UPN Tries To Get In Sync, Succeeds Partially

PASADENA, CALIF.--UPN didn't offer much new programming news concerning regular scripted shows to TV critics here on Thursday. But President Dawn Ostroff did hint that the network may be working on the next wave in reality shows. The UPN chief said the network is working on an unscripted/scripted hybrid reality series for next season starring two former members of the boy band 'N Sync--Joey Fatone and Lance Bass.

Ostroff said the show is kind of modern day "Odd Couple" effort, with the working title of "Out of Sync." Fatone will play an Oscar-like character, with Bass playing a Felix-like character. She also said the network is pursuing other reality shows--but more in the aspirational vein, like "America's Next Top Model."

The little programming news UPN had to offer focused on "Top Model," which has been renewed for a seventh and eighth season. But other now stalwart UPN shows, "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Veronica Mars," have yet to get renewals for next year.

"Everybody Hates Chris" has seen a ratings drop since its much-hyped September debut. But Ostroff said the network has always been "realistic" about where the show would settle. "Mars" ratings improved this season after the network moved the show to Wednesday night.



UPN is in the middle of negotiating to keep its wrestling franchise, World Wrestling Entertainment's "Friday Night Smackdown," which has improved the network's young demos on the night following the show's move from Thursday.

UPN also announced that two of its high-profile executive producers--Chris Rock and Will Smith--will direct episodes of their respective UPN series, "Everybody Hates Chris," and "All of Us," which will air later this season on UPN.

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