Bakula: UPN Failed 'Enterprise'By Caillan
November 21, 2003 - 12:34 PM
Enterprise star Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) recently laid the blame for the show's ratings troubles last season squarely at the feet of the UPN network.
Speaking with Ian Spelling in the latest issue of Star Trek Monthly (via Sci-Fi Pulse), Bakula said that although UPN had heavily promoted the series in its first season, by Enterprise's second year that support had dwindled. "It's been fairly well talked about, but for whatever reasons, UPN chose to spend their money, the majority of their money — because they always argue this whenever we bring it up — on new shows, and they felt that they promoted us sufficiently."
Enterprise's sophomore season attracted an average of 4.4 million viewers per episode, compared to over 6.7 million the previous year. The actor said that during season two, UPN chose to publicise the series only on the network itself. "I think that you have to be more creative than that. But they chose to do that. They're in charge of their advertising dollars and they chose to spend them in ways that were theirs. It was up to them."
It wasn't just the lack of advertising that hit Enterprise where it counts. The season two finale, "The Expanse", aired on May 21st, the same night over 33 million viewers watched Ruben Studdard win American Idol 2. "They certainly didn't need to run our final episode opposite the American Idol finale, but they chose to," Bakula said.
Overall, Bakula said the ratings drop can be attributed to the lack of promotion, "the normal second year attrition and a couple of other factors". But could the show have declined creatively since season one? Definitely not, he said. "I never thought that it was the show."
The complete interview, in which Bakula also talked about some early season three episodes, can be found in issue 111 of Star Trek Monthly. Alternatively, excerpts are available at Sci-Fi Pulse.