(April 5, 2000 – Burbank, CA) — The WB Network has acquired the network broadcast rights to the current ABC hit series “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” produced by Viacom Productions for the next two seasons, it was announced today by Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment for The WB. The series, starring Melissa Joan Hart, is produced by Hartbreak Films in association with Viacom Productions and is executive produced by Paula Hart. ABC’s highest-rated TGIF comedy series in households and most demographics, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” ranks in the top 20 of all network programs in The WB’s target demographic of females 12-34, averaging a 5.5/19. It has also been the #1 series among female teens (8.2/33) for two straight years finishing second to “Dawson's Creek” during the 1997-1998 season. The show has also excelled this season among women 18-34 (4.6/15), women 18-49 (4.7/14) and persons 12-34 (4.2/16). The deal is for 44 episodes, 22 for the 2000-2001 season and an additional 22 for the 2001-2002 season, reducible to one season if certain ratings levels are not met. PAULA HART, PRESIDENT OF HARTBREAK FILMS AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH” SAYS: “We’re excited to be working with The WB. It’s an especially great fit at this point in the evolution of the character and the show, as she leaves high school and begins a new phase of her life.” ON JOINING THE WB FAMILY, SERIES STAR MELISSA JOAN HART ENTHUSED: “I can’t wait to kiss the frog.” JAMIE KELLNER, CEO OF THE WB SAID: “Acquiring the rights to ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ is another example of how The WB has built a business in a unique demographic space that is no longer being contested by the older skewing networks. The success of ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ is obvious, but beyond the ratings we responded to the program’s high quality and social responsibility. These are the qualities we look for in programs aimed at young adults and teens. We were both surprised and delighted that this franchise program would become available to us; in fact we were shocked! SAID SUSANNE DANIELS: “The WB is committed to success in the comedy arena and ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ gives us a great launching pad for a group of comedies going to pilot that we are very excited about. Melissa Joan Hart is a proven television star and we welcome her and the entire ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ family to The WB where their program will be highly valued. ‘Sister, Sister’ was the last TGIF program we put on our air and it became one of the most important shows on our schedule for years. We couldn’t be more excited.” PERRY SIMON, PRESIDENT, VIACOM PRODUCTIONS SAID: “We are thrilled to be moving to The WB. We had a great run on ABC, but as they re-evaluate TGIF, we feel The WB offers the ideal platform for our loyal audience.” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” averaged over 10.6 million total viewers per episode on Fridays at 9:00 p.m. this season and the show has consistently ranked among the top 5 programs for each broadcast season in teens, female teens and kids 2-11 since its premiere in the 96-97 season. Viacom Productions is a division of The Paramount Television Group, which is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc.
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