‘Chris’ boosts UPN upfront ad coin

Weblet expects to book $375 mil in ads for next season

NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.”

Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s $350 million.

Net achieved rate increases of 4%-6%, like sibling CBS, which took $2.6 billion at the upfront. ABC quickly sold $2.1 billion ($2.7 billion including sports) due to its hot sked and surging ratings.

UPN is staging one of the bigger scheduling gambles of the coming season by moving “WWE Smackdown” to Fridays and scheduling a comedy block on supercompetitive Thursday nights, the second-most-profitable night on television after Sunday.

Thursday is an important night for the film studios, which use it to promote weekend releases.

Network execs said they were able to capture increased studio advertising because of the revamped lineup.

The night will lead off with the Chris Rock-produced “Everybody Hates Chris,” a comedy that struck a chord with Madison Avenue, leading into “Eve,” “Cuts” and “Love, Inc.”

At the weblet’s May upfront presentation to advertisers, entertainment prexy Dawn Ostroff acknowledged the sked change is a gamble.

“This is a game-changing move for UPN,” she said. “We believe Chris Rock will have a huge impact on UPN (and that) the coming season will be a turning point in our competition with the WB.”

The WB sold $675 million in upfront ads. Fox took in $1.6 billion.

The only broadcast net still haggling with media buyers is NBC, which is attempting to limit the damage in the face of a steep drop-off in ratings from last year.

The Peacock led the market with $2.9 billion in sales last year, but that tally is expected to drop significantly.

More TV

  • FX's Pose

    How the Stars of 'Pose' Created Ryan Murphy's Most Fully-Formed Vision Yet (Column)

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

  • Beta Film Boards ‘The Pier,’ from

    Beta Film Boards ‘The Pier,’ from ‘Casa de Papel’ Creator Alex Pina

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

  • Roseanne PaleyLive

    Roseanne Barr Says She Thought Valerie Jarrett Was White in New Video

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight' Will Air 'Hybrid' Shows for Summer Fridays

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

  • First Look at Stephen King's 'Mr.

    First Look at Stephen King's 'Mr. Mercedes' VR Game

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

  • ‘War of the Worlds’ Coming From

    ‘War of the Worlds’ Series Coming From Fox Europe and Africa, Canal Plus

    NEW YORK — Hollywood studios helped UPN to a stronger upfront sales season thanks to increased demand for its Thursday night lineup, to be led by “Everybody Hates Chris.” Weblet was close to wrapping up its upfront sales Wednesday and expects to book $375 million in ads for next season, up 7% from last year’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content