NY Times: UPN Unveils Fall Schedule – Nod To Females

Thanks to Chaz for this :)

May 18, 2001

UPN Unveils a Fall Schedule That Nods to Female Viewers

By JIM RUTENBERG

If the fall season were to arrive next week and a viewer were to tune in to UPN on Tuesday at 8 p.m., he might think he was actually watching WB.

That’s because UPN has announced a fall prime-time schedule that is heavily reliant on two WB shows popular with young audiences: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” about a young woman empowered to slay vampires, and “Roswell,” about alien teenagers who attend high school in New Mexico.

UPN gained “Buffy,” which is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, in a bidding war with WB. It was able to pick up “Roswell” after WB decided that the ratings for that program, which is also produced by Fox, were not consistently high enough to warrant a return. (Some industry executives have suggested that WB let go of “Roswell” to punish Fox for selling “Buffy” to a rival — a charge WB denies preposterous.)

UPN, however, said it considered “Roswell’s” average audience of four million more than adequate, and that by scheduling it right after “Buffy” on Tuesday nights it was certain to please both its audience and its advertisers.

Still, those series represent somewhat of a change in direction for UPN, which has recently promoted itself as a viewing destination for young men. “Buffy” and “Roswell” appeal highly to young female viewers.

Dean Valentine, UPN’s chief executive, said he believed that it was critical to “attract young women to our network.” And there will still be plenty on UPN for young men, most notably the matches of the World Wrestling Federation on Thursday nights.