My Network TV no longer a network (updated)

Instead, call it a “programming service.”

My Network TV is revamping its programming model, with the service airing ten hours of material a week instead of twelve this fall with Saturday nights handed back to affiliates.

My Net is also cutting back on original programming, adding a movie night, and instead airing a two-hour block of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and keeping WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown on the schedule.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent had been running as a syndicated strip for the last two years. It is unclear whether or not the program will continue in this form this fall with the My Net prime-time clearance. NBC Universal has cleared Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as an off-network strip to debut this September in syndication.

In a strange twist, NBC Universal will keep half of the advertising time to sell itself, while My Network TV’s local stations get the other half. Those terms are similar to what is usually offered in syndication.

My Network TV’s ad sales staff is also being folded into the sales staff of Twentieth Television, The syndicator is now going to act as the national advertising representative for all My Network TV programming, except for Criminal Intent.

The moves comes as My Network TV posted the most growth of any broadcast network this fall in household ratings and key demos, driven by WWE Smackdown. The network began on September 5, 2006 by stripping English telenovelas, but broadened its programming menu months later by adding more reality fare and movies.

Updated 11:30 p.m. (added Rosenthal link)