UPN Shows Best Worst

Top Model, Veronica Mars and More: Remembering/Ranking UPN's Finest

When Tyra Banks announced this week that America’s Next Top Model will conclude with Cycle 22, she inadvertently signaled the end of two eras.

You see, in addition to being an institution on its own, Top Model is also the last remaining show to have been broadcast on the United Paramount Network (aka UPN), which mets its own demise in 2006. Upon its untimely passing, most of UPN’s programming was either canceled or shipped over to a brand-new network known as The CW. (Ever heard of it?!)

But Top Model was hardly the only gem to have graced UPN’s airwaves, so as the ghost network prepares to take its final breaths of relevance, TVLine is looking back at the many blessings it provided during its short life.

Browse our gallery of the Top 10 UPN series below — including some shows, like Girlfriends, that originated on UPN, as well as others, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which migrated from other networks — and drop a comment with your own Top 10 list. (Remember, this is just one site’s opinion!)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. R says:

    I remember Roswell as a WB show. Am I wrong?

  2. Emily says:

    I think Veronica Mars should have the number 1 spot instead of Buffy since it was actually created for UPN vs. being a proven property brought over to UPN.

  3. LK says:

    Buffy and Roswell were only on UPN at the very end… all the good episodes were on WB… so I would not put Buffy “the UPN” years as #1 on the list and Roswell’s final season was rather bad compared to the WB seasons… The Star Trek series should be higher on the list as they were the most successful shows that UPN aired.

    • Carrie says:

      There were a lot of great episodes of BTVS in the UPN years. In fact, “Once More with Feeling” (arguably the most beloved episode) was on UPN. I think BTVS totally counts, since there were 2 full seasons on UPN.

  4. Doug Mac says:

    No Homeboys in Space?

    I also only remember Roswell as a WB show

  5. sleeplessghost says:

    Buffy and Roswell are really WB shows in my opinion, even though they moved to UPN for their final seasons. I hope you will do the same list for TheWb once Supernatural goes off the air (if it ever goes off the air).

  6. Josh says:

    I’d pit Veronica at number only because it was a UPN show originally while Buffy was WB turned UPN(and it’s last two seasons doesn’t hold a candle to Veronica Mar’s first two seasons).

  7. steven says:

    Where’s WWE Smackdown?

  8. BrightLight says:

    My one vivid memory of UPN is how in my area there was no UPN network (the only unaffiliated channel became chose to be The WB) so my CBS showed the UPN shows shows each night beginning 1:35AM. Needless to say I rarely saw any UPN show. Actually I didn’t see most of them until it became the CW so I never saw the first few seasons of shows like Buffy and Girlfriends until they were on cable channels.

  9. Char Richo says:

    Veronica Mars wasn’t first so I am discounting your entire list.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Fair enough. It was a strong contender!

      • Master_K says:

        Don’t listen to these people Andy!! Veronica Mars season 2 may be greater than Buffy season 7 but neither VM season 1 or 2 hold a candle to Buffy season 6!!! The ratings don’t lie!! Also being old enough to remember both doesn’t hurt either!

  10. jdv says:

    Actually, I did expect Veronica Mars or a different show at #1 over Buffy. I loved Buffy, but its best seasons aired on WB. Going solely by UPN seasons, not sure I’d put it at top. Still top ten, definitely.

  11. Eric says:

    I feel like Buffy is in the #1 spot simply because it’s Buffy. If we are talking actual quality of the seasons that aired on UPN, I would switch Buffy and Veronica Mars. The first 2 seasons of Veronica Mars are epic, while the last 2 seasons of Buffy are actually the worst of the whole series. Buffy’s better years were on the WB. Switch the Veronica Mars and Buffy and you have a perfect list.

