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Slaying the Competition?, 08.24.01 ...

Is Buffy the Vampire Slayer's new home running scared from The WB? First, UPN planned to premiere a two-hour episode of Buffy on Oct. 9. Then lickety-split, UPN pushed up its Buffy unveiling by a week, shortly before The WB announced that it would be debuting its two-hour Gilmore Girls season opener on Oct. 9.

Although a UPN spokeswoman maintains that the network simply decided to debut the Slayer closer to the Sept. 26 premiere of its new Star Trek franchise, Enterprise (for which UPN expects to draw record numbers of viewers), the skeptics have suggested that UPN caught wind of The WB's schedule and averted a potential ratings bloodbath.

"By the second hours of Gilmore Girls, viewers across the country will be keeling over from sugar shock," says smack-talking UPN CEO Dean Valentine, who refutes the scaredy-cat charge. "We're trying to establish a clear alternative on the night between kiddie suburban, white-bread programming and something more visceral, exciting, and urban. We think that over the course of the year, the difference between the two networks on Tuesday night will become clear and UPN will prevail."

The WB had no comment.
Credit: Entertainment Weekly

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