May 18, 2006 - This is a big week for television, as all five major networks announce their fall lineups at the annual Upfronts. Designed to promote the shows to advertisers, the Upfronts give us the final decision on what shows are returning, which have been cancelled and what new series have been picked up for the fall. IGN will be attending several of the Upfronts this year, so check back in the next few days for more detailed reports on what guests showed up and our initial reaction to the clips from the new series that were shown. In the meantime, we'll keep you up to date as each network takes their turn announcing their lineup.

Fourth to make their announcements this year is The CW -- the network that will be replacing both UPN and The WB in the fall, as a partnership between CBS (the "C") and Warner Brothers (the "W"). Past announcements this week include NBC, ABC and CBS. Overall, The CW's lineup is a combination of the highest rated and most critically well received series from both networks, with only two new series beginning in September and one new midseason replacement officially in the works. The best combination night looks to be Tuesday, with Gilmore Girls (formerly of The WB) followed by Veronica Mars (formerly of UPN).

Next week we'll have a look at the press conference given today by Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment for CW, but one interesting mention she made worth noting was that "Aquaman is still a midseason contender," in response to a question about the Mercy Reef project focusing on the DC Comics character, which was believed to be dead when it wasn't part of the CW's initial choices for new series. Reef was not mentioned during the official Upfronts event, so its prospects seem doubtful, but apparently there is still a possibility for it to happen.

As of its September debut, the full six-night schedule for The CW is as follows (descriptions for new series provided by the network):




SUNDAY
  • 7:00 E/P Everybody Hates Chris (returning; was on UPN)
  • 7:30 E/P All of Us (returning; was on UPN)
  • 8:00 E/P Girlfriends (returning; was on UPN)
  • 8:30 E/P The Game (new): Being the wife or girlfriend of a pro-football player might sound like a glamorous and stress-free existence, but Melanie Barnett is about to discover the truth. Melanie's boyfriend, Derwin, is the new third-string wide receiver for the San Diego Sabers. While Derwin worries about the plays on the field, Melanie learns about the power plays that NFL wives use to get their men the best agents, managers, endorsements, merchandising deals and even the "in" charity. As she deals with egos, groupies and image consultants, Melanie is finding out how The Game is played among the women behind the athletes. The Game stars Aldis Hodge as Derwin, Coby Bell as Jason, Tia Mowry as Melanie, Hosea Chanchez as Malik, and Wendy Raquel Robinson as Tasha. The Game is from Happy Camper productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Girlfriends, Medium), Mara Brock-Akil (Girlfriends, Moesha, The Jamie Foxx Show) and Steve Stark (Medium, The In-Laws).
  • 9:00 E/P America's Next Top Model (Encore Presentation;
    returning; was on UPN)




MONDAY
  • 8:00 E/P 7th Heaven (returning; was on The WB)
  • 9:00 E/P Runaway (new): The Raders look like a normal middle-class American family, with a dad, Paul Rader, his lovely wife Lily, teenagers Henry and Hannah and 8-year-old Tommy. Those are their real names, but as they struggle to blend into a new life in Bridgewater, Iowa, they are all using secret identities. This family is on the run, hiding from the legal system that unjustly accused Paul Radar of a terrible and violent crime. Adding to the danger, the real killer is now threatening the lives of the Rader children. As Paul works to protect his loved ones and uncover the evidence that will clear him, he lives with the daily fear that someone will accidentally reveal the family's dark secret in Runaway, The CW's new one-hour drama. Runaway stars Donnie Wahlberg as Paul Rader, Leslie Hope as Lily Rader, Dustin Milligan as Henry Rader, Sarah Ramos as Hannah Rader, Nathan Gamble as Tommy Rader, Susan Floyd as Gina Bennett, Karen LeBlanc as Angela Huntley. Runaway is from Sony Pictures Television, Darren Star Productions and Golly Inc. with executive producers Darren Star (Sex and the City, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, 90210) and Ed Zuckerman (Law & Order), creator/co-executive producer Chad Hodge and co-executive producer Susie Fitzgerald.




TUESDAY
  • 8:00 E/P Gilmore Girls (returning; was on The WB)
  • 9:00 E/P Veronica Mars (returning; was on UPN)