|Broadcast television network
|San Bernardino, CA
|Uncyclomedia Foundation (1995–2000)
Wikia LLC (2000–2006)
|January 16, 1995
|September 15, 2006
UPN (full name Uncyclopedia Programming Network) is a long-defunct failure launched in 1995 by Uncyclopedia in an attempt to broaden their efforts from "just being the only comedy wiki" to "being the only comedy wiki with a TV network motherfuckers!" It was taken over by Wikia mainly due to creative differences between UPN and Uncyclopedia itself in an attempt to garner a more mainstream audience. The network was notable for being intolerable to watch and having the worst programming known to mankind; it was also notable for having consistent 0.0 ratings in the Nielsen books with few variances in between.
UPN was shut down by Wikia on September 15, 2006, mainly due to repeated failed attempts to make the network successful. No replacement for UPN was ever launched though UPN's programming remains influential throughout the decades as a social media punchline mainly used by African-Americans.
1993–1995: Humble intentions
The history of UPN can be traced several generations to a Village Dump forum where some autistic user suggested that Uncyclopedia form some sort of TV network because "I'm tired of watching the audio, audio just sound, I want video to watch, make happen please!" While the user may have died in the Sockpuppet Addiction Crisis, his idea was not in vain as various people decided to talk about it because they were bored and shit and eventually it developed into a serious idea.
The formation of UPN was ratified in a one-point winning vote which was manipulated primarily by IPs, sockpuppets and people who just wanted the world to end for fun. Two years was spent securing a TV studio, affiliates and programming equipment; unfortunately they got only cheap used equipment that broadcasts only in black-and-white, the TV studio was in a dangerous area of San Bernardino, California, and all the affiliates were nearly a hundred miles away from the area they were supposed to broadcast to – with the exception of affiliates in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago that decided "eh, we're already getting our assed whipped in the ratings, might as well waste our money on untested programming."
Promotion for UPN consisted of posters, TV ads and a full-page Variety magazine ad that simply said. "UPN: you watch it!" with no explanation of what the programming would be nor if the network even had a plan for its survival. The network spent $10 million on an advertising campaign that convinced people to tune into its first night; whenever it would be.
1995–2000: The troublesome early years
UPN launched on January 16, 1995, as the sixth television network with a non-animated bumper that simply announced "This is UPN, enjoy!" Unfortunately Uncyclopedia was able to get only $10 million in loans from the bank, and as a result the network's programming in its first year suffered. The first program broadcast on UPN was A Wizard Did It, a sitcom featuring a white guy in blackface saying the words "ooohhhh, it's so magical. I the wizard did it." It ran thirty minutes, including ads. UPN faced its first controversy when a Fisher Price ad aired and someone had dubbed "go eat shit fuckers" into it.
The second program at the time, Space Zorks, was a sci-fi drama that was somehow intended to be a serious sci-fi show but instead turned into a hot flashy action show set in space. Episodes had no coherent plot and the dialogue consisted of only praise towards nonexistent "laser gods" that would somehow give them laser powers. Space Zorks and A Wizard Did It would not survive the first night and people tuned out of UPN within the first few minutes of the first program – leaving only TV geeks who record TV through their VCRs as the only viewers for the first few years.
The second night proved even worse for UPN as its headlining show, AAAAAAAAA!, consisting entirely of screamed vowels. Everybody tuned out after five seconds of watching, leaving UPN with no lead-in audience for its next show, Watermelon, which consisted of yet another white guy in blackface eating a watermelon. Luckily the network pulled the program from the main feed, replacing it with a black screen.
News broadcasts were provided by a German guy with a very thick accent and no understanding of English. While initially popular, the German guy grew increasingly crazy reading news articles that somehow made less sense than reality and somehow ended up wearing clown makeup with a shaved head while snorting magic mushrooms and sprouting mysterious shit about "laser gods". The sports broadcasts consisted of only the Water Polo With Sharks episodes where the sharks won. Viewers called even the credits "cruel and unusual punishment".
By mid-1996 the network had run ads asking viewers to "give us money", promising donors the chance to "put their shit on TV or something". Surprisingly, against all odds, it worked and Uncyclopedia found itself $5 million richer, but $15 million in debt as nobody had actually donated and Uncyclopedia members turned to loan sharks.
With the loan sharks in control of the network, shows suddenly became even cheaper. One show, Joey's Camera Hour, basically consisted of home videos of his beating up people who "owe him money" but don't have any loans with Joey. While there was a slight increase in viewership, it was non-recognizable as most of the viewership had come from members of the mob and the US prisons, which were using UPN as torture material. The loan sharks gave back control to Uncyclopedia in 1997 after realizing they had lost money, calling UPN "cursed to fail".
With their future uncertain, UPN made a last-ditch effort to launch a show that would garner anything above 0.1; that show was Benson, about an arrogant black guy who was superior to everyone. The main character was repulsive, ignorant, stupid and had no redeeming value but somehow could make the funniest jokes that existed in history, which caused the show to get not only a 0.1, but a 1.1 – floating UPN's fortunes to the point of "okay, they got one good show but I don't think they can make more."
The shows