'Enterprise' Officially Renewed, Moves To Fridays

By Christian
May 20, 2004 - 4:28 PM

Yes, you can breathe easy now: Enterprise has been officially renewed.

At a press conference in New York, UPN today confirmed Star Trek: Enterprise will be back for a fourth season, but no longer in its familiar Wednesday timeslot. Instead, the show will air on Friday at 9:00pm, preceded at 8:00pm by a rerun of reality hit America's Next Top Model. UPN promised that next season Enterprise will be "more action packed with spectacular special effects," and will advance storylines such as T'Pol's relationship with Tucker, and "mysterious twists in the familiar timeline."

The move to Friday means Enterprise will no longer air opposite the WB's Smallville, and will be the only network show in its timeslot targeting the science-fiction audience. Instead, Enterprise's broadcast competition will consist of established dramas such as NBC's Third Watch and JAG, newcomer The Jury on Fox, and comedy blocks on ABC and the WB. Enterprise may also get competition from the cable-based Sci-Fi Channel, which airs original programming on Friday, but only a minority of American viewers are able to watch this channel.

UPN is betting heavily on the continued success of America's Next Top Model. Original episodes of the show will air in Enterprise's old timeslot on Wednesdays at 8:00pm, and will immediately be repeated on Friday in a special edition featuring new footage. UPN will air two editions of Top Model next year: one at the start and one at the end of the 2004-2005 television season. In between, the network has planned the reality show The Missy Elliott Project, in which thirteen aspiring performers compete to become the next big hip-hop star.

By moving Top Model to 8:00pm, UPN is hoping it will attract a large audience for its new drama Kevin Hill, which airs an hour later. In this Mel Gibson-produced drama, Taye Diggs plays a hotshot entertainment lawyer who is forced to say goodbye to his bachelor lifestyle when his cousin passes away and he is left to care for her six-month-old daughter.

Other new UPN shows include the detective show Veronica Mars, revolving around a 17-year old apprentice private investigator. This show will air on Tuesdays at 9:00pm, while the only other new UPN show is Second Time Around, a half-hour sitcom that will join the Monday night urban comedy block.

UPN's full press release on its schedule for next season can be found here at the Futon Critic.

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