Canceled CBS series don't fade away, they move to UPN.

OK, we haven't yet reached that point yet. But it is true in the case of "Wolf Lake."

CBS dropped the show due to lousy ratings after just five episodes. Of course, lousy ratings on CBS would be spectacular ratings on its corporate sibling, UPN.

"Wolf Lake" drew 8.7 million viewers for its premiere and quickly fell to about 6 million, prompting CBS to swing the ax. But the most-watched show on UPN most weeks draws about 5 million viewers.

You could argue that "Wolf Lake" always looked more like it belonged on UPN than CBS — what with its youthful cast and its premise of a town full of werewolves — the fact remains that it never was a very good show. It's not going to attract 6 million viewers to UPN, and it's not going to last long.

UPN (Ch. 24) will repeat the show's pilot Wednesday night at 8 and has scheduled the four episodes CBS never aired for the next four Wednesdays.

This is less about corporate synergy (a favorite Hollywood buzzword these days) than it is about burning off episodes of a failed show. The show is out of production, and most of the cast and crew have moved on to other projects.

CBS AFFILIATES STEAMING: Another favorite buzzword of the TV industry these days is "repurposing" — a way to share costs by airing programs on more than one channel. NBC and USA do it with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Criminal Intent"; ABC and ABC Family do it with "Alias" and "According to Jim.".

Sister networks CBS and UPN are doing that with "Amazing Race 2" — and the manner in which they're doing it has the CBS affiliates steaming.

CBS's deal with its affiliates allows it to repurpose up to five hours a week of its prime-time programming. Not more than two of those hours can be on UPN; the rest can be on cable networks. (Viacom, which owns CBS and UPN, also owns a slew of cable networks, including Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1, TNN, CMT, Showtime and BET.)

But that deal mandates a seven-day wait before a CBS show can be repurposed on another network. Currently, episodes of "Amazing Race 2" that air on CBS are seen two days later on UPN.

Reportedly, CBS has been arguing that the fact that "Race" is a reality series somehow exempts it from that seven-day window. Affiliates argue otherwise.

Word is that the network is going to back down.

And, while "Amazing Race 2" has been doing pretty well on CBS — particularly among the younger demographics advertisers covet — it's been bombing on UPN, finishing dead last in the ranking of all 172 series that have aired on the six broadcast networks.

MARCHING ON OUT: CBS and UPN also ran into some trouble with another crossover event that aired last week — at least in some parts of the country.

CBS Sports produced "March to Madness" — an hour that recapped the NCAA basketball tournament to that point and previewed the Final Four competition. It was supposed to air Wednesday, March 27, on UPN (and it did here in Utah on KPNZ-Ch. 24).

But UPN affiliates in six of the nation's largest TV markets, including No. 1 New York and No. 2 Los Angeles, refused to air "March." The stations were sold to News Corp. last year.

Not coincidentally, News Corp. owns Fox. And nobody at Fox wanted stations it owns promoting upcoming basketball games on CBS.


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