[05/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
The CW Shocker: '7th Heaven' to Return
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- After weeks of rumors, The CW made it official today - "7th Heaven" will indeed return for an 11th season.

The news comes within days of the show's 7.2 million viewer-turnout for its "series finale."

Various sources confirmed the deal this afternoon as the soon-to-launch network preps for its inaugural schedule announcement next Thursday. The pact, financial details of which weren't released, is said to be for at least 13 episodes next season.

Making the development a particular surprise: comments about the show's financial viability by exiting WB executives David Janollari and Garth Ancier at the TCA Winter Press Tour in January. "It is a real bittersweet situation," Janollari said at the time. "We love the show. We want the show. We were in very detailed and substantial conversations with the Spelling Group. At the end of those conversations we both looked at each other and said we can't figure out how to make this economically feasible for either side."

Ancier added: "I'll be more specific - the show will lose $16 million this season. This year the show will lose $16 million for The WB, and that's with a license fee reduction from last year. At least to us, that's a big number."

Nevertheless, "Heaven" remains the WB's top overall draw this season with an average of 5.66 million viewers tuning in each week.

Brenda Hampton, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent are the executive producers of "Heaven," a Spelling Television, Inc. production.

  [may 2006]  


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