The United Paramount Network was an American broadcast television network that launched on January 16,1995. In December 2005, UPN was spun off to CBS Corporation when CBS, UPNs website is redirected to CBSs website after UPN is shut down along with The WB Paramount Pictures had played a pivotal role in the development of network television. The Paramount Television Network was launched in 1949, but dissolved in the 1950s, set to launch in early 1978, it would have run its programming for only one night a week. Thirty Movies of the Week would have followed Star Trek, Phase II on Saturday nights, Star Trek, Phase II was reworked as the theatrical film, Star Trek, The Motion Picture, absorbing the costs already incurred from the aborted television series. Paramount, and its eventual parent Viacom, continued to consider launching their own television network, in 1993, Time Warner and Chris-Craft Industries entered into a joint venture to distribute programs via a prime time programming service, the Prime Time Entertainment Network. Paramount formed the Paramount Stations Group in 1991 when it purchased the assets of the TVX Broadcast Group and this was not unlike the purchase of the Metromedia stations by News Corporation five years earlier, which were used as the nuclei for Fox. In another parallel, 20th Century Fox, like Paramount, had long been a powerhouse in television syndication, all indicators suggested that Paramount was about to launch a network of its own. The new network would be owned by Chris-Craft Industries, while most of its shows were to be produced by Paramount Television, Chris-Craft and Paramount/Viacom each owned independent stations in several large and mid-sized U. S. cities, and these stations formed the nuclei of the new network. UPN launched on January 16,1995, initially carrying programming only on Monday and Tuesday nights from 8,00 to 10,00 p. m. Eastern and Pacific Time. In contrast, The WB debuted one week earlier, on January 11, with four series – only one of which, Muscle, of the networks early offerings, only Star Trek, Voyager, Moesha and The Sentinel would last longer than one season. As a result of the lack of viewership, UPN operated on a loss and had lost $800 million by 2000, within nearly two years of the networks launch, on December 8,1996, Paramount/Viacom purchased a 50% stake in UPN from Chris-Craft for approximately $160 million. Like Fox had done nine years earlier, UPN started with a few nights of programming each week, the first expansion of its prime time lineup came with the addition of programming on Wednesday nights in the 1996–97 season. UPN ordered 36 science fiction films for its movie night beginning in 1998 from four producers with most coming from Paramount, some titles would be shown on Showtime first so the cable channel would aid in advertising the movies. UPN completed its prime time expansion in the 1998–99 season, with Thursdays and Fridays as the last nights of programming to be added to the networks evening slate. Despite what publicity Desmond received from its controversial topicality, the series suffered low ratings and was cancelled after four episodes. On March 17, New York Supreme Court judge Herman Cahn ruled against Chris-Crafts move for a permanent injunction to curtail the Viacom-CBS merger and the enforcement of Viacoms ultimatum. Unable to find a partner, on March 20, Chris-Craft allowed Viacom to buy out its 50% stake for $5 million. This gave UPN the rare distinction of being one of the only broadcast networks to not have had owned-and-operated stations in the three largest media markets, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago
Proposed logo for the stillborn Paramount Network.
The UPN colorful shapes logo, used from 1995 to 1998, and in various iterations from 1998 to 2002 (though the "primary colors" variant continued on some affiliates and in print advertising until 2002).
Silver variant of UPN logo, used from 1998 to 2002.