United Paramount Network (UPN) is a defunct American broadcast television network whose programs included The Sentinel, Moesha, Star Trek: Enterprise, WWE SmackDown, America's Next Top Model, Girlfriends, the Moesha spin-off The Parkers, Veronica Mars, Everybody Hates Chris.
The network was originally owned by Chris-Craft Industries/United Television; Viacom (through its Paramount Television unit, which produced most of the network's series) turned the network into a joint venture in 1996 after acquiring a 50% stake in the network, and then purchased Chris-Craft's stake in the network in 2000; UPN was spun off to CBS Corporation in December 2005, when CBS and Viacom split up into two separate companies.
UPN shut down on 15 September, 2006, with some of its programs moving three days later to The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Time Warner (majority owner of The WB, itself shutting down two days later).
Most of UPN's programming through the years was produced by Paramount Television or a Viacom-owned sister company (Viacom Productions, Big Ticket Entertainment, Spelling Television or CBS Productions). UPN's first official program was Star Trek: Voyager, with the first comedy shows to debut being two short-lived series: Richard Jeni starring vehicle Platypus Man, and Pig Sty.
Other notable UPN programs during the network's existence included The Sentinel, Moesha, Star Trek: Enterprise, WWE SmackDown, America's Next Top Model, Girlfriends, the Moesha spin-off The Parkers, Veronica Mars, Everybody Hates Chris, and Dilbert.
In the summer of 2005, UPN aired R U the Girl, in which R&B group TLC searched for a woman to join them on a new song. The network also produced some special programs, including 2001's Iron Chef USA.
From 1996 to 2006, much of UPN's comedy programming for the remainder of the network's run (particularly those seen on the network's Monday evening lineup) was largely aimed at African American audiences (with minor exceptions in shows such as Clueless, DiResta and Head Over Heels).
UPN occasionally acquired series cancelled by the other broadcast networks, including former WB series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell (both of which moved to UPN in 2001, Buffy was picked up after The WB chose not to renew it due to skyrocketing license fees while Roswell joined UPN after that same network also cancelled the series), and former ABC series Clueless and The Hughleys.
In its later years, as part of the network's desire to maintain its own unique identity with its own unique shows, UPN had a policy of "not picking up other networks' scraps", which was a strong argument when fan pressure was generated in 2004 for them to pick up Angel, the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which had been dropped from The WB.