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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

International Television: The CW lays off workers

Struggling CW Network lays off staffers
By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The struggling CW Network, hit hard by the Hollywood writers strike and an underwhelming crop of new shows, laid off 25-30 employees Monday as part of a restructuring that included the elimination of its comedy department.

The revamp underlines that the CW's popularity has mainly stemmed from reality shows such as "America's Next Top Model" and serial dramas like "Smallville."

But insiders said the CW is still in the comedy business, noting that the network also on Monday renewed "Everybody Hates Chris," which is now in its third season.

Other renewals announced Monday included the freshman teen soap "Gossip Girl," "Smallville," "Supernatural," "One Tree Hill," and "America's Next Top Model."

Notably absent were the rookie comedy "Aliens in America" and the critically praised supernatural comedy-drama "Reaper." The CW last month declined to renew the Friday-night wrestling staple "WWE SmackDown." With the extra night to program coming this fall, plus the downsized comedy division, the CW will likely add more reality programming.

The CW, formed in late 2006 by CBS Corp and Time Warner Inc. from the ashes of the UPN and WB networks, has struggled to gain traction during its second season. Its latest crop of new shows garnered only modest viewer response upon their fall launch, and DVR penetration has impacted broadcast ratings across the board.

Once scripted shows such as "Gossip Girl" and "Smallville" went into repeats because of the writers strike, the CW's viewership sank further. For the week ending February 24, the CW averaged 2.4 million viewers. Fox led the field with 15 million viewers, followed by ABC (9.9 million), CBS (7.9 million) and NBC (7.2 million).

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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This site was created during Dec. 30, 2006 (Philippine Time) known as "Kapamilya Pinoy Blogspot" at first but the author decided to change it to "TV Craze," on 5:06 a.m., February 12, 2008 (Philippine time). KPB still exists but it serves as a portal to this site for those who embraced its name. The name may have changed but the contents are still the same.

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