WB Schedules ‘Two Towers’ Against Emmys

Jul 22, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In one of The WB’s most aggressive scheduling moves in its history, the network will run the broadcast premiere of the feature film “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” in its entirety directly up against CBS’s telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18.

“We think it is a much better event for us putting it in one block,” said David Janollari, president of entertainment for The WB. He announced the counterprogramming decision last Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The blockbuster film will run from 7-11 p.m. (ET).

The move comes as The WB continues to try to appeal to the older half of the persons 12 to 34 demographic. The network has been making an effort to not focus entirely on teens and has added more adult-skewing story lines, situations and casting. “Two Towers” is the sort of fare that is expected to draw both halves of the 12 to 34 category.

Other highlights and announcements from The WB’s press tour presentation:

Mr. Janollari said he is confident the network will see growth on Thursdays with “Smallville” and “Everwood” moving to the night starting Sept. 29. With NBC no longer the presumed winner on the night and CBS becoming a dominant performer on Thursdays, Mr. Janollari said, the other networks are hoping to increase their young adult numbers.

“Thursday isn’t what it used to be,” he said. “We all believe there is opportunity there if we get a little more aggressive about it.”

And even if “Smallville” and “Everwood” are down in the ratings in 2005-06 from last season, a nightly gain on Thursday is still the goal for The WB, he said. “We’re looking for ratings growth for the night.”

Mark McGrath, who was announced in May as the newest cast member on the drama “Charmed,” won’t be joining the series after all. Mr. McGrath’s production schedule on the Warner Bros.-distributed syndicated strip “Extra” wouldn’t give him enough time to shoot the prime-time series, Mr. Janollari said. Kaley Cuoco (“8 Simple Rules”) and Jason Lewis (“Sex and the City”) are joining “Charmed” instead.

The network’s second made-for-TV movie, “Felicity: An American Girl Adventure,” will air Tuesday, Nov. 29. “Felicity” is based on the American Girl Inc. character and is executive produced by Julia Roberts.

Kiele Sanchez has been added to the cast of the sister family drama “Related” and Jaime Lee Kirchner is joining the courtroom drama “Just Legal.”