CW premiere dates set

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The CW has announced the premiere dates for its first fall season. The network is being formed by the merging of UPN and The WB and will include many shows from those networks, as well as new fare such as Veronica Mars.

Dawn Ostroff, president of the new network, told the TV Critics Press tour that there will be last minute tweaks as the fall season approaches. Vacant slots such as Monday, September 18; Tuesday, September 19; and Thursday, September 21 might be filled with the previous season finales of returning series' or a special the network is creating highlighting it's slate of shows.

"We just want a few days to iron out all the kinks and make sure everything is up and running," Ostroff said.

The CW fall season blasts off Wednesday, September 22 with a two-hour America's Next Top Model. The Tyra Banks reality competition is returning for a seventh cycle wherein hopeful models vie for the coveted title.

The following Friday, September 22, the baby net squeezes out Friday Night Smackdown, the ever-popular wrestling series. On Monday, September 25, the ball really gets rolling with the season premieres of 7th Heaven and new show Runaway.

Heaven was canceled by the WB at the end of the 2005-2006 season but got a reprieve at the last minute. Ostroff insisted that the expensive show--which lost the WB $16 million last season--will not be a money loser for the new network.

"One of the advantages of this being a joint venture [is that] we won't lose anything on 7th Heaven," Ostroff said of the financial sharing between the Warner Bros. and UPN parent CBS Corp.

The rest of the week features the return of Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, and One Tree Hill. Sunday, October 1 will mark the debut of an all-comedy block of Everybody Hates Chris (this season will feature a guest appearance by Whoopi Goldberg), All of Us, Girlfriends and its spin-off, The Game. On Tuesday, October 3, rabid fans will have their deepest dreams realized with the return of TV's coolest, and hottest, young detective, Veronica Mars (in which Veronica heads off to college).

The CW also has new series Hidden Palms and Reba waiting in the wings as possible mid-season replacements. Last week, the network revealed it had beat analysts' predictions about how much money it would earn in ad sales for its first year.

Here is a complete listing of the current CW launch pad:

Wednesday, September 20

8:00-10:00 p.m. Premiere of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL

Friday, September 22

8:00-10:00 p.m. FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN

Monday, September 25

8:00-9:00 p.m. 7TH HEAVEN

9:00-10:00 p.m. RUNAWAY

Tuesday, September 26

8:00-9:00 p.m. GILMORE GIRLS

Wednesday, September 27

9:00-10:00 p.m. ONE TREE HILL

Thursday, September 28

8:00-9:00 p.m. SMALLVILLE

9:00-10:00 p.m. SUPERNATURAL

Sunday, October 1

7:00-7:30 p.m. EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS

7:30-8:00 p.m. ALL OF US

8:00-8:30 p.m. GIRLFRIENDS

8:30-9:00 p.m. THE GAME

9:00-10:00 p.m. AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (Encore Presentation)

Tuesday, October 3

9:00-10:00 p.m. VERONICA MARS

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