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Inside Move: The WB’s ready for another case of Coke

Netlet in talks with soda firm about sponsoring another summer series

Fresh off its pact with Coca-Cola this summer to be chief sponsor for the drama “Young Americans,” the WB is considering a refill at the beverage stand.

Sources say the netlet is in talks with Coke about serving as a major sponsor for another original summer series next year. Among potential programs in development is the action comedy “Dangerous Age.”

The hourlong project, from Michael Piller (“Star Trek: Voyager”) and Alan Spencer (“Sledgehammer!”), follows the exploits of a teenage secret agent.

Pact with Coke would presumably work similar to its deal on “Young Americans,” which was re-branded “Coca-Cola Presents ‘Young Americans'” in on-air and print marketing. Coke’s relationship with “Young Americans” provided both revenue and promo opportunities for the show and cast.

A deal with Coke allows the WB to offset some of the costs that come from running an original series in the summertime, when ad rates and viewership are lower. Critics complained this summer that product placement of Coca-Cola machines and products were too obvious in “Young Americans,” but sources said the show’s producers went beyond the call of what was even required in the relationship.

Whatever the case, sources say the Coke messages on “Dangerous Age,” should the deal go through, will be much more subtle, or even absent.

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