(January 28, 2002 – Burbank, CA) - In another departure from traditional network precedent, The WB will add two hours of programming from 5-7 p.m. ET feeding into its Sunday primetime lineup, bringing the network to 15 hours of programming in Fall 2002, it was announced today by Jed Petrick, COO and President. “We have weighed the question of how and when to expand to Saturdays for a few years and we agree with many of our affiliates that Sunday provides far more benefits for both the network and the stations,” said Mr. Petrick. The WB will provide two hours of “multi-play” network programming that affiliated stations will utilize Sundays (5–7 p.m. ET, 4-6 p.m. Central). “The programming will consist of popular shows culled from The WB’s primetime schedule that will have their second airings in the same week in our expanded two hours. The additional two hours of programming will also increase supply of our hard-to-reach teen and young adult audience in a quality environment,” Mr. Petrick said. “The network business model continues to evolve and we have to explore unique ways to reach an increasingly fragmented audience. In the past, both ‘7th Heaven’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ have benefited dramatically by airing twice in the same broadcast week,” Mr. Petrick said, “and we believe we will be able to replicate that success by carefully selecting strong shows to fill out our new 15-hour schedule.” ‘7th Heaven’ is the network’s highest rated show and is one of syndication’s top dramas this season. ‘Gilmore Girls’ is this season’s largest year-to-year growth with its move to Tuesday nights.” Specific shows for this additional run will be announced at a later date. “Our research continues to show that the multi-play/multi-plex strategies capture unduplicated viewing in our scarce young target,” added Mr. Petrick. “The chance to extend the network’s footprint, increase exposure of our brand and provide the best lead-in possible for our unfulfilled Sunday prime block makes this an exciting opportunity.” “This new approach to programming the 5:00-7:00 PM Sunday line-up on our stations is truly innovative,” said Pat Mullen, President, Tribune Television. “The multi-play strategy of broadcasting network shows in this manner allows Tribune and The WB to build the network brand where it counts most – with our young, upscale viewers.” “This is another example of how The WB works with us in clever new ways to enhance both of our businesses,” said Denise Rolfe, VP, Broadcast Operations, Pegasus Communications. “Affording us two additional hours of quality network programming is a big plus for us in a tough economic environment. We are confident that this will advantage our stations.” The WB presently programs 13 hours of primetime programming, Monday – Friday 8-10 p.m. ET and Sunday 7-10 p.m. ET. The network’s children’s programming service, Kids’ WB! airs 14 hours a week.
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