UPN’s sked picks up

Web targets femmes with WB acquisitions

NEW YORK — UPN makes no apologies for its acquisition-heavy schedule.

At the upfront presentation Thursday by UPN, which recently nabbed “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Roswell” from the WB, CEO Dean Valentine said pickups are not a sign its inhouse fare wasn’t up to snuff.

Citing both shows’ fanatically loyal fans, Valentine said, “Any time the WB would like to give up a fabulous program that connects with viewers, we’re happy to take it.”

Valentine said he hopes “Buffy” and “Roswell” help attract younger women to the traditionally testosterone-fueled net.

“We always said we were male-friendly, but we wanted to attract women to the fold. That’s our future. It’s important to our financial health.”

In addition to “Buffy” and “Roswell,” UPN unveiled two series and announced the cancellation of longtime staple “Moesha” (Daily Variety, May 17).

“Enterprise,” the next edition in the “Star Trek” franchise, will not feature the “Star Trek” name in the title.

“Paramount felt it was no longer necessary,” said Valentine. ” ‘Enterprise’ is synonymous with ‘Star Trek.’ ”

UPN Entertainment prexy Tom Nunan acknowledged that it took time to land the sci-fi skein since Par was considering whether the show should go to a “big network” or to syndication.

“Star Trek: Voyager,” the show that launched UPN in 1995, will air its series finale next week.

The other new series is Par comedy “One on One.”

In addition, UPN has ordered two “Iron Chef Showdown in Las Vegas” specials, which will feature William Shatner, and entertainment prez Tom Nunan said the web has the option to do further specials and an “Iron Chef” series. The original aired on the Food Network.

In terms of reality fare, UPN has given a six-episode commitment to “Manhunt,” which could air as early as this summer. Show was slated to run last season but was held in case of union strikes. UPN also has acquired “Rebuild Your Life,” from Endemol Entertainment, for midseason. Skein gives families the chance to start over in an exotic locale and build their dream house.

Valentine said he’ll miss the XFL, which aired Sunday afternoons on UPN. “I’m disappointed it didn’t work. If there was a way we could have made it work financially, we would have stuck with it.”

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