Trek Details Under Wraps At UPNBy Amy
March 21, 2001 - 8:40 PM
UPN is keeping details on anything Star Trek strictly under wraps for the time being, it appears, while buying heavily into the reality craze in the event of WGA and SAG strikes later this year.
At a recent presentation before 135 media buyers at Paramount Studios, UPN's President/CEO Dean Valentine would only go so far as to comment that they were "deep in negotiations with the studio (Paramount)." He also called the new series "extraordinary," adding that he believe that "it is going to blow people away." We can expect the network to make an official announcement on the series and where it will fit in their schedule (if they secure broadcast rights), in the near future.
Aside from the possibility of Series V, UPN is bringing a mixed bag of reality series to the table. "We have everything ranging from the world's largest game show," UPN entertainment president Tom Nunan told attendees, "to a reality version of 'Sex and the City' to the largest money prize show on television to the first reality show featuring families competing against each other in a truly 'Swiss Family Robinson' way."
Scripted content in development includes sketch series 'Off Limits', who's premiere will be bumped back to fall in the event of the strikes taking place, a new animated, college-based pilot from Mark Hentemann, of the 'Family Guy' fame, and 'The Dead Zone', based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Reality TV wise, programs under development for the network include 'Ambush TV' starring MTV's Tim Beggy and the highly controversial 'Chains of Love'. The network will again host the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, which actually triggered a street brawl in Los Angeles last year.
On a less positive note, the XFL is ranking "somewhere near the top" of the networks big mistakes for the year - during a game screened on co-broadcaster NBC recently, the troubled league actually managed to score a 1.6 rating - believed to be the lowest-ever prime-time night among the big three networks in Nielsen Media Research history. Another disappointment for the network has been clay animation series 'Gary and Mike', which has earned lacklustre ratings a best. Both shows may get a second chance, with Valentine commenting that "the [X-treme Football] league deserves a second chance," and Nunan adding that if they can find the 'right spot' for 'Gary & Mike', "it will be back next season"
More information on the presentation can be found at this Hollywood Reporter article.