CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association concluded its winter press tour this weekend in which the various broadcast and cable networks talked about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters.
Here's a breakdown of the highlights of UPN's presentation. (Several official press releases are expected to be issued later today.)
-- "Unofficial" renewals were handed out to UPN's freshman comedies "Eve" and "All of Us," as well as midseason success story "America's Next Top Model." "WWE Smackdown" is also set to return as the network revealed it has picked up its option on the series for several additional seasons.
-- CBS topper Les Moonves once again shot down suggestions that the network was considering add a sixth night of programming for the 2004-05 season. He cited too many logisitical hurdles as being the culprit to launch in time for next season.
-- The netlet has committed to an untitled reality project centering on the Amish religious rite of passage known as "rumspringa" (or "running wild"). New Line Television and Stick Figure Productions are behind the project which will track several Amish men and women as they move to a major city and live in a house with five other non-Amish young adults from all walks of life. Daniel Laikind and Steven Canton, the duo behind the recent documentary "Devil's Playground," will executive produce the series, along with Jon Kroll ("The Amazing Race"). The project will bow this summer along with recent pick-up "The Player."
-- Wednesday night is said to be the focus of UPN's fall 2004 development as the cancellation of "Jake 2.0" means for the third straight season the network has failed to find a viable companion for "Star Trek: Enterprise." While there continues to be rumblings of scrapping the latest "Star Trek" spin-off, a fourth season renewal is likely, if only to fill any potential syndication revenue streams.
-- Still up in the air is a start date for "Game Over," the network's lone remaining midseason replacement series.