×

‘Creek’ tweak in WB’s sked

Shifts Tuesday hit to Wednesday

NEW YORK — The WB netlet will launch an ethnic comedy night Thursdays this fall and will shift the teen hit “Dawson’s Creek” to Wednesdays at 8 p.m., just months after the show helped the WB launch “New Tuesday,” its most successful night so far.

Fox has for years aired shows targeted at African-Americans to counterprogram NBC’s Thursday juggernaut. The WB decided to adopt a similar Thursday black sitcom strategy, in part, because the netlet believes that Fox will abandon it in order to challenge NBC head on, possibly by moving the animated hit “King of the Hill.”

Because Fox may still start out the season with ethnic sitcoms Thursday and delay its NBC challenge at least until midseason, the WB decided not to wait until January to add its new night, sources said.

The WB instead will revamp Sunday nights in January with potentially a whole new lineup. The weblet has paid Spelling TV a fee to rerun episodes from the first season of “7th Heaven” at 7 p.m. Sundays from August until December.

In total, the WB picked up three new dramas and a new comedy for fall, as well as a slew of midseason series.

The WB also is hoping to snag Warner Bros.’ “For Your Love,” which aired on NBC midseason but is not expected to get a pickup there.

Challenge to Fox

The move of “Dawson’s Creek” to Wednesday is a bold challenge to Fox’s aging “Beverly Hills 90210” on that night. Because of the show’s adult content, the WB faced criticism last spring when it appeared “Dawson’s Creek” would air at 8 p.m. this season, and it was instead shifted back to 9 p.m. before it launched.

Now that the storyline no longer features a teacher having a sexual relationship with one of her high school students, the WB, which has often stated its intention to program 8 p.m. as a “family hour,” is taking a chance that there will be less reason for concern over the new “Dawson’s” timeslot.

Following “Dawson’s Creek” at 9 p.m. Wednesdays is the new Spelling drama “Charmed,” starring former “Beverly Hills 90210” star Shannen Doherty as a witch. “Charmed” will face a tough timeslot against Fox’s “Party of Five,” which has a similar target audience and reached hit status this season.

Replacing “Dawson’s Creek” in the 9 p.m. Tuesday timeslot is the new Touchstone/Imagine TV drama “Felicity,” starring Keri Russell and described as “Ally McBeal” in college. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will stay on at 8 p.m. Tuesdays.

Targeting female teens

The WB is hoping the female teen Tuesday lineup will provide a strong promotional platform for Wednesday night, which targets the same audience.

A new Warner Bros. TV drama, “Hyperion,” about two brothers in a small town, will run at 9 p.m. Monday after “7th Heaven.”

The new Thursday lineup is expected to be: “Wayans Brothers” at 8 p.m., followed by “Jamie Foxx” at 8:30 p.m., “Steve Harvey” at 9 p.m. and “For Your Love” at 9:30 p.m.

If the WB can’t get “For Your Love,” it has a backup Thursday plan consisting of “Wayans Brothers” at 8 p.m., “The Parent ‘Hood” at 8:30 p.m., “Jamie Foxx” at 9 p.m. and “Steve Harvey” at 9:30 p.m.

Sunday nights this fall will feature “7th Heaven” repeats at 7 p.m., followed by “Sister, Sister” at 8 p.m., “Smart Guy” at 8:30 p.m., “Unhappily Ever After” at 9 p.m. and at 9:30 p.m. Castle Rock TV’s new sitcom “The Army Show,” which is about a misfit Army gang in the style of “Sgt. Bilko.”

The WB believes “7th Heaven” repeats have a built-in audience, and they were less expensive to secure than ordering a new series. While there’s always concern that double-runs will dilute a hit show, WB execs think a few months of double-runs won’t do much harm.

The Sunday lineup is expected to change in January, and the new series under consideration there are: Touchstone TV’s comedy “Zoe Bean”; Warner Bros. TV’s “You’re on With Kate” starring Park Overall; the animated series “Baby Blues”; and Universal’s “Movie Stars” comedy.

The WB is very high on “Zoe Bean,” but felt it might get lost in a fall launch. The netlet has had a tough time launching comedies and has had good luck with shows starting at midseason.

Spelling TV’s “Rescue 77” also was ordered as a backup for the three new dramas.

Shows that won’t be returning to the WB’s lineup include Brillstein-Grey’s “Alright Already,” which lasted a full season despite low ratings, the Shelley Long starrer “Kelly, Kelly,” “You’re the One,” “The Tom Show,” “Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher” and “Three.”

More TV

  • "Emotional Rescue" - The FBI team

    TV Ratings: 'FBI' Finale Scores Season High as CBS Wins Tuesday

    “FBI” rounded off its sophomore outing with even bigger numbers than usual in the absence of “This Is Us,” as CBS comfortably won the Tuesday night ratings race. The Missy Peregrym and Zeeko Zaki-led series scored a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers with its series finale, which represents a season high [...]

  • EMPIRE: L-R: Taraji P. Henson and

    'Empire' Final Season Cut Short Due to Coronavirus, Series Finale to Air April 21

    “Empire” has had its fair share of bumps in the road over the last year, but now, the series is having to cut short its final season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sixth and final season of “Empire” was scheduled to run for 20 episodes, however, the production shutdown caused by the pandemic meant [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: The Bear in

    Comcast and Fox Corp. Set Broad New Carriage Agreement

    Comcast and Fox Corp. have come to terms on a broad carriage agreement covering all of Fox’s cable channels, including Fox News, and its O&O local TV stations. The long-term deal is significant for Fox Corp. given the importance of Comcast’s distribution footprint to core earnings. The pact covers authenticated streaming rights to Fox properties [...]

  • Creator of '257 Reasons to Live'

    Creator of '257 Reasons to Live' on How Cancer Survivors Inspired Dramedy

    Russian comedy-drama series “257 Reasons to Live,” which will play in competition at Canneseries, follows cancer patient Zhenya after she unexpectedly goes into remission and receives the all-clear. Unable to believe her luck, Zhenya (played by Polina Maximova) is determined not to waste a minute of her life. She comes across an old notebook she [...]

  • Guy Fieri Walk of Fame Honor

    Guy Fieri Has a Special Recipe for Comfort-Food TV

    Before Guy Fieri ever wrapped his mouth around the smoked-wing nachos or Nashville hot fried chicken he regularly nibbles on TV, he had to navigate the twists of the pretzel business. When he was around ten years old, Fieri’s parents took him on a ski trip, and would essentially let him wander as he saw [...]

  • Bob Backish ViacomCBS

    ViacomCBS' Path Ahead Grows Steeper Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

    ViacomCBS has come to a crossroads, again. The company that has endured more drama in the C-suite in recent years than any of its larger rivals was already under pressure this year to prove it could muster a comeback in a big way. Now, with the black swan named coronavirus roiling the waters, leaders of [...]

  • Brian Roberts comcast

    Top Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky Executives to Donate Salary Amid Coronavirus Crisis

    Comcast chief Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and other division leaders at Comcast will donate their salaries to coronavirus-related relief efforts as the world grapples with the devastating pandemic. In a memo sent to Comcast’s 190,000 employees worldwide on Wednesday. Roberts said the salary donations would also be made by Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content