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MNTV Touts Branded Nights to Garner Dollars

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NEW YORK MyNetworkTelevision hopes to lure advertisers in the current upfront with a fall schedule that includes branded nights, each with product integration opportunities, and a sales pitch stressing that over the past year it has jumped from the 31st to the 11th highest-rated TV network among viewers in the 18-49 demographic.

Judy Kenny, who recently joined the broadcast network as evp, sales, said advertisers and media agencies have been receptive to the newly structured schedule during early discussions. That schedule includes entertainment shows on Monday nights, reality crime shows on Tuesday nights, comedy on Wednesday nights, action movies on Thursday, WWE Smackdown on Friday and family movies on Saturday.

"We're efficiently priced and we can offer integrations and other opportunities without hefty premiums," Kenny said.

May sweeps viewership was up 27 percent over last year to an average of 1.2 million viewers per night, and 18-49 ratings were up 25 percent, albeit off a lower base than its other broadcast network competitors.

MNTV has ordered a regular season series of episodes of Magic's Greatest Secrets Revealed, following a successful run of syndicated specials the network aired this season. This series will air on Monday nights at 9, following Celebrity Expose.

On Tuesdays, the network will bring back its reality crime drama block of Street Patrol and Jail. On Wednesdays, Under One Roof with Flavor Flav will return at 8, followed by a Funniest Moments show at 9. While MNTV executives would not confirm it, Mediaweek learned that Arsenio Hall would host the show.

Also in the comedy area from Langley Productionss, which produces Street Patrol and Cops on Fox, MNTV is expected to order episodes of a sketch comedy show starring actor and comedian Tony Rock, who recently starred in the TV sitcom All of Us.

MNTV will continue its Thursday night action movie and its family movie on Saturday night, and WWE Smackdown, which the network acquired after the CW network dropped it, will air on Friday nights. The show was a solid performer on The CW, but it did not fit in with the network's primarily female skewing audience on other nights of the week.

Kenny said right now MNTV has a more balanced ratio of male to female viewers on all nights.

She said advertisers would be able to buy sponsorships of the theatrical movie nights. Kenny said another plus for the network is that 85 percent of its programming would be offered in high definition.

She said the clearly defined branded nights would make it easier for advertisers to buy the network. "Advertisers will have a clearer idea of who we are and what we are trying to do," she said.