WB, Pepsi Serving Up Prime-Time Music Show

With an ambitious plan to become the leading U.S. music series for top-40 acts, the WB TV network will launch "Pepsi Smash" on July 16.

With an ambitious plan to become the leading U.S. music series for top-40 acts, the WB TV network will launch "Pepsi Smash" July 16, Billboard Bulletin reports. The one-hour show -- which will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET -- will feature live performances and a music countdown, with Pepsi as the top sponsor. Sources say the network is considering a second time slot for repeat episodes of the show.

"Pepsi Smash" marks the first time in years that a U.S. broadcast TV network has committed to a new weekday primetime music series featuring top mainstream acts. Most such series on broadcast TV have been relegated to late-night time slots or are syndicated to air on weekends.

Veteran TV producer Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions will executive-produce "Pepsi Smash." Gallen has produced numerous high-profile specials, including the Super Bowl halftime show, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on VH1, and the MTV Movie Awards.

Although no acts were confirmed at deadline, sources say Beyonce Knowles and Evanescence are in discussions to appear on "Pepsi Smash."

The WB had planned a U.S. version of "Top of the Pops," but that deal fell through last year. The network claims to reach 97 million U.S. households.