On an Upswing, UPN Targets Women


UPN is riding the wave after a solid gain among adults 18-34 this season. Network chief Dawn Ostroff is so confident of her upcoming slate, she's betting on ratings gains for all five nights. Leslie Moonves, Ostroff's boss and chairman and CEO of CBS, says it's "quite likely" UPN will expand to a sixth night of programming within the next year. The network is aggressively targeting women 18-34 next season but plans to retain its strong young-male audience.

With limited time slots to fill, UPN has two new dramas and one new comedy for fall. It has eliminated its Friday movie in favor of Star Trek: Enterprise and repeats of America's Next Top Model. Ostroff said Model was the network's "game changer" this season; there will be two 13-episode installments of the program next season. The originals will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. leading into new drama Kevin Hill.

In between Model installments will be the Missy Elliot Project from the hip-hop artist of the same name.

Mondays will look much the same at UPN, save for The Parkers' leaving the air and being replaced by new sitcom Second Time Around. Tuesday pairs UPN's sophomore sitcoms All of Us, from executive producers Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Eve, starring the hip-hop star. New drama Veronica Mars, from action producer Joel Silver, will air at 9. Thursdays remain WWE Smackdown!, while Enterprise moves to Friday from Wednesday.

What's Next

SECOND TIME AROUND (sitcom, Monday, 9:30)—Divorced couple remarries, determined to make it work this time. From Regan Jon Inc. and C to the B Productions in association with Paramount.

VERONICA MARS (drama, Tuesday, 9)—Smart, fearless high school kid (the title character) goes to school by day and helps dad with private-eye work at night. Stu Seagull Productions and Silver Pictures Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.

KEVIN HILL (drama, Wednesday, 9)—Hotshot single New York lawyer (Taye Diggs) has to deal with abrupt lifestyle changes after taking custody of the infant daughter of his deceased cousin. From Icon Television in association with Touchstone Television.

MISSY ELLIOTT PROJECT (reality, midseason)—The hip-hop star brings the America's Next Top Model concept to the music biz. From Shapiro/Grodner Productions in association with Monami Inc.