WB ratings rise brings mercy

Nearly every show on the rebounding net's schedule is being given a new chance

The WB is celebrating its rebound in the ratings by giving nearly every show on its schedule another shot in the second half of the season.

Coming off its best November sweeps ratings in its six-year history, The WB has given production renewals to all of its veteran dramas and freshman series, including comedy
Grosse Pointe
, in which network executives say they have confidence despite sluggish ratings. The good news at The WB is especially welcome as the network is comes off its toughest season ever, where distribution woes and low national ratings bungled its plans.

"There is no place where we are down," says an upbeat Jamie Kellner, The WB's CEO. "We have been careful and loyal to our programs that were on the schedule last season, and we have been continuing to nurture some of them in better time periods."

The WB has ordered another eight episodes of second-year drama

(20th Century Fox/Regency TV), eight more of freshman drama
Gilmore Girls

(Warner Bros.) and nine more of new comedy

(Mohawk Productions/Warner Bros.). Of the
Gilmore Girls
, Kellner says, "I love that show, that show to me is picked up for next year already."

, which was almost canceled last season, got an additional four episodes that will take the series through the May sweeps period. The WB will air 11 episodes of

through January,
Jack & Jill

will then run until mid April and

will return for the remainder of the season.

And comedy newcomers

(Warner Bros.) and
Grosse Pointe

(ATG) have each been given four more episodes to prove themselves. Both shows have struggled in the national ratings, with
Grosse Pointe

currently standing as the lowest-rated network series in adults 18-49, averaging a 1.0 rating/3 share, according to Nielsen Media Research.n