In a bombshell announcement that caught television industry insiders by surprise Tuesday morning, The WB and UPN have cut a deal to join forces as a new single network dubbed The CW that will be comprised of programming and executive talent from both of its predecessors.
In a top-secret megadeal unveiled at a surprise news conference in midtown Manhattan, CBS Corp. and Time Warner will own 50 percent of the new network that will eventually have coverage in more than 95 percent of the country. UPN president Dawn Ostroff will become The CW's president of entertainment; WB Network chief operating officer John Maata will be the chief operating officer of the newly formed entity.
Both UPN and The WB will cease operations and go off the air in September. The CW will program 13 primetime hours across six nights as well as a Kids WB block on Saturdays and two hours of syndicated programming in the weekday afternoons, essentially mirroring The WB model. While a schedule won't be released until the upfronts in May, the new network could carry shows like "Gilmore Girls," "Supernatural" and "Smallville" from The WB and "America's Next Top Model," "Veronica Mars" and "Everybody Hates Chris" from UPN... (WPM Note: And you guys better include Pokemon or I EAT YOU!!)