UPN Fall Schedule Released

By Christian
May 17, 2001 - 1:51 PM

Later this morning, UPN will be officially presenting all its Fall shows to advertisers. But prior to that, the network already released its official schedule for the 2001-2002 television season to the press.

Compared with this season, UPN has ordered only two completely-new shows. But with the acquisition of two series from the WB, there are still substantial changes to the network's line-up. Here's a breakdown of the full schedule:

  • Monday - UPN will be maintaining its urban comedy block, starting with returning show The Hughleys at 8:00pm. This is followed by new show One on One, dealing with a sportscaster and his teenage daughter, at 8:30pm. Moesha spin-off The Parkers and Girlfriends will continue to occupy the 9-10pm timeslot.

    One to One will air in the place of Moesha, after Voyager the oldest show that still remained on the network's schedule. UPN president Dean Valentine told trade paper Variety the network felt the show had "run its course," and that "it was time to freshen up the night."

  • Tuesday - Buffy the Vampire Slayer will air at 8:00pm, followed by Roswell at 9:00pm. Buffy has already received a two-year commitment by UPN, while Roswell producer Fox was able to secure a full-season order for the show in frenzied negotiations Wednesday afternoon.

    Even though UPN reportedly would have preferred a shorter deal, Valentine still was very happy to have obtained the show. "We were fortunate that a show that had been growing on the WB became available," he told Variety. "We realized that it's a terrific show and that it's got a fanatical audience."

  • Wednesday - The new Star Trek series, Enterprise, will be airing at 8:00pm, followed by returning show Special Unit 2 at 9:00pm.

    Special Unit 2 premiered late in the season on UPN, airing as the lead-in show to Voyager. The show deals with a covert division of the Chicago Police Department, set up to monitor paranormal activity in the city. SU-2 earned respectable ratings with its first six episodes, competing against the WB's Dawson's Creek.

  • Thursday - WWF Smackdown! will continue to air from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Though its ratings have declined noticably this year, it is still UPN's highest-rated show.

  • Friday - As was also the case during the last few weeks of this season, UPN will be airing a movie in this timeslot. Last season, the network tried to launch new shows on this day, promoting them on Smackdown, but the failure of series such as Freedom, Level Nine and Gary & Mike proved that this didn't work.
Dead Zone, the horror series produced by Trek veteran Michael Piller and starring Nicole deBoer (Ezri Dax), has been pushed back as a mid-season replacement. With the three other dramas already having received full-season commitments, this means the show will likely only be able to make it on the air if Special Unit 2 fails to turn into a hit.

One of the shows that has been cancelled is Seven Days. For the past three years, the Jonathan LaPaglia-starring sci-fi show aired as the companion show to Voyager, before being moved to Tuesdays last month. The show failed to hold on to its audience in that timeslot, and has now joined other Tuesday shows such as All Souls and Chains of Love in cancellation.

With its new schedule, UPN is heavily banking on the probability there won't be an actors' stike. Unlike most of the other networks, it won't be airing any reality shows. Especially during the first half of the week, UPN seems intent on moving away from its previous image as the testotesterone network, airing respectable dramas instead of reality fare such as Chains of Love or Manhunt.

More on UPN's line-up, including hopefully more information on Enterprise, should be available later today as details of the network's upfront meeting appear in the press.

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