UPN Renews 'Special Unit 2'

By Caillan
November 17, 2001 - 2:14 PM

UPN this week picked up Enterprise lead-out series Special Unit 2 for a full season.

While Special Unit 2 has not achieved the high ratings of Enterprise, Variety reported the series has increased its viewership over last season. So far, season two has averaged 4.2 million viewers an episode, 31% more than last year's figures. This is only slightly lower than Star Trek: Voyager, which last year attracted approximately 5 million viewers for each new episode.

Airing in Voyager's old timeslot at 9pm, Special Unit 2 has partly benefited from Enterprise's strong lead-in ratings. The freshman Trek series currently draws just under 7.5 million viewers each week.

Special Unit 2 premiered in April this year, brought in as a mid-season replacement for the now-defunct Seven Days. Even though the series only brought in mediocre ratings and was expected to be cancelled, UPN and now Enterprise have helped to give it a new lease of life. Its renewal also means viewers will likely never get to see The Dead Zone, the show developed by DS9 and Voyager co-creator Michael Piller that was intended as a UPN mid-season replacement.

Well-known Trek actor John de Lancie (Q) recently appeared on the series as a villian (story) and current Enterprise regular Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) made a guest appearance in season one.

The original Reuters/Variety article can be found here.

UPN is also reportedly considering committing to an American version of the British dramedy As If.

The series, which airs on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, will be adapted by The Simpsons writer-producer Jonathan Collier, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The trade paper stated that UPN is close to giving a seven episode commitment to the series.

Described as a 'teen Sex and the City,' As If chronicles the lives and loves of six London teenagers, with each episode seen through the eyes of one of the characters. The U.S. version is being overseen by the team behind the British series.

In addition to As If, Paramount Pictures is developing a remake of the 1987 series Beauty and the Beast to air on the network. The original show centred around the romance between a 'lion man' and a district attorney, and numbered Armin Shimerman (Quark) amongst its cast members.

The original article can be found here at the Hollywood Reporter.

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