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WB Picks Up ’Everwood,’ ’Smallville’ (angel mention)

Tuesday 13 April 2004, by Webmaster

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Drama pilots hoping for a spot on The WB’s schedule next season won’t have a lot of places to go. "Smallville" and "Everwood," two of the network’s staple, young-adult-appeal dramas, have received orders for next year, the network says. They join "Gilmore Girls," which the network picked up earlier this year, on the 2004-05 schedule; long-running shows "7th Heaven" and "Charmed" will also be back. Freshman drama "One Tree Hill" is on the bubble.

That doesn’t leave much room for new shows. The 9 p.m. Wednesday spot, currently occupied by the departing "Angel," and 9 p.m. Sundays, which have been given over to unscripted shows since "Tarzan" bombed last fall, seem to be the most likely candidates.

Ratings for both "Smallville" and "Everwood" have taken a hit this season, mirroring The WB as a whole, which is off about 9 percent in total viewers compared to this time last season. "Smallville," which moved from Tuesday to Wednesday nights this season, is drawing about 5.1 million viewers a week, compared to more than 6 million last year. "Everwood" averages 4.5 million viewers, down from just over 5 million last season. On the plus side, "Smallville" has significantly improved the network’s 8 p.m. Wednesday average; last season at this time, "Dawson’s Creek" was averaging only 3.7 million viewers per week. "Everwood" has also done a better job in its second season of retaining viewers from its "7th Heaven" lead-in.

Jordan Levin, co-CEO of the network, calls the returning dramas the "cornerstones" of the network’s schedule. He points to the successful syndication sale of "Smallville" to ABC Family and HDNet and to "Everwood’s" creative growth this season as reasons for their return.