UPN Unveils Three New Fall ShowsBy Lisa
May 17, 2002 - 2:30 AM
Enterprise network UPN today released details of its fall program schedule at its annual upfront meeting.
The Star Trek series will keep its familiar 8:00 p.m. Wednesday time slot, but will have a new lead-out show in the form of The Twilight Zone. This new show will occupy the 9-10:00 p.m. time slot.
Twilight Zone is an update to the 1959 series which explored offbeat tales of fantasy and suspense. It will feature new actors each week in a new story and will be hosted by Forest Whitaker. Whitaker is an acclaimed actor and director, who appeared in the recent thriller 'Panic Room.' His other work includes roles in films like 'Good Morning, Vietnam' and 'The Color of Money.'
"I'm really excited about having the opportunity to tell these tales," Whitaker said. "It's a show that I've loved, and I am hopeful that we'll get into some beautiful shows together that all of you will love." The series will be produced by staff who previously worked on the Outer Limits: Pen Densham, Mark Stern and John Watson.
Twilight Zone will be joined by Haunted, the new lead-out show for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This series will focus on a private detective with mysterious powers. It will star Party of Five actor Matthew Fox as an ex-policeman who gains the power to communicate with the deceased after a near death experience. Haunted will occupy the time slot previously filled by Roswell.
The network also announced a brand new comedy series for Monday nights, titled Half and Half. This show, replacing veteran sitcom The Hughleys, will focus on the lives of two half-sisters, who meet for the first time when they move in to the same San Francisco apartment building. It will star Rachel True, best known for her role in the 1996 movie 'The Craft,' and Smart Guy actress Essence Atkins in the lead roles.
Enterprise stars Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) and Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) paid tribute to UPN at the event. "We've had a tremendous first season, and we're so grateful to all of you for all of the help that you've given us around the country," they told reporters. "And we certainly want to do everything we can to help you in the upcoming season."
Besides Enterprise, the Star Trek franchise will be helping UPN in another way next year. The network today also announced that it will air several of the Star Trek feature films during its Friday Movie Nights.
The biggest surprise of the upfront week came today, when the FOX network announced that Dark Angel would not feature in its fall schedule.
The James Cameron series has been replaced by newcomer Firefly, penned by Joss Whedon. This show will debut with a one hour pilot in the 8:00 p.m. Friday night time slot.
Dark Angel launched in 2000 amid a flurry of publicity. Set in the future, it starred Jessica Alba as a prototype human who teamed up with a journalist to fight an oppressive regime. The show averaged around 6 million viewers each week.
It featured four former Star Trek faces on its staff - Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr, supervising producer Rene Echevarria, Voyager executive producer Kenneth Biller, and story editor Robert Doherty. Kira Nerys actress Nana Visitor guest starred on the series as Madame X.
In contrast Firefly is billed as a science fiction western. "This show isn't about the people who made history; it's about the people history stepped on," Joss Whedon said earlier this year (story).
More on the decision to axe Dark Angel can be found here at Zap2It.