May 14, 2006

WB’s “Heaven” has an afterlife at CW Network

By Cynthia Littleton and Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Despite all the
misty-eyed talk of farewells last week, the long-running WB
Network drama "7th Heaven" is expected to move to the new CW
Network for an 11th season in the fall.

Sources said CW executives hammered out a deal during the
weekend with series creator and executive producer Brenda
Hampton to return for another season. Sources said the sticking
point -- needed to be resolved in time for CW's "upfront"
presentation to advertisers Thursday -- was reaching terms with
the family drama's primary cast members, including Stephen
Collins and Catherine Hicks.

It's understood that while WB's old "Heaven" contract had
options on key cast members for another season, the network and
its sibling studio, CBS Paramount Network TV, which produces
"Heaven" through its Spelling Television unit, are asking cast
members to take a pay cut from the salary levels already
spelled out in those option agreements. The salary bill was
cited as one reason for the show's axing in the first place.

Moreover, there was much grousing from multiple talent
agents on the show that CBS Paramount and CW were offering
guarantees for 10-13 episodes instead of the standard
22-episode full-season deal.

Representatives for CW and CBS Paramount Television
declined comment on the matter Sunday.

"Heaven's" 10th-season finale aired last week amid much
fanfare about it being the series closer. "Heaven" delivered
its highest marks in more than two years with an episode that
appeared to wrap up many loose ends in the show about a
minister (Collins) and his sprawling family.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter