Once again I attended the UPN Upfront this year. It was clear from the start that the network that once craved the 18-34 male demographic has now completely switched and is gearing up for Women 18-34 and Women 18-49 (two clearly important demographics to TV advertisers). All of the new shows announced and shows that UPN already air aimed in this direction. Although they said how proud and stable the WWE Smackdown program is, they said the flow of programs from Monday to Thursday would be much better this season. Plus they said they know they can count on the loyal WWE audience to find the show wherever it airs, which is somewhat true, the ratings on UPN have hardly moved in years, although they did mention some increases they have seen in the May Sweeps so far this year, perhaps that can be attributed to John Cena’s rise to champion status.
WWE did not send anyone to the Upfronts this year, although not all returning shows send people. The casts of the new programs were almost all in attendance, and followed the presentation with a luncheon at the Copacabana where booths were set up for each show with their casts for picture taking. Over the years WWE has had a strong presence, sending Vince, Steph, Triple H, The Rock, Big Show, Undertaker, Tazz and the one year I missed the Hulkster, Kurt Angle and others. But the last two they were non-existent as the network started its shift to fight The WB for the female audience, which they trail by only two-tenths of a ratings point now.
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