How ‘7th Heaven’ was resurrected

It’s not entirely clear when executives at The CW decided that “7th Heaven” deserved another year on the air.

The best that anyone could pin down Thursday at the new network’s upfront was that sometime between the flurry of promotion for the long-running show’s alleged “series finale” and Thursday’s show, the network decided it would be a good idea.

“We talked about it initially, and it sort of fell apart, then we talked again,” says Dawn Ostroff, The CW’s head of programming. And, after considering the show’s ratings, its cost and the rest of The CW’s schedule, the show was reborn.

The series about a minister (Stephen Collins) and his large family was the most-watched show on either The WB or UPN this season, even before the loudly hyped last episode brought in 7 million viewers. Prior to that it was drawing about 5.2 million viewers per week.

‘Everwood’ bubble bursts

Not that this will be of much consolation to fans of “Everwood,” but Dawn Ostroff feels bad about letting the series go.

Not bringing the critically hailed WB show to The CW next fall “was honestly the toughest decision,” says Ostroff, the former UPN head who’s president of entertainment at the new network. “It was really, really hard, because the fans just love it.”

On the other hand, another WB series thought to be headed for the chopping block, “Reba,” may get a shot on the new network after all. It could be headed for a 13-episode order at midseason.