Crime Is Hot At UPNBy Caillan
October 28, 2003 - 11:15 AM
UPN is hoping to ride CBS's crime wave with several new crime-fighting dramas in development.
The Enterprise network recently unveiled its drama development slate for the 2004-2005 television season, Variety reported. In an attempt to capitalise on the success of procedural crime dramas such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Without a Trace, which have struck ratings gold for CBS, UPN has no fewer than five crime series in the works.
Denise Di Novi (The District) and uber-producer Aaron Spelling, whose Hotel failed to make UPN's 2003-2004 schedule, are working on an hour-long drama entitled The American. The potential series will follow a Guatemalan veteran of the Iraq war who decides to become a detective after he is granted United States citizenship. The pilot will be written by Freaky Links and The Pretender scribe Juan Carlos Coto.
Cupid writer-producer Rob Thomas is behind the father-daughter investigative drama Veronica Mars. The series centres around "a spoiled teen girl who reunites with her estranged father. Dad's down on his luck and she helps with his detective agency, which is based on a town with many dark secrets." A more ensemble approach is being taken by Barry Josephson (The Tick), who is working on a series about rookie cops going undercover in Los Angeles.
UPN has also invested in some more outlandish crime series which cross over into the superhero genre. The first, Nightingale, follows a woman who spends her nights fighting crime only to wake up in the morning with no memories of her nocturnal activities. The concept comes from writer-producers Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson, creators of John Doe.
Pretty Woman and Under Siege scribe J.F. Lawton is also offering a superhero series. His premise involves two actresses whose costumes for a Saturday morning kids' show give them "superhuman powers". The currently untitled show plans to use anime to depict the fight sequences.
UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff said the network is trying to push new ground with its development slate. "Either it's got to be something different that's not on TV right now, or we have to come up with a new twist on a concept that will make some noise."
In order for these television series to make it to air, UPN will first have to order a pilot, but only a handful of pilots ever actually make it to air. Last season UPN greenlit only one new series, Jake 2.0, which is struggling in the post-Enterprise timeslot. Its predecessor, The Twilight Zone, only lasted one season before being axed.
The complete article can be found here at Variety.