UPN Scores With Young Women

By Michelle
May 3, 2004 - 10:50 PM

Star Trek: Enterprise may be struggling in the ratings, but its network, UPN, was one of the only broadcast networks to hold or grow its audience during the most recent sweeps period.

The New York Daily News reported that America's Next Top Model had made the network particularly successful with women 18-34.

For many years, UPN had targeted young males.

"UPN is finally clicking as it heads into the upfront (preseason) ad sales this month," stated the Daily News. "Its recent strides are getting noticed because arch rival the WB Network, has faltered this year after back-to-back successes."

Viacom president Mel Karmazin told the New York paper that UPN's prospects were looking better "than at any time in its history."

The newspaper credited UPN president Dawn Ostroff with turning UPN around by building a block of comedies appealing to women, such as All of Us and Eve.

UPN only took in about $250 million in advertising at the upfront last year, compared to $750 million for the WB.

It may be a particularly important season for the network's new focus on reality shows, because CNN has reported that a writer's strike may be looming.

Hollywood writers are seeking a larger share of profits from the DVD market. The Writers Guild of America said that writers earn five cents on the average US DVD sale, while studios earn over ten dollars.

A 1988 strike delayed the start of the fall television season, but this year, networks with unscripted reality shows might better weather a protracted contract dispute with writers.

TV Week has an article on new series presentations for the networks, when potential shows for next year are screened for employees.

UPN will test its potential fall series, along with CBS, in Los Angeles and at a permanent research facility in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

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