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UPN’s jumping all over ‘Model’

Net orders two dramas, a single laffer

UPN will put its “Top Model” to the test next fall, double-pumping the hit reality skein and using it to help launch its new Taye Diggs drama.

As expected, net has ordered two new dramas, a new comedy and just a single laffer. “Star Trek: Enterprise” is also back, with insiders confirming the skein will shift to Fridays at 9 p.m. (Daily Variety, May 19).

UPN prexy Dawn Ostroff will unveil the sked to advertisers this morning.

Biggest play for UPN is the shift of “Top Model” from 9 p.m. Tuesdays to 8 p.m. Wednesday. “Model” encores also will fill the 8 p.m. Friday slot — allowing the net to slowly work its way back into original fare on Fridays.

UPN’s successful Monday comedy lineup is getting a mini-makeover. With “The Parkers” calling it quits, Tuesday laffer “One on One” shifts to 8 p.m. Monday, while “Half and Half” airs an hour earlier, at 8:30. “Girlfriends” stays puts at 9 and leads into new half-hour “Second Time Around.”

On Tuesdays, net is cutting back from last fall’s two-hour comedy block, skedding “All of Us” at 8 and “Eve” at 8:30 p.m. They’ll lead into new daughter-dad detective drama “Veronica Mars” at 9.

The third season of Tyra Banks-hosted “Top Model” sees the show leading off Wednesday nights, with Diggs starrer “Kevin Hill” following at 9 p.m. Night had previously been reserved for sci-fi and action skeins, but net has been slowly moving to a more femme-appeal lineup.

While “Model” was a huge hit for UPN Tuesdays at 9 p.m. — finishing in second place among some younger demos — net execs probably had no choice but to shift the skein to an 8 p.m. slot in order to create a launching pad for a drama hit. UPN has done very well creating comedy franchises, but has largely struck out snagging auds for its dramas.

In between the third and fourth cycles of “Model,” look for UPN to air its Missy Elliott-led search for a hip-hop superstar (Daily Variety, March 3).

“WWE Smackdown!” fills up Thursdays, while a “Top Model” encore will be paired with “Enterprise” from 8-10 p.m. Fridays. Net had been airing movies and repeats, so it’s hard not to see how ratings won’t grow on Friday next fall. Indeed, repeats of “Top Model” on Wednesday this season frequently improved upon UPN’s usual time period ratings.

There’s word UPN may give drama “Beck and Call” a midseason order, but that couldn’t be confirmed late Wednesday.

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