CW's 'Diaries' a Thurs. entry

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The CW is the latest network to throw its hat in the Thursday ring with a bold scheduling move on television's most lucrative night.

The network, which officially unveils its fall schedule today, plans to slot the hot new drama "Vampire Diaries" at 8 p.m. Thursdays, paired with "Supernatural."

"Diaries" will replace departing veteran "Smallville," whose ninth and final season will air at 8 p.m. Fridays.

New drama "Melrose Place" will be paired with "90210," repeating the launch pattern for the original "Melrose," which followed "Beverly Hills, 90210" on Fox in fall 1992.

With its setting — a co-ed residence of young models — the new drama "Beautiful Life" is considered a perfect scripted companion for "America's Next Top Model" and will launch Wednesdays after the hit reality series.

The CW's flagship Monday lineup of "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill" will stay intact, and the network recently said it is giving Sunday night back to its affiliates.

"Smallville" had been in the 8 pm. Thursday period for the past four seasons. Then on the WB, the Superman drama landed on Thursday in fall 2005, joined several months later by the then-freshman "Supernatural."

"Diaries," based on Alloy's teen vampire books, is envisioned as a tentpole series on Thursday, where the CW has a built-in sci-fi audience with "Smallville" and "Supernatural."

All major networks are taking swings on the all-important Thursday night.

Fox and CBS are moving promising sophomores "Fringe" and "The Mentalist" to the Thursday lineup at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively.

ABC is positioning hot newcomer "Flash Forward" at 8 p.m., and, after several weeks of "SNL" specials to start the season, NBC will get the freshman comedy "Community" to lead off its comedy block at 8 p.m.

The CW has not announced its midseason plans, with "Parental Discretion Advised" (formerly "Light Years") in contention. (partialdiff)
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