[07/11/05 - 12:00 AM]
The WB Sets Its 3:00 Pm-5:00 PM Afternoon Block Line-Up for January 2006 Through September 2006

[via press release from The WB]


Burbank, CA July 11, 2005


The WB has set the line-up for the launch of its new Monday through Friday afternoon programming block which will debut in January 2006 with �ER,� one of the most distinguished and successful dramas in television history, scheduled to lead off the line-up from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST/PST. �ER,� which is licensed to The WB from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution, has never been stripped on broadcast television stations. Following �ER� at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. will be the syndication debut of the ABC hit family comedy �8 Simple Rules,� whose 76 episodes are licensed from Buena Vista Television Distribution. These announcements were made by Garth Ancier, Chairman of The WB, Eric Frankel, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution and Janice Marinelli, President of Buena Vista Television.

�In �ER,� one of the most successful series in television history and with the exclusive broadcast rights to �8 Simple Rules,� a very fresh series that has never been syndicated, we believe we have put together a compelling and competitive schedule that is built to succeed in the afternoons,� said Garth Ancier, Chairman of The WB. �We're taking a bold step with this new afternoon strategy and the television community has really stepped up and embraced our new model, presenting us with wonderful choices to build our schedule.�

Both programs are licensed for the initial season only of The WB's afternoon block which runs from January 2006 through September 2006. The WB will debut a new afternoon schedule beginning in September 2006. The network previously announced that the off-network runs of �Reba,� The WB's hit Friday night comedy, at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. beginning in September 2006. The 3:00-4:00 p.m. hour for September 2006 has not been announced yet.

�ER� will be back on the NBC Thursday night line-up this fall as it enters its 12th season as one of the most honored and successful programs in television history. A winner of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, the series has also earned 21 Emmy Awards and 112 nominations � the second highest nomination count in history and the most ever for a drama. In addition, the cast has won four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series. �ER� was named Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards in 1996.

�ER� follows the lives of the emergency room staff and doctors of Chicago's County General Hospital, where the difference between life and death rests on split-second decisions--and the pressure, joy and guilt are often overwhelming. The heroic healers who live this life are as varied as the patients they treat.

�It's a real testament to the quality and popularity of �ER� that it can succeed in multiple dayparts,� said Frankel. �We're confident that this powerhouse series will attract a large and demographically desirable audience to The WB at 3 p.m. much the same as it has on NBC for 11 years, as well as on cable and in weekend syndication.�

�8 Simple Rules� is a family comedy that has run on ABC for the past three seasons and is currently running through the summer on Friday nights. Season one and the beginning of season two marked the return to television of one of the great comedic actors of his generation, Emmy winner John Ritter. Ritter starred as a father struggling to raise his suddenly very beautiful and popular teenage daughter (Kaley Cuoco) as well as her younger sister (Amy Davidson) and brother (Martin Spanjers). Starring as his wife in the series is another well known and accomplished comedic actress Katey Sagal. The first season of the series earned the 2003 People Choice Award for Best New Comedy Series as well as two 2003 Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Comedy and Choice TV Breakout Actress for Kaley Cuoco and two Family Television Awards for Best Comedy and Favorite Siblings.

In seasons two and three, after the sudden and tragic death of Mr. Ritter, the series was energized by the additions of veteran comedic actors James Garner and David Spade.

��8 Simple Rules� is a natural fit for The WB's audience,� Marinelli. �The series will be a perfect compliment to the rich slate of family friendly programming that the network has to offer.�

  [july 2005]  

· ER (NBC)

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