Cute sci-fi boys on Thursdays, African American comedies on Sundays, wrestling on Fridays: The CW's schedule is Frankenstein's monster, with salvaged parts from the WB and UPN contributing to the mishmash of a body.
On Tuesdays, the combination of "Gilmore Girls," formerly of the WB, and "Veronica Mars," born of UPN, is designed to provide the new CW network with both brain and heart. The shows are similarly smart and snappy with a dark streak and present sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking insights on coming of age with a single parent. And in a television landscape that is either fueled by testosterone ("24," "Two and a Half Men") or winkingly post-feminist ("Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives"), the spirited, independent-minded female leads of "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars" offer a rare alternative.
Measured in business terms, the shows are at opposite ends of the success spectrum. And whether one show can help the other find a wider audience is a yardstick by which the success of the CW will be judged.
On Sept. 26, "Gilmore Girls" will begin its seventh — and perhaps final — season, having finished Season 6 with an average of 4.4 million viewers. As the second-most-popular show on the WB, there was no question that the mother-daughter fan favorite would be a key asset in the CW's quest to corner the advertising market among 18-to-34-year-olds.