Executives Talk UPN's Fall ScheduleBy Caillan
July 15, 2002 - 5:29 PM
UPN's fall schedule has been structured to provide a more consistent programming brand, network executives said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters during the Television Critics Association Press Tour, entertainment president Dawn Ostroff outlined the network's new philosophy. "Our goal is to string the nights together in a better way and branch out with our programming," she said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
UPN's disparate programming - urban comedy on Mondays, Star Trek on Wednesdays, and wresting on Thursdays - has often been blamed for the network's lacklustre ratings. But there is now a clear intention to capture a loyal audience who will stay with the network all night rather than change the channel.
One example of this is the network's Tuesday night line-up, which sees Buffy The Vampire Slayer paired with the supernatural series Haunted, starring Party of Five's Matthew Fox. Ostroff highlighted the thematic similarities of both series and Fox's appeal to the young female demographic, which UPN hopes will make for a large crossover audience.
UPN and CBS president Leslie Moonves said this year's merger of the two networks has been successful for both parties. While UPN has been able to develop CBS properties, such as the upcoming Twilight Zone revival, Moonves said "the CBS guys have gotten a real shot in the arm by being able to work on shows like Buffy and Enterprise."
But don't expect to see CBS programmes showing up on its younger sibling in the new season. After the poor ratings of the cancelled Wolf Lake and repeats of The Amazing Race on UPN, Moonves said "there are absolutely no plans" for the netlet to carry more CBS shows.
The full article, which also features talk of Buffy's new season, can be found here.
Enterprise fans in St. Louis could be Trek-less this fall, as the WB affiliate which carries the series has no plans to renew their agreement with UPN.
Bill Lanesey, general manager of WB affiliate station KPLR, wouldn't comment on the situation, but UPN sources told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the pact which beamed Buffy and Enterprise into locals' homes was at an end.
UPN will not have a secure home in St. Louis until April 2003 when Home Shopping Network Affiliate WHSL becomes UPN 46. General manager Gregg Filandrinos has appealed to the Home Shopping Network to allow the station to air Buffy and Enterprise, but the infotainment channel is under no obligations to do so.
"UPN is shopping the shows around to other stations, hoping to find someone to pick them up," Filandrinos said, but there is little hope of the series finding a home before the fall. Even DirecTV will not carry UPN programming in cities without a station affiliated with the network.
The complete story is available here at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Thanks to Brad Young for this!