WB Re-arranges Buffy-less Schedule
Amid the fallout of losing Buffy the Vampire Slayer to UPN, WB has decided to hold onto the Buffy spin-off Angel, make several schedule shifts and pick up eight new series. UPN's contract for Buffy included an option to acquire Angel if the WB canceled it in retaliation for losing Buffy.
WB has extended its contracts for Dawson's Creek, 7th Heaven and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in an attempt to avoid losing more hits to the competition. A deal is also close to continue Charmed through the 2003-2004 season, despite the fact that on Friday Shannen Doherty announced that she will not return next season. Another change is the cancellation of Roswell, which UPN might also grab. Angel will move into Roswell's 9 p.m. ET Monday slot after 7th Heaven. Executives decided to keep Angel, in part, and move it to Mondays opposite Fox's Ally McBeal in the hopes of having a stronger showing. The other factor is that had WB surrendered Angel, UPN would have an entire night of strong programming.
"We suspected that (UPN) would put Roswell behind Buffy, so either way we're handing them a night," said WB co-president Susanne Daniel in an interview with Variety. "It's also important for us to keep and grow our male audience, and Angel ranks high with men."
WB's only new drama will be an in-house production: Smallville, from Warner Bros. TV/Tollin-Robbins, is about life of young Superman, living in small-town Kansas. Series not expected to return include Popular, Jack & Jill, Grosse Point, The PJs, and Jamie Foxx. For Your Love has already been renewed. WB is still undecided about The Oblongs.
2001 Fall Schedule for The WB (asterisks indicate a
time change; new shows are in bold):