Upfront 07

Less Bitch Slapping, More Martial Arts

MyNetworkTV Retools Programming Schedule

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- There will be less bitch slapping, but MyNetworkTV still plans plenty of hand-to-hand combat.
There'll be less 'Wicked Wicked Games' catfights and more pummeling of another sort.
There'll be less 'Wicked Wicked Games' catfights and more pummeling of another sort.

The struggling sixth network today unveiled its spring schedule, and has drastically cut back on the English-language telenovelas so heavily hyped during last year's upfront. The more varied schedule aims to draw in more men.

The News Corp. network's weekly average rating among 18- to 49-year-olds so far this season is 0.2 (300,000 viewers), compared with broadcast-network leader Fox's 5.9 (7.72 million) through week 17, according to Nielsen Media Research figures for seven-day playback. That puts MyNetworkTV in the same ballpark as Ion's Pax TV, which garners around 220,000 viewers in the key advertiser demographic.

More male-oriented fare
Starting March 8, MyNetworkTV will air more male-oriented fare, including a series called "International Fight League's Total Impact," a reality series about martial-arts teams that compete around the world. Other additions include movie nights on Thursdays and Fridays.

The network isn't totally abandoning the telenovela format, however. While it will say goodbye to Tatum O'Neal's "Wicked Wicked Games," it will begin two new series, "American Heiress" on Tuesdays and "Saints & Sinners" on Wednesdays. MyNetworkTV will also air the "World Music Awards" on March 10.

The network, a joint venture of Twentieth Television and Fox Stations Group, is led by Greg Meidel, who joined as president in January from CBS Paramount Domestic TV, where he was president-programming. Mr. Meidel said in a statement: "The face of MyNetworkTV is changing, and this new lineup is filled with a variety of choices that allows us to expand our programming to a wider audience and generate momentum and excitement for the network."
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