Watching the merger of UPN and the WB take shape has been like watching Lost or 24: You knew there would be bloodshed, but you didn’t know who might live or die, and there’s been little logic behind who fell and who was mysteriously resurrected. We’re still scratching our heads over the decision to keep One Tree Hill but not Everwood, as well as the decision to bring back 7th Heaven that was made after the series finale had already aired. Just today, as the fledgling netlet announces its fall schedule, comes word that the CW has reversed the decision to kill off Reba, apparently because the sitcom’s existing contract with the WB would have cost about $20 million to buy out.
Still, most of the lineup seems to have been locked in place for weeks. Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars will air on Tuesdays, America’s Next Top Model and Beauty and the Geek on Wednesdays, Smallville and Supernatural on Thursdays, and WWE Smackdown! on Fridays. Comedies Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us, and Girlfriends have all been relegated to Sundays. (See, the CW didn’t kill off all the African-American-themed shows on UPN; it simply took a handful of them and moved them all into one convenient evening. How considerate.)
The CW’s tight schedule leaves room for only two new shows. Comedy The Game is a Footballers’ Wives-like spinoff of Girlfriends, which will precede it on Sunday nights. Drama Runaway (pictured) stars Donnie Wahlberg as a Fugitive-like guy who goes on the lam when he’s framed for murder; at least he gets to bring his family along. It’ll follow 7th Heaven on Mondays; maybe Wahlberg and family can pick up some survival tips from the apparently unkillable Camden clan.