'Pussycat Dolls ' returning for second season

The CW is moving “Gossip Girl” to Monday nights at 8 p.m. starting Jan. 28. Then, on Feb. 18, the show will be joined at 9 p.m. by the second season of “Pussycat Dolls Present.”

This time out, the Pussycats are forming a new band, Girlicious. (That’s not a typo.)

Because of the writers strike, “Gossip Girl” will be in repeats this midseason. But by moving the show from Wednesdays, the netlet believes it can expose it to a whole new audience on Mondays.

“I don’t think anyone’s expecting miracles in terms of running series repeats, but at the same time, there’s a unique opportunity to get some new eyeballs on it,” said CBS scheduling topper Kelly Kahl, who also handles the C-Dub’s lineup. “There’s great buzz and a great reaction to ‘Gossip Girl’ — now we just want to grow the audience a bit. The Wednesday night competition is tough, and it will get tougher with ‘American Idol’ moving in.”

The move is just one of several midseason shuffles the CW announced on Friday. On Tuesdays, netlet will replace repeats of “Crowned” at 8 p.m. with repeats of “Reaper” until March 11, when “Beauty and the Geek” returns. (“One Tree Hill” remains at 9 p.m.)

“America’s Next Top Model” continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m., while repeats of the Monday “Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious” will run at 9 starting Feb. 20.

“We’re employing a similar strategy to the last time we had ‘Pussycat Dolls’ on,” Kahl said. “We aired an original earlier in the week, then a repeat behind ‘Top Model.’ The repeats did almost as well as the original. Add the audiences together, and that’s a nice little number for the show.”

On Thursdays, “Smallville” will continue at 8 p.m., while a handful of remaining original “Reaper” segs will run at 9 starting Feb. 28.

“We’re giving ‘Reaper’ a few Thursday airings, which means for the first time a real compatible lead-in for the show, from ‘Smallville,’” Kahl said.

Fridays remain the same with “WWE Smackdown.” Then, on Sundays starting Feb. 10 will the CW’s urban-skewing comedy lineup, which the net is shifting from Monday night.

That includes repeats of “Everybody Hates Chris” at 7:30 p.m. (following the “CW Now” pre-sold magazine show) and original segs of “Chris” (which had already completed its season when the strike began) at 8 p.m. “Aliens in America” will air at 8:30, followed by “Girlfriends” at 9 and “The Game” at 9:30.

When the CW originally launched in fall 2006, the urban comedies were slated for Sunday night. But after a disastrous launch, the net quickly moved the laffers back to Monday (where they had aired on UPN). Kahl said he hoped auds would be more aware of the schedule shift this time around.

Not in the mix: “Supernatural,” which goes on hiatus but will return at some point; and family drama “Life Is Wild,” which isn’t expected to return. On the reality side, “Crowned” ends its run at the start of February; other shows, including “Farmer Takes a Wife,” are still waiting in the wings.

By running nonscripted skeins on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights (as well as some original fare on Tuesdays and Sundays), the net has crafted a schedule that flows well, Kahl said.

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