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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

WB-UPN Merger Announced

Big news in the TV world today: WB and UPN will merge this fall into a new network, the CW. Details sketchy right now, but WB and UPN each will be shut down. The announcement was made jointly by CBS (which owns UPN) and the Warner Bros. division of Time Warner (which owns WB). Not sure how this impacts the two affiliates here, WB's WSTR-TV (Channel 64) and UPN's WBQC-TV (Channel 38).
If you ran the new CW, what shows would you keep from either network?

"American Idol coming to Channel 64
“American Idol” will have a year-round TV presence starting in September, when weekly repeats air in weekend syndication. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns WSTR-TV (Channel 64), has bought rights to “American Idol Rewind.” So expect to see it on Channel 64 on weekends this fall.

1937 Flood special
Sorry for the last notice, but at 4 p.m. WMKV-FM (89.3) will air a 1957 WLW-AM special marking the 20th anniversary of the great 1937 flood. Peter Grant and Gene Wilson anchor the half-hour special, which includes Ruth Lyons' remembrances of the Ohio River cresting on Jan. 24 -- 69 years ago today. The show repeats at 3 p.m. Friday on WMKV-FM.

“Surface” sunk
First “Threshold,” now “Surface” has been canceled. The NBC sci-fi drama ends next Monday (8 p.m., Ch 5) with Wilmington under a mandatory evacuation as a tsunami approaches. The title for the 15th and final episode: “Who Will Be Left Behind?” CBS canceled "Threshold" in November, after the move from Friday to Tuesday didn't increase ratings.

Kiese watching
I wasn’t surprised that NBC pulled the plug on “The West Wing.” Were you? With John Spencer’s death, and facing the possibility of changing most of the cast after the presidential election, it seemed like a good time to go. I’ll miss it. The first two seasons written by Aaron Sorkin were some of the best TV ever made. “West Wing” ends May 14.
I was also surprised ABC canceled “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” so quickly. The pilot wasn’t bad – but the rest of the shows already shot must have been awful. ABC shut down production after six episodes. We’ll probably never see them.
And why would NBC move "Law & Order" against "Lost?" That's not good news for L&O fans. Is this a sign that NBC is giving up on the original L&O by sacrificing it against one of the hottest shows on TV?


at 1/24/2006 3:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not too surprised about this merger. upn didn't get much exsposure ever, but the wb did have some notable shows. maybe the announcement of 7th heaven getting cancelled was a sign. now there might be a larger audience for "next top model" and other shows. i don't really watch either much, but i don't think the changes will be too meaningful....

at 1/24/2006 4:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gilmore Girls is the only show I watch with any regularity on either network.

at 1/24/2006 6:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charmed and SMALLVILLE

at 1/24/2006 8:09 PM Blogger rlplate said...

I would save the following shows from the WB: Everwood and Gilmore Girls. Although I do not watch it regularly, I would probably also keep Smallville. I do not watch any UPN show

I am saddened, but not surprised, by the cancellation of "The West Wing". Although some of my favorite actors and characters have not been showcased as much in the past two seasons, the show has always been one of the most intelligent, complex and thoughtful dramas on television. At its worst--and I use that word very losely--The West Wing has always been a class act. It may have been a fictionalized account of life and work on 1600 Pennyslvania Avenue, but it still provided much education about the the action occurring behind the doors of the White House. In an age of reality shows, sequels of successful programs (CSI, L&O), and "catch me if you can and before I'm gone" shows, I will miss the quality, hopefulness and thought-provoking, beautifully written stories of this television gem. I am proud to call myself a loyal viewer who will always be thankful that I welcomed the talents of the cast and crew of The West Wing into my life each week. I was thoroughly entertained and enlightened by the experiences of Josh, Leo, Jeb, Toby, Donna, CJ,and Sam.

R. Plate

at 1/25/2006 8:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found NBC's Surface a sort of guilty pleasure. I never expected it to bring in any Emmy's, but it was good, mindless fun. Am I to understand that it will end without any resolution for me, their only viewer?

at 1/25/2006 8:54 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

Wow, I didn't see this one coming! Outside of WWE Smackdown I don't watch much UPN. I can't think of anything I currently watch on WB. I used to watch Grounded for Life after it was moved to one of these two networks after Fox cancelled it. To be honest I tend to get the two confused.

Veronica Mars should be a lock to stay around. WWE's future is shaky, Viacom/CBS was in the process of phasing them out anyway.

The Fox Reality channel airs American Idol reruns daily.

at 1/25/2006 9:08 AM Blogger BMurdock said...

I'm sure I'm the only one WWE fan here but for what it's worth... WWE's contract with UPN is/was due to expire prior to the start of the 2006 fall season but Smackdown was one of the the highest rated programs on UPN. Guess we'll have to wait and see...

at 9/06/2006 8:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So since I live in Northern KY and I had to use channel 11 from insight cable to watch the WB and it is not My (dumb) Network TV where is the old lineup like Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, etc going to be. If WB and UPN merged, what is the channel going to be for the cincinnati (northern KY) area? The new seasons will be starting soon and I need to know what channel to tune into because I refuse to watch the new channel 11 (My Network TV) and its Desire and Fashion House.

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