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United Paramount Network (UPN) was a television network that was broadcast in over 200 markets in the United States from 1995 to 2006. UPN was originally owned by Viacom/Paramount and Chris-Craft Industries, the former of which through the Paramount Television Group produced most of the network's series. It was later owned by CBS Corporation. Its first night of broadcasting was on January 16, 1995. UPN shut down on September 15, 2006, and merged with The WB, which was shut down two days later, to form The CW Television Network.



Origins (1949–1993)

Paramount Pictures (the "P" in UPN) has played a pivotal role in the development of network television; it was a partner in the DuMont Television Network, and the Paramount Theaters chain, spun off from the corporate/studio parent, was an early, important component of the ABC television network's survival in the 1950s. The Paramount Television Network was launched in 1949, but dissolved in the 1950s.

In the sleep of the successful Universal Studios ad hoc syndicated package Operation Prime Time, which featured first a miniseries adaptation of John Jakes' novel The Bastard and went on to several more productions, Paramount had earlier contemplated its own television network with the Paramount Television Service. Set to launch in early 1978, its programming would have consisted of only one night a week. Thirty "Movies of the Week" would have followed Star Trek: Phase II on Saturday nights. When the decision was made to transform Phase II into Star Trek: The Motion Picture, plans for the new Paramount network were scrapped, though Paramount would contribute some programs to Operation Prime Time, such as the mini-series A Woman Called Golda, and the weekly pop music program, Solid Gold.

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