The definitive WB

For the WB, “7th Heaven” seems almost, er, heaven sent.

“I don’t think we’d be exaggerating to say that we’re the cornerstone of the network,” creator-exec producer Brenda Hampton says, noting that while it’s never had the driving force of countless other series — i.e., raw sex appeal — its strength comes from being a show that families can watch together.

The skein is averaging 6.1 million viewers per episode this season, up from 5.1 million last season — not to mention that the skein is the net’s No. 2 show among teens.

From its inception in 1996, “Heaven” was shifted into production quickly. When Hampton came up with the idea, she pitched it to Spelling Television, expecting that it wouldn’t go forward.

“I just wanted to meet Aaron Spelling,” she recalls. However, Spelling bought it right after her presentation, and immediately sold it to the WB.

The future of the series is yet to be decided. Hampton believes that a 10th season is likely.

With such a young and trend-setting demo, many question how a family-oriented show has endured for so long. Hampton attributes its success to its appeal to the largest possible aud, adding that she doesn’t think there’s another show that will beat their longevity on the net.

“I don’t think there are many families that people want to spend an hour a week with, but because this is ideal, I think that’s what appeals to people,” Hampton says. “No one’s family’s this nice.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more