The network home of Smackdown, sci-fi and slayers unveiled three new shows to advertisers Thursday, tweaking its lineup to draw more young viewers while keeping its theme-oriented prime-time schedule intact.
Gone is the onetime ABC transplant The Hughleys, but in its place on UPN's Monday comedy slate comes the sister series Half and Half. The sitcom wraps up a Monday lineup that includes The Parkers, One on One and Girlfriends.
Meantime, UPN suits are teaming a new supernatural series (Haunted) with Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Tuesdays, and a remake of The Twilight Zone joins Enterprise on Wednesdays. As always, Smackdown! takes over Thursday nights--even though World Wrestling Entertainment had to get the "F" out of its old logo.
All told, the Viacom-owned CBS sister station trumpeted itself Tuesday as the home for 18- to 34-year-olds, the geezer-hating demographic embraced by advertisers.
Stealing Buffy from the Frog network didn't do nearly the damage many expected, as the WB's Gilmore Girls has outperformed the slayer all season. But so far, the network has managed to remain ahead of its rival WB among total viewers and adults 18-49, thanks primarily to wrestling and its Star Trek franchise.
"Our goal is to make UPN the first place on the dial that 18- to 34-year-olds go, and this schedule puts us comfortably on our way to doing that," said UPN Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff.
Here's a glance at the new shows:
Haunted: Party of Five's Matthew Fox stars in this supernatural series as an ex-cop turned private eye who uses psychic powers to solve crimes.
Half and Half: Rachel True and Essence Atkins star as Mona and Dee Dee, two half-sisters with the same father who grew up separately before becoming neighbors in a San Francisco apartment building. Telma Hopkins plays Mona's single mom.
The Twilight Zone: Forest Whitaker steps out to host this remake of the Rod Serling classic, with more self-contained tales about the strange and supernatural.
For midseason, Sydney Poitier (that's Sydney with a "y"...Sidney's daughter) takes the title role in the romantic comedy Abby, starring as one half of an interracial couple. The twist: She breaks up with her live-in boyfriend (Sean O'Bryan), and he then refuses to leave because it's San Francisco, and hey, the place is rent-controlled.
The following is a night-by-night look at the network's fall schedule:
MONDAY: The Parkers; One on One; Girlfriends; Half and Half
TUESDAY: Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Haunted
WEDNESDAY: Enterprise; The Twilight Zone
THURSDAY: WWE Smackdown!
FRIDAY: UPN Movie Friday