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Is UPN or the Shows the problem??


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted February 13 2004 - 02:45 AM

I have been posting about some really good shows that were cancelled quickly on UPN. I also notice shows in syndication that last for 2-3 seasons that are not as good. So I have to wonder if it is UPN's fault more than the shows themselves. For example: Nowhere Man, Special Unit 2. The were cancelled after one season. I am just wondering if they were in syndication would they have been given more time to find their audience? I personally think that it is UPN's fault. They are not on in all of the country and they are so strapped for money that if: a)the show doesn't pull in boffo ratings b)is a cheap comedy to produce c)named Star Trek (although that could change) It get's cancelled quickly. Here is a list of short run shows on UPN that might have succeeded in syndication: All Souls drama 2001 The Beat drama 2000 The Burning Zone drama 1996-1997 Freedom drama 2000 Haunted drama 2002 Legacy drama 1998-1999 Legend western/comedy 1995 Level 9 drama 2000-2001 Live Shot drama 1995 Love Boat: The Next Wave drama 1998-1999 Marker drama 1995 Mercy Point drama 1998-1999 Nowhere Man drama 1995-1996 Secret Agent Man action 2000 Special Unit 2 action/comedy 2001-2002 The Strip action 1999-2000 Swift Justice drama 1996 The Twilight Zone anthology/drama 2002-2003 The Watcher anthology/drama 1995 Wolf Lake drama 2002
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Erik.Ha

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Posted February 13 2004 - 03:07 AM

I know most of the folks over at UPN and they're good people, but the network has problems that are bigger than them. The first you mentioned. They are on about half as much as a real network is. That causes problems with lead-ins and audience retention. Plus, they are treated as the "other network" (read "red headed stepchild) by everybody: audience, advertisers and even their parent companies/ sibling divisions. Thus UPN has struggled to find its purpose for living. It has had the most success attracting minority demographics, (where it really is the #1 network) but unfortunately that's not where the huge ad money is. For a long time rather than embrasing that reality, they measured everything against their #1 show which has always been pro wrestling. Of course it's demographics is teens and young adults (where the big ad money is) so they keep trying things in other slots that will appeal to that audience thinking "They were here on thursday... why won't they come here on Tuesday?" with no luck...
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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted February 13 2004 - 05:21 AM

That was very insightful Erik, thanks! I am worried though, when you say that the big ad money is in teens and YA's. The ad companies still don't know that that age group is shrinking - so ilke if they made a show for a slightly older age group, the ad companies wouldn't pay/support it as much? Glenn

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted February 13 2004 - 07:56 AM

Maybe pre-UPN and WB. There isn't much left in terms of syndicated original programming nowadays - three or four sci-fi/fantasy shows - precisely because UPN and WB have taken all the prime slots away. Not that UPN has helped much - they have always had a quick hook for hour-long shows, in part because they don't realize it took Fox time to establish themselves, and in part because they haven't been able to establish an identity.
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#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Erik.Ha

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Posted February 13 2004 - 08:54 AM

Glenn: You are correct, the teen/ young adult demo is "shrinking" relative to the over 65 demo (the fastest growing demo...) HOWEVER... The size of the audience isn't the only factor. The bigger factor is the size of their WALLETS (in other words- disposable income- The Holy Grail of ad dollars). The retiree demo is and always will be handicapped by the "fixed income" factor. Likewise, disposable income for the middle aged households with children is hobbled by the skyrocketing costs of childrearing/education. The disposable income index is increasingly shifting to young households (with and without young children) and teens (which blows my mind... IMO Teens shouldn't have DISPOSABLE income... but that's just me.) Traditionally, ABC went after the teen/young adult market, while NBC went after the young adult/ middle aged demo. For years CBS was targeting the "retiree" market almost exclusively. In the last five years, even CBS has given up that market and have turned their attention towards younger viewers. Fox and the WB have always gone after the teen niche to the exclusion of most other programming. The good news is, that UPN seems to finally be embracing the african american middle class, an increasingly important demographic, which I think advertisers will be fighting over in the very near future, and UPN is carving out a nice little niche for itself, that other networks who show up late to the party are going to have a hard time overcoming.
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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Peter Miller

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Posted February 16 2004 - 10:20 AM

If you're looking for a good collection of articles written about UPN involving the moves they have made check out:

http://www.petesmoviepage.com/UPN/

The articles go back to 1998.
Peter Miller
Pete's Movie Page | My DVD's | My Blog

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted February 16 2004 - 01:20 PM

Another take on why UPN killed this show. It was not ratings but the head of CBS. This is from an SU2 fan site: The best we can put together. SU2 was canceled after CBS took over UPN! Evan Katz, (Creator & Executive Producer) said in an interview on the Yahoo SU2 Fan Club that the "new brass" just didn't like the show! They said the show wasen't right for UPN & cost way to much for network! This is very funny, because UPN's own figures show that SU2 was UPN's 3rd highest rated show. It was behind Enterprise & Buffy. When it was found out that SU2 was canceled Katz asked people to write CBS & Paramount. This did no good! Thank you for your question! Please feel free to contact me with any more!
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted February 16 2004 - 02:16 PM

That's a pretty neat trick, since SU2 wasn't on concurrently with Enterprise and was probably behind Smackdown! as well. And being "UPN's 3rd highest rated show" is sort of damning with faint praise, anyway - that's only third out of about ten and pretty tiny ratings, quite possibly not enough to justify a show with any sort of effects budget.
Jay's Movie Blog - A movie-viewing diary.
Transplanted Life: Sci-fi soap opera about a man placed in a new body, updated two or three times a week.
Trading Post Inn - Another gender-bending soap, with different collaborators writing different points of view.

"What? Since when was this an energy...

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted February 17 2004 - 01:26 AM

Jason, Enterprise and SU2 were on for a about 1/2 a season together. Sept.2001 till Feb.2002. And yes I know a #3 show on UPN is like a #90 show on any other channel. But, that is what I am talking about with UPN. Even if a show is popular. I don't think it ever comes in high in the ratings.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.




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