'Special Unit 2' To Capitalise On Final Episodes

By Amy
March 9, 2001 - 6:47 PM

UPN President Dean Valentine seems to have put his time left out of the tentative Viacom/News Corp negotiations to good use, with the struggling television network today announcing a range of changes to its program line-up. Among the changes are three new shows, supernatural/sci-fi dramas 'All Souls' and 'Special Unit 2' and reality game show, 'Chains of Love'.

Tuesday night has, of late, been movie night for UPN, but it won't be for much longer, with a return to series programming slated in April. 'Chains of Love' and 'All Souls' will be taking over the movie slot from the 17th of April in a bid to "broaden UPN's core audience of young males". Valentine, when speaking to Josef Adalian and Michael Schneider of Reuters/Variety, commented that the station wants "to be male-friendly, not male exclusive" and thinks that they "have the capacity to attract a strong male core but also attract females as well" with this programming change. Movie night will now, instead, be held on Friday.

'Chains of Love', which is set to air at 8pm Tuesdays, is a based on a concept borrowed from a European show. It will see sees five contestants - one 'picker' and four members of the opposite sex - literally chained together in a bizarre version of the 'Dating Game'. The show was originally slated to be picked up by NBC was dropped by them because of concerns over its content.

Following 'Chains of Love' at 9pm will be supernatural drama 'All Souls'. From the hand of Aaron Spelling, it's an hour-long drama/thriller set in a haunted Boston hospital. Both it and 'Chains' will have a preliminary run of 6 week.

'Special Unit 2', on the other hand, will be replacing 'Seven Days' as the program airing before 'Voyager' on Wednesday nights from April 11. It's hoped that the science fiction series, centring around a group of undercover detectives dedicated to tracking and destroying 'monsters' or 'creatures', will be able to cash in on the expected hype surrounding the final few episodes of the station's number two show. The interest for a new series may also provide a bumper lead-in audience for Voyager.

One show, however, that definitely won't be finding its way to UPN is critically acclaimed Paramount series 'Frasier', which has been successfully renewed by NBC for another three-seasons at a license fee increase of less than 10 percent over the $5 million per episode - considerably less than the $8 million Paramount was said to be asking originally.

For more information on the upcoming programming changes at UPN, including the what will be happening with network staples such as 'The Parkers' and 'The Hughleys' and what won't be happening to fall series 'Level 9', follow this link.

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