UPN's schedule features more 'Top Model'

UPN keeps moving closer to acting like a real network. But it's still not there.

The poor sister of CBS has expanded its agenda to include series on Friday for the first time, replacing low-brow movies, but one of the two hours will be filled by a repeat of America's Next Top Model from Wednesday. Subtract this and the two hours of Smackdown on Thursday and UPN is still only a seven-hours-a-week operation.

This is reflected in the meager changes announced to the advertising community on Thursday. Only two new dramas and one comedy will join the lineup.

In addition, UPN plans to expand to two editions of America's Next Top Model, separated by a still untitled reality series starring Missy Elliott. The Grammy winner will conduct a nationwide talent search for the next hip-hop sensation.

Also Star Trek: Enterprise, a failure being kept around solely to build the number of episodes available for syndication, will move to Friday and be paired with the Top Model rerun.

UPN will step up its emphasis on serving the black audience, which is largely ignored by the other networks. Monday and the first hour of Tuesday will continue to be filled by sitcoms with predominantly black casts. One of the new dramas, Kevin Hill, which will air on Wednesday, also has a predominantly black cast.

The following are descriptions of the new UPN series, culled from material provided by the network.

Second Time Around: The replacement for The Parkers features real-life couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Parker as an architect and artist, respectively, whose first marriage collapsed. However, their encore is working out much more rewardingly.

Veronica Mars: A 17-year-old private eye wannabe snoops through the secrets of her seaside community.

Kevin Hill: Taye Diggs stars as a prosperous lawyer, whose la dolce vita ends when he is forced to take on raising the infant daughter of a cousin, who has died.