WB in talks to share 'Smallville' or 'Gilmore Girls'
The WB network and its sister channel TNT are in discussions to share the run of a second WB series in January, either “Smallville” or “Gilmore Girls,” following the auspicious early TNT numbers for “Charmed.”
That’s the word from Garth Ancier, head of programming for the WB, who said that the first two weeks of sharing “Charmed” have uncovered a whole group of young-adult women who didn’t watch the episode on the WB but discovered it five nights later on TNT.
Show bowed on the cabler in the Tuesday at 10 p.m. slot Oct. 9. Although the household rating earned by “Charmed” in its first two runs is about 15% lower than the time period for the year to date (through Oct. 2), the important young-adult demos are all up by double digits.
Ancier said the WB sales force “aggregates the entire audience in one buy,” retailing the advertising time on “Charmed” across both networks.
Since detailed analysis by Nielsen shows that there’s almost no duplication of viewership between the WB and TNT for the first two weeks, Ancier said “Charmed” is pocketing a lot more money from Madison Avenue. Sources said the ad revenues from the TNT run alone are much higher than the $150,000 a week that it pays in license fees to Paramount TV, the producer (with Aaron Spelling) and distributor of “Charmed.”
The primetime scheduling of “Charmed” by TNT in its repurposing gives the network an advantage over its competitors, who can’t play their repurposed shows before 11 p.m., Ancier said. The chief rivals to “Charmed” are “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” on USA and “Once & Again” on Lifetime.
Not only are viewing levels much higher at 10 than at 11 p.m., Ancier said, but most of the high-powered firstrun broadcast competition at 10 consists of series not aimed at the young women who dote on “Charmed.”