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The WB and UPN Join Forces

Published January 30, 2006 in Television
By Kasey Schiedeck | Image property of Warner Bros
Smallville Smallville will make the cut in the move.
In a stunning and somewhat controversial move, UPN and the WB Network have decided to shut down operation later this year until the foreseen CW network that combines both lesser networks emerges this fall.

The 'CW' is Formed by WB and CBS

UPN, under CBS chief Leslie Moonves, and WB CEO and chairman Barry Meyer reportedly agreed around Thanksgiving 2005 to combine their sizeable networks into The CW (C for CBS, W for WB) in the hopes of creating the fifth major television network that has thus far alluded both.

Although both networks have affirmed a clear schedule of events to refrain from obstructing production, worrying fans and entertainment news buffs are already anticipating problems. What may suffer are the long-running shows on both networks that will be forced to halt production and possibly receive a belated season startup when they normally would return to air in the normal September-October time period.

Both Moonves and Meyer appeared joyous at the New York press conference where they announced the merger, if not eager to clarify the details of the new CW. "This is a historic occasion," Moonves said after the announcement. "There are moments in time," Meyer also offered. "This is the moment in time."

According to unofficial plans released at the conference, The CW will offer 13 primetime hours over a span of six nights per week. Also in development is a revamped "Kids' WB!", scheduled for a Saturday and weekly afternoon broadcast.

Fans of WB hits "Gilmore Girls” and "Smallville" need not worry as both shows are anticipated to return in the fall. Likewise, UPN’s "America's Next Top Model," "Veronica Mars" and "Everybody Hates Chris" will also likely make the cut. The official lineup will reportedly be announced in May 2006.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Kasey Schiedeck
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros

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