Saturday, March 15, 2008

The WB Rises From the Grave?

After merging with UPN nearly two years ago to form The CW, it appears that The WB could be back. Well, after a fashion. The Warner Bros. Television Group is planning a website, tentatively called "," on which viewers can watch free, streaming episodes of TV shows produced by The WB during its existence from 1995 to 2006. This new online version of The WB might even include short series produced specifically for the website with five minutes long.

Unfortunately, at this moment it is not clear whether or not series that were not produced by The WB itself, but ran on the network, will be included on the website. As is often the case with American broadcast television, many of The WB's biggest hits were not produced by the network. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Felicity, 7th Heaven, and Charmed were all produced by other companies. It seems to me that this could create serious holes in's lineup. I don't know about others, but there were times when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were the only shows I watched on The WB.

Of course, even if shows not produced by The WB, but which ran on the network, are not included on the website, this is still good news. Both The Gilmore Girls and Everwood, two of the best shows to run on the network, were both produced by the WB. And while reruns The Gilmore Girls currently air on ABC Family and every season is available on DVD, Everwood is currently being ran on any network and only season one has been released on DVD. I must also confess that, while it has a rather poor reputation, I would enjoy seeing Unhappily Ever After... again. I know that it is not the best loved sitcom of all time (TV Guide ranked it in their Top 50 Worst Shows of All Time back in 2002, but then they also ranked Hogan's Heroes, so what do they know?), but I always enjoyed it.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see how will unfold. As sad as it is, I must admit that I miss The WB. It seems as if The CW simply inherited the worst of both The WB (teen dramas) and UPN (America's Top Model), with only Everybody Hates Chris, Supernatural, and Aliens in America to redeem it. It will then be very pleasing to see some of the old WB shows again.

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