UPN Pushes Its New Fall LineupBy Caillan
July 18, 2001 - 1:59 PM
The cast and creative talent behind UPN's new fall series, including genre shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Roswell, spoke to the press on Monday about their upcoming seasons.
Sarah Michelle Gellar talked of her feelings on Buffy's move from the WB to UPN. "I'm nervous," she told journalists at the Television Critics Association press conference (via the Sci-Fi Wire). "I'm excited. UPN has been wonderful. [...] And I think they've given us a new excitement about the show. It's like getting to start fresh. It's like getting to show all of these new people the show that we make that we're so incredibly proud of and proud to make and be a part of, and it's exciting."
"We have more money [at UPN] than we would have at the WB, where we'd have no money and would have to use hand puppets," Buffy creator Joss Whedon said jokingly (via AP). "UPN basically stepped in and said, 'Make the show the way you've been making it.'"
The cast spoke of their enthusiasm for the series, now entering its sixth season. "When we're 80 we could still be slaying vampires," said Alyson Hannigan, who plays Buffy's friend Willow. As for Buffy, who died in the season finale, Gellar has one wish for her character in the new season - "Alive."
Another WB refugee, Roswell was given a new lease of life by UPN after it had been cancelled. Executive producer Jason Katims spoke of his hopes for the new season. "I think of it being a coming-of-age for a lot of the characters in the show," he told Zap2it. "A lot of what we want to do this year is expand the canvas of the show and each of the characters are sort of going in different directions."
Shiri Appleby, who plays Liz on the series, talked about the need for Roswell to find its niche. "I think one of the great aspects about the show was the love and the feelings and the fact that these characters felt so deeply over this science fiction aspect," she said. "And when you went too science fiction, you lost a lot of the emotion. So hopefully this year, with the UPN support, we'll be able to combine the two strengths, and the show will actually be able to blossom this year."
However, it appeared that not everyone was overjoyed about Roswell's renewal, with stars Jason Behr and Brendan Fehr absent from Monday's press conference. Fehr's manager told E!Online that "I think it's already been expressed that not everyone was particularly excited about going back for a third season."
UPN is also pushing its own original content. Currently a set of two specials, the new Iron Chef USA could become a regular series if it achieves good ratings. Hosted by William Shatner (James T. Kirk), Iron Chef is based on a Japanese concept in which chefs race to produce a brilliant meal within a set time. Initially scheduled to air before Labor Day, the special will screen on Friday, November 16.
Rounding out the network's batch of new shows is One on One, which will join the network's Monday-night urban comedy lineup. The series centres around young Kyla Washington who must move in with her sportswriter father after her mother moves to the country. One on One will premiere at 8:30pm on Monday, October 3.
Complete details of UPN's Television Critics Association presentation can be found here at Mediaweek.