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Fox News Lends a Hand to New Broadcast Sibling

2/24/2006 7:00 PM Eastern

Fox News Channel will help program parent company News Corp.’s newly created broadcast entry, My Network TV.

Cable’s news leader will develop an original series for the network dubbed On Scene, an investigative series that will take a behind the scenes look at the day’s most compelling crimes.

News’s My Network TV, slated to bow Sept. 5, will primarily center on two English-language telenovelas as primetime programming. Out of the gate, My Network TV will be anchored by nine News Corp.-owned stations, currently affiliated with UPN, plus an independent. News’s stations were left in the lurch last month when CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. said they will merge UPN and The WB to form The CW, which will feature returning shows from both broadcast networks.

The Fox Television Stations Inc.- and Twentieth Television-operated network will premiere the two sexually-charged telenovelas, Desire and Secrets, in a six-day stripped programming format that’s usually reserved for daytime or late night.

Reality programming currently in development for the network includes Catwalk, a reality-competition series that will search for the next supermodel; Celebrity Love Island, in which six singles and six famous people mingle on an island; and America’s Brainiest, a remake of a U.K. program that will search for the smartest people in the country.

News Corp. president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin said the stripped format, which has been very successful internationally, will help the network turn a profit almost immediately by eliminating network overhead and production costs.

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy predicted that the My Network TV format will generate higher ratings than The CW.

He added that he expects the network to reach 90% of the broadcast universe. Unlike the CW, News will not charge stations for My Network TV’s programming.

September