UPN Gives Reality A Try

It was all about reality and mystery at UPN’s development preview for the 2001-02 season. During a closed-door presentation before 135 media buyers Monday at Paramount Studios’ Studio Theatre, UPN executives laid out a broad slate of reality series in development and kept the wraps on the next “Star Trek” franchise.

Among reality projects in development at the network as a strike contingency and ready to be ordered, “we have everything ranging from the world’s largest game show to a reality version of ‘Sex and the City’ to the largest money prize show on television to the first reality show featuring families competing against each other in a truly ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ way,” UPN entertainment president Tom Nunan said.

Also in contention for fall is the reality pilot “Ambush TV” starring MTV’s Tim Beggy. The network also has stockpiled the reality series “Manhunt” and the sketch series “Off Limits,” whose premieres will be pushed to fall from summer in the event of a strike.

UPN kept the suspense surrounding the new “Star Trek” series, which was mentioned several times during the presentation. UPN president and CEO Dean Valentine confirmed that the network is “deep in negotiations with the studio (Paramount) and expect to have something to say about it shortly.” He called the new show “extraordinary.” “It is going to blow people away,” he said.