"THE FIFTH NETWORK" KICKS OFF TONIGHT; PARAMOUNT STARTS SOON
WB, Warner Bros.' addition to the broadcast TV market, kicks
off tonight. In New York, Verne Gay notes that the network has a
lot of similarities to Fox's start-up. Three of the shows slated
for tonight compare with early Fox shows. "The reason WB has
borrowed so freely from Fox's 'How to Start a Network' playbook
is simply that the network's president and part-owner, Jamie
Kellner, helped write it." Kellner was Fox's longtime president.
Also, the United Paramount Network (UPN) begins January 16.
"Observers say WB, as well as UPN, are beginning life at a
propitious time. Foremost, the network marketplace for
advertising time is booming ... and both networks report that
they've sold millions in commercial time already." As for
affiliates, WB will broadcast on all Tribune owned stations, as
well as some small UHF stations. WGN (Chicago) will account for
20% of WB viewers (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/11).