TV Article

Monday, Monday

UPN plans more urban comedies this fall. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Eve hope to duplicate the network's Monday night successes

If it works on Mondays, maybe it'll work the rest of the week. That seems to be the programming credo of UPN, which will announce its fall schedule Thursday at its ''upfront'' presentation for advertisers at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The slate is heavy with sitcoms much like its block of African-American-centered comedies on Mondays.

Some of the new shows are drawn from the off-screen lives of black stars. ''All of Us,'' starring Duane Martin, is inspired by the home life of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, while rapper Eve stars in ''Opposite Sex,'' inspired by her own sideline as a fashion mogul.

There's also ''Rock Me Baby,'' starring ''Veronica's Closet'''s Dan Cortese as a radio shock-jock who suddenly becomes a dad, and ''The Mullets,'' about two Joe Dirt-like brothers who work as roofers. Loni Anderson costars. (Insert your own big-'80s-hair joke here.) Look for the network to split up its current Monday lineup (''The Parkers,'' ''One on One,'' ''Girlfriends,'' and ''Half and Half'') to two nights, with the existing sitcoms supporting the introduction of the new comedies.

UPN is losing both ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' and the network's year-old ''Twilight Zone'' resurrection, but there's only one new hour-long drama slated: ''Jake 2.0,'' about a government agent who becomes a bionic superhero after being inadvertently injected with nanobots (microscopic robots). Expect it to be paired with the returning ''Star Trek'' saga ''Enterprise,'' but on a night other than Wednesday, so as not to compete with ''Smallville'' and '"Angel'' on the WB.

Originally posted May 15, 2003