WB not renewing ‘Roswell’; drama could head to UPN
The WB Network, as expected, has opted not to renew 20th Century Fox Television’s “Roswell,” leaving the sophomore show open to join studio stable mate “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on UPN’s fall 2001 schedule.
UPN and 20th Century Fox Television executives were unreachable to comment on a new series order, but it is expected by sources that “Roswell” will likely join UPN’s Wednesday or Friday to anchor one of those evenings.
UPN, set to unveil its prime time schedule Thursday in New York, was said by one agency source not to be seeking to pair “Roswell” with “Buffy,” which is expected to hold an 8 p.m. Tuesday slot. That’s similar to what the latter will be vacating on The WB at the end of this season. The UPN snared “Buffy” for $2.3 million per episode over the next two years in a controversial bidding war with The WB last month.
“They [UPN] want to use ‘Roswell’ to springboard another evening and they’re in most serious need of fixing their Wednesday or Friday lineups,” said the Hollywood network packager who requested anonymity. “But there is always the long shot they’d schedule ‘Roswell’ next to ‘Buffy’ to get their Tuesday night up and running quickly.”
One of the more heated scenarios has UPN using “Roswell” as an 8 p.m. (ET) Wednesday lead-in to a “Star Trek” prequel, “Enterprise,” in which the latter will be taking over for the soon-to-be departing “Star Trek: Voyager’s” 9 p.m. time slot. Earlier this week, UPN formalized a series order for “Enterprise” from sister company, Paramount Network Television, also under the Viacom corporate umbrella.
Other than that, agency sources think UPN’s drama or comedy development is very thin at this time. One other leading drama candidate is the Stephen King adaptation of “The Dead Zone” (from Paramount and Lions Gate Television), which could be paired with “Roswell” on Friday nights.
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