Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN by Susanne Daniels, Cynthia Littleton
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Overview: In the mid-1990s, two major Hollywood studios, Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, each launched their own broadcast television network with the hope of becoming the fifth major player in an industry long dominated by ABC, CBS, NBC, and, more recently, Fox. Despite the odds against them, the WB and UPN went on to alter the landscape of primetime television, only to then merge as the CW network in 2006-each a casualty of conflicting personalities, relentless competition, and a basic failure to anticipate the future of the entertainment business.
Unfolding amid this backdrop of high-stakes business ventures, fanatical creative struggles, and corporate power plays, Season Finale traces the parallel stories of the WB and UPN from their prosperous beginnings to their precipitous demise. Following the big money, big egos, and big risks of network television, Susanne Daniels, a television executive with the WB for most of its life, and Cynthia Littleton, a longtime television reporter for Variety, expose the difficult reality of trying to launch not one but two traditional broadcast networks at the moment when cable television and the Internet were ending the dominance of network television.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History > Television History