  12. Sara says:

    I agree with others who have posted; Veronica Mars should get the number one spot. It brought a lot of critical acclaim to UPN and is a cultural icon. Buffy’s and Roswell’s best episodes did not occur on UPN, but on The WB and are therefore forever associated with The WB in people’s memories. I’m forever grateful that UPN picked them up from the WB, but their best days were behind them. Also, a couple of the notable cast members listed for Roswell didn’t migrate with the show over to UPN.

  13. Bwhit says:

    The Britney and Kevin ‘why isn’t this more interesting?’ Comment still has me giggling….Thank you!

  14. Ray says:

    Ah, yes UPN–home of fantastic shows such as Shasta McNasty and Homeboys in Outer Space

  15. ? says:

    Sad to see so many spots on the list taken over by transplants from the WB. Anyone remember Kevin Hill, Special Unit 2, or Dilbert? or the animated version of Jumanji back when children’s cartoons still existed on broadcast?

  16. Diz says:

    The only thing I can remember watching on UPN was WWE SmackDown.

  17. Drewer says:

    Haha, imagining a similar article about The WB coming out in seven years when Supernatural eventually ends.

  18. aha says:

    Veronica Mars should be number 1 over Buffy. Buffy is really a WB show and even than the last two seasons were nothing compared to the great first two seasons of Veronica Mars.

  19. Cory says:

    Anyone remember “All Souls”? It was a horror drama set in a haunted hospital. Pretty cheesy, but super interesting plot-wise. It’d be ripe for a remake.

  20. Joe says:

    VM is the #1 and only show worth mentioning from this trainwreck of a “network”.

  21. TVPeong says:

    Girlfriends and Moesha!! I used to love those shows

  22. Drew says:

    Nowhere Man! That one show with the video games coming to life!
    I am a Buffy and Roswell fan, but I think the list should have been about the shows that UPN gave to the world, not the ones they were lucky enough to snab later.

  23. Douglas from Brazil says:

    I have the Britney and Kevin Chaotic DVD. Wasn’t Buffy on FOX?

  24. Bri says:

    My 1, 2, 3 is absolutely Veronica Mars, Roswell, Clueless. I still watch the complete series of V. Mars and Roswell every couple of years!

  25. Bob Backus says:

    Nowhere Man was an excellent show that would have critics praising it nowadays if it was on. Much better than most of that you list as good.

  26. murley says:

    Home Movies shout out! That would probably be my 3rd spot after Buffy and Veronica (which I find impossible to rank against each other). Roswell would probably be a little higher on the list for me too. RIP UPN.

  27. Mark says:

    I’ve definitely got to side with the majority here. I loved season 1-5 of Buffy (aka the WB years), but seasons 6 and 7 (aka the UPN years) were the worst of the show. Seems hard to really count it as #1 as a result.

  28. Aubrey says:

    Happy to see Girlfriends on the list, it’s one of the few greats from the UPN era. I wish the cast would do a film, I’d love that.

  29. maregolden says:

    Thanks for including Voyager on the list. I was sure you would leave it off because it was on so long ago. And might I add that Jeri Ryan still looks as good as she did when she was “Seven of Nine.” Maybe she IS Borg…

    • S. says:

      She’s stunning and seems really nice. The funny thing is, despite the rumors of issues with Jeri Ryan and Kate Mulgrew, after seeing them doing fan stuff over the last few years and talking about the show, I can totally see them as not being personally at odds. Certainly not anymore. Jeri always seems positive about Voyager, and Kate explained that she wasn’t anti-Jeri, she was resentful of them going cyber-babe after all the hard work of a female captain not playing into that. They might’ve had a talk about that at some point and patched things up.

  30. Brigid says:

    I agree with Buffy being #1. Look this show had so much to do with putting the UPN on the map. The first episode of BTVS season 6 had over 7 million viewers which was more than it ever had on the WB. Also, the last 2 seasons may not be everyone’s favorite but I’ll put season 6 up against season 4 any day of the week. Veronica Mars was an amazing show, I loved the movie too, however the ratings were never near those of BTVS and cancelled after 3 seasons.