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CW to launch Saturday programs, expand to 7 nights a week

The network will soon offer shows every day out of the week for the first time since its launch in 2006.

The network will soon offer shows every day out of the week for the first time since its launch in 2006.

(Image: AT&T WarnerMedia / ViacomCBS, Graphic: The Desk)

The CW Television Network will soon offer its stations and affiliates programming on Saturday nights, the first time the network has done so since it launched in 2006.

The new Saturday evening programming lineup starts October 2 with the iHeartRadio Music Festival, which will air live musical acts over a two-day period, the network said in a press release.

The addition of programming on Saturday evenings will advance the television network’s brand to one that operates every day of the week. Prior to the move, affiliates largely programmed syndicated content on Saturday evenings, or opted to re-run CW Network programming during prime-time hours.

“As The CW expands and thrives, so do our affiliate partners, and everyone sees the tremendous value and the clear excitement behind the opportunity to brand and identify as a seven night network on both a national and local level,” Betty Ellen Berlamino, the executive vice president in charge of distribution at CW Network, said in a press release. “The addition of more original programming to our Saturday prime-time line-up coupled with our stations ability to now program the Monday through Friday daytime block is a win-win for all parties.”

The CW Network says its full-time program schedule will be announced at a later date. After the start of October, the CW Network will supply prime-time shows to its stations and affiliates between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on both coasts, and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the country’s heartland.

Once the full program schedule is launched, the CW Network says it will return its afternoon block of network programming to its stations and affiliates, which will allow affiliates and stations to program two half-hour shows or one full-hour show between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The CW Network launched in 2006 as a joint operation between the CBS Corporation (now ViacomCBS) and Warner Bros. (now owned by AT&T). It replaced two fledgling broadcast networks — UPN and the WB — that were started by each company nearly a decade earlier.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).