As expected, KTZZ-TV (Channel 22), the once-bankrupt independent station that has struggled to find an audience, will join the new WB Television Network, the station announced yesterday.
Channel 22, seen on most cable systems on channel 10, is the last of the six commercial TV stations to sign with a network. KIRO-TV (Channel 7), which loses its CBS affiliation in March to KSTW-TV (Channel 11), will join the new United Paramount Network on Jan. 16.
WB will launch with a very modest lineup - one night a week between 8 and 10 p.m. UPN at first will offer two nights of programming.
Neither network will get clean, as-scheduled "clearance" of its shows in Seattle for months to come.
Except for the debut night of Jan. 16, KIRO will likely run UPN programs, including "Star Trek: Voyager," on weekends until CBS goes away. UPN's programs are intended for Monday and Tuesday nights.
Likewise, KTZZ has commitments to run talk shows in its present weeknight lineup until next fall, so it won't run WB's programs in their regular Wednesday-night time period until September. Until then, WB programming will air Sunday nights, starting Jan. 15, said KTZZ general manager Wade Brewer.
WB's opening lineup consists of four comedy shows: "The Wayans Bros.," "The Parent Hood," "Unhappily Every After" and "Muscle."
The affiliation with WB comes not long after KTZZ, the youngest of the commercial stations in Seattle, emerged from bankruptcy last year and is rebuilding itself into a less-quirky station, Brewer said.
"We are fully recovered and out of the reorganization and had the best fourth quarter of our lives and are proceeding on to have the best first quarter of our history," Brewer said.
After the dust settles, the local network lineup will be: KOMO-TV (Channel 4), ABC; KING-TV (Channel 5), NBC; KIRO, UPN; KCTS-TV (Channel 9), PBS; KSTW, CBS; KCPQ-TV (Channel 13), Fox; and KTZZ, WB.