UPN's 'Top Model 4' to premiere March 2, two more editions to follow
By Reality TV World staff, 01/19/2005
UPN announced today that America's Next Top Model - Cycle 4, the fourth edition of its Tyra Banks-hosted reality modeling talent competition series, will debut on Wednesday, March 2 at 8PM/PT.
However Top Model 4's premiere won't be the broadcast that marks the series' return to the UPN schedule. Instead, similar to what it did during the May 2004 Nielsen ratings sweeps period following Cycle 2's March 2004 finale, the network will air an America's Next Top Model: What The Divas Are Doing Now special on the previous evening, Tuesday, March 1, giving UPN a chance to get two broadcasts of its highest rated series aired before the February sweeps period ends on March 2.
Like the America's Next Top Model: The Runway Ahead special that aired a couple of months after Top Model 2 had ended, Cycle 3's special will show how the lives of Top Model 3's contestants have changed since they appeared on the program and endured both catfights and the verbal barbs of Tyra and company.
UPN also aims to attempt to leverage Wednesday's Top Model 4 premiere to give a boost to the finale episode of its The Road To Stardom With Missy Elliott series, which it will air at 9PM ET/PT following Top Model 4's 8PM debut.
UPN had tasked Missy Elliott with holding down its 8PM time period while Top Model was between editions, however the series has found Model's stilettos to be tough shoes to fill, averaging only 3.27 million viewers during its run. While those numbers are slightly larger than UPN's numbers for other new series such as Kevin Hill and Veronica Mars, they fall well short of the 5.02 million viewers that Top Model 3 averaged (which itself was well short of the 6.3 million viewers that Top Model 2 averaged during the show's breakout season.)
Regardless of the ratings decline, Top Model remains UPN's highest rated program. As such, the network also announced that it has ordered two more editions of the series, its fifth and sixth, ensuring that scantly clad models will grace the UPN broadcast schedule through the 2005-2006 season.