UPN Keeps 'Enterprise,' Tight-Lipped About 'Amish'
"Enterprise" lost its 8 p.m. Wednesday time slot in favor of the new season of "America's Next Top Model," the Tyra Banks-hosted reality show that was a genuine hit for the network. "Enterprise," whose fate has been hotly contested by Star Trek fans and others for weeks, will land at 9 p.m. Fridays beginning in September.
UPN President Dawn Ostroff said the network had heard from many Star Trek fans who had wanted to keep the three-year-old show on the air. She pointed also to a USA Today poll, in which "Enterprise" topped the list of shows on the bubble that fans wanted to see renewed. But the network wasn't willing to return the show to Wednesdays.
"We weren't going to grow with 'Star Trek' there on Wednesday night," said Leslie Moonves, who is also responsible for UPN programming.
Network executives didn't say this, but Friday appeared to be the only open day on the schedule. Ostroff said she hoped that "Enterprise" would do as well in the time period as "The X Files" did in the same spot for several years when it was on Fox.
And speaking of mysteries, the controversial "Amish in the City" reality show isn't on the fall schedule. UPN executives have been unusually tight-lipped about the program, which drew the ire of rural advocates and Congressmen for what they felt was the exploitation of the Amish religion and rural people.
In a news conference Thursday afternoon following the upfront presentation, no one would comment on whether the show was dead, or whether it would appear as a mid-season or summer replacement series.
"We're only taking about the fall schedule," said Moonves. "'Kevin Hall'--let's talk about that," referring to one of two new dramas on UPN.
Thursday's non-announcement didn't give opponents of "Amish in the City" much reason for optimism, as they know full well that until the show is officially killed it could still appear. Dee Davis, president of the Whitesburg, Ky.-based Center for Rural Strategies, said Thursday afternoon that the coalition against "Amish in the City" wasn't going to rest until they knew for sure that it wouldn't appear.
The coalition took out a quarter-page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer urging UPN and Viacom to banish "Amish in the City." Davis made a courtesy call to the company, letting them know that the ad would run--but didn't hear them say they wouldn't be going ahead with the show. Davis said that there are rumors that the show is continuing to cast.
"We felt like it made sense to go forward" with the ad campaign, Davis said. "We're still waiting to hear" about the fate of "Amish in the City."