CW Now



7 p.m. Sundays

"CW Now" is presented without commercial interruption for an excellent reason. The entire show is a commercial. The half-hour Telepictures production is so saturated with product placement that you have to look hard, and mostly in vain, for program content placement.

Waaaay over-the-top hosts Chris Balish and Tanika Ray make like they're letting you in on everything that's hot and happening, such as a massage with snakes and machines in Australia that let you charge drinks with your cell phone. But mostly these consumer curiosities serve as filler to separate more serious plugs for advertisers and such other new CW series as "Gossip Girl," "Online Nation" and "Life Is Wild."

The sheer volume of plugs in half an hour is impressive, including everything from an airline package to Asia to a pocket-size nutritional food bar to the release of a new video game. For the latter, they bring in a plugola specialist, J. Boogie (yes, he really goes by that), to report from launch parties with celebrity endorsements. They repeat endlessly that the game will be available at a certain retailer which, to avoid yet another plug, we'll just say rhymes with Small Part.

Like it's lead-out, "Online Nation," "CW Now" is a show born of necessity and desperation. While the network has had some success at other time periods and is being praised for several new series, CW has never had traction from 7-8 p.m. on Sundays. If these two low-budget shows draw even a few tenths of a rating point, it will be a victory. If not, well, it cost almost nothing to try.