WGN to drop the WB for off-net series

Decision follows in wake of WB's own 'WeB'

NEW YORK — Superstation WGN, which currently carries the WB’s programming lineup, will remove the weblet’s shows in the fall and replace them with off-network series, theatrical films and sports.

It’s no surprise that the WB will lose carriage from the 50-million-subscriber superstation: The WB is launching its own cable service, the WeB.

Tribune Broadcasting — an investor in the WB — owns WGN-TV in Chicago, but Superstation WGN is distributed by UVTV, which will make the primetime programming changes.

Programs slated to replace the WB’s lineup include the cable exclusives “Caroline in the City” and “Suddenly Susan,” along with “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Parent’hood,” “Wayans Brothers,” “Dream Maker,” “Clueless” and a firstrun strip featuring Richard Simmons. In 2000, “7th Heaven” will join the lineup, as will “Home Improvement” in 2002.

The movies scheduled to run on the superstation include “Twister,” “A Time To Kill,” “Mars Attacks!” “Tin Cup,” “My Fellow Americans,” “Eraser” and “Batman Forever.”

The channel will also televise live sporting events featuring the Chicago Cubs, White Sox and Bulls.

In addition to marketing WGN via satellite, UVTV markets WPIX New York and KTLA Los Angeles.

UVTV is a company of the United Video Satellite Group, a publicly traded company.