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Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN Hardcover – October 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061340995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061340994
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This predictable look at the "unpredictable business" of television tells the tale of upstart networks the WB and UPN, whose eventual failures were both "symptom" and "byproduct" of "an industry in transition" amid "a broader business environment gone bananas." A former executive at the WB, Daniels recounts the 11-year history of the "netlet" and its main competitor, UPN, in exacting detail. Daniels and her co-writer Littleton (of Variety magazine) bring what gossip they have-noting, for instance, that Katie Holmes nearly passed on Dawson's Creek for the lead in her high school musical-but the majority of the writing is strictly business. Unfortunately, neither Daniels nor Littleton have the knack for developing characters; the majority of the large cast (listed helpfully up front) are introduced with lazy cliches (screenwriter Kevin Williamson "was all youthful exuberance that day, sporting a sweet grin, tousled sandy blonde hair and deep-blue eyes"), drawing life from behind-the-scenes discussion of deals, partnerships, creative development and ratings wars. This chronicle should appeal to future network executives, but fans will probably be happier watching Buffy reruns-or even Star Trek: Voyager.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Susanne Daniels is the president of entertainment for Lifetime Networks; she was formerly president of entertainment at the WB Network.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

And, yes, they explain the "the WB" was meant to sound like "the BBC."
Mediaman
This book provides a really interesting look into television's recent history, from the beginning of UPN and the WB to their merger to create the CW.
Todd D.
Very enjoyable read for children of television like myself highly recommend.
Joshua James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg Franklin on May 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a casual TV viewer and did not understand why the WB and UPD networks suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

I see that the FCC rules on the major networks being able to own the prime time schedule changed and the production studios got nervous and feared a loss of business of producing shows for CBS, NBC and ABC, so why not have your own network and create an outlet for the studios output.

I got a little bored with some of the stories about many executives as that did not interest me, but the main takeaway for me was that the WB was getting a lot of its successful programming from other studios ( Spelling, Fox, Disney) thus defeating the primary purpose for creating the networks.

Overall, it helped me understand the way the TV sausage is made.
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Format: Hardcover
Still, it left me skeptical. This book purports to be an expose of both "netlets," but it's really more a valentine to one. How much you like it will depend a lot upon your stomach for network politics.

I can see a lot of television executives, or would-be examples of the same, finding it valuable. But as someone who's just a fan of good television drama and comedy, I found it a quick yet staid read.

It's worth a skim, especially for those with a keen interest in the whys and wherefores of deals and deal breakers like the severing of Buffy from the WB.

Still, you'll get better entertainment from an episode of your favorite UPN or WB series.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ttrocc7007 on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I usually don't enjoy books about TV shows I don't watch, I was quite pleasantly surprised in reading Season Finale.
The authors strike just the right balance between 'breezy' and 'hard facts' to make this a fascinating and fun read.
The story of UPN's launch party in New York alone is worth the time! Highly recommended!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Todd D. on June 28, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
This book provides a really interesting look into television's recent history, from the beginning of UPN and the WB to their merger to create the CW. Some people may find it a little dry about the making of the sausage that is network programming, but if you're curious how network TV is made, this is the book for you.

I only found two things that really bug me about this book. The first is nothing the author could have gotten around: it's a lot more about the WB than UPN, since she worked at the WB. The second is that the book ended a little bit early. It could have stood to go into just a little bit about the first couple of months for the CW. It also completely glosses over MyNetworkTV, but that network is so much different than the others that it could be a book of its own.

Finally, I believe I can answer one question that might really stick out near the end of the book: why one Acme Communications station didn't go with the CW. The answer is quite simple: all but one of those stations was a WB affiliate, including one in Albuquerque. The other station, Acme's UPN affiliate, is also in Albuquerque, so it would have made no sense to make two Albuquerque CW affiliates. That UPN affiliate went with MyNetworkTV instead.
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By TJF on February 24, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
As someone in the television industry, I enjoy hearing an insider's view of the business. Susanne Daniels provides the reader with a front row seat into the construction of The WB.
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By Joshua James on July 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable read for children of television like myself highly recommend. It's ard to put down once you dig into it.
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