WE Aims Younger With Acquisitions

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In an effort to attract younger female viewers, WE: Women's Entertainment is aggressively pursuing off-network series and theatrical movie packages featuring today's stars.

Last week, WE acquired rights to the comedy series Two Guys and a Girl, which aired on ABC from 1998 through 2001.

WE will air 81 episodes of the 20th Century-Fox Television-produced series, which follows the lives of three friends, WE executive vice president and general manager Martin von Ruden said. ABC cancelled the show last season.

The deal comes on the heels of the network's January acquisition of Buena Vista Television's Felicity
, which will soon conclude its four-season run on The WB. Von Ruden said viewers for both shows reach WE's target audience of 25-to-49-year-old viewers.

Additionally, the network believes the two off-net series — which will air back to back weeknights this fall, beginning at 6 p.m. — will both serve as an attractive lead-in to WE's evening programming and buttress its brand.

"I think these shows help build our brand equity and will help attract younger viewers," von Ruden said.

While WE isn't actively negotiating for any additional off-network shows, it's close to finalizing a theatrical deal that would include films featuring several of today's young actresses and actors, like Reese Witherspoon, Toby McGuire, Christina Ricci and Jude Law. Von Ruden declined to identify any titles.

WE will also premiere several specials later this year intended for young women, including It Girls, about the women who run New York's party scene, as well as two specials that deal with dating and sex.

The network will also debut a limited series this summer focused on weddings, which should appeal to women aged 25 to 39, von Ruden said.

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