Angel’ may not be an obvious lead-out for traditional family fare, we’ve had the most success following at 9:00 p.m. with action-adventure series in one of television’s most competitive timeslots.” VETERAN SHOWS ANCHOR EVERY NIGHT AT 8:00 P.M. AND THE WB EXTENDS ITS RIGHTS ON FOUR HITS Across all six nights of programming, veteran series anchor the line-up at 8:00 p.m., with “THE STEVE HARVEY SHOW” on Sunday, “7TH HEAVEN” on Monday, “GILMORE GIRLS” on Tuesday, “DAWSON’S CREEK” on Wednesday, “POPSTARS” on Thursday and “SABRINA” on Friday. Enhancing the strength in the schedule is the announcement of multi-year commitments for “7TH HEAVEN,” “DAWSON’S CREEK,” “CHARMED” and “SABRINA.” “We have believed from the beginning that a new network needs stability from year to year, advantaging our audience, advertisers and studio suppliers,” said Mr. Levin. “We have accomplished that by anchoring the nights with proven series to give new shows a chance to find an audience and ensuring our appointment series will be around for several more years.” BACK-UP SHOWS In addition to the five new comedies on the schedule for fall, The WB ordered one comedy for midseason: “A YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO BECOMING A ROCK STAR.” Starring Oliver Hudson, the unique series created by John Riggi (“The Larry Sanders Show”) is based on the popular British comedy series of the same name. “Oliver Hudson, like his sister Kate, is clearly going to be a big star,” said Ms. Daniels. “He is an example of casting at its best and there’s nothing else like ‘Rock Star’ on television.” Also in the stable for midseason is the veteran relationship comedy “FOR YOUR LOVE.” Starring Holly Robinson Peete, James Lesure, Tamala Jones, Edafe Okurume, Dedee Pfeiffer and D.W. Moffett, “FOR YOUR LOVE” will be returning for its fifth season. SUMMER ORIGINAL SERIES AND A NEW SUMMER MOVIE NIGHT The WB also announced programming for the summer months, planning to launch new series “DEAD LAST” on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. and a Wednesday movie night featuring new classics from the extensive Turner library. From the writers of feature films “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “High Fidelity,” Steve Pink and D.V. de Vincentis, “DEAD LAST” is a suspenseful comedic thriller chronicling the misadventures of a struggling rock band with the power to see ghosts. “The WB’s core audience is looking for something new during the summer, and launching shows against largely repeat programming makes great sense for us,” said Mr. Levin. “If ‘Dead Last’ attains the level of success we think it can, we could then order more episodes for midseason. We have always felt that a movie night would be a perfect fit with The WB, and now in partnership with Turner we are able to broadcast movies that will appeal to our target young adult and teen audience in the summer, while giving our Wednesday night series line-up a rest for the summer.” A night-by-night breakdown of the schedule and accompanying details on all the programs are attached to this release.
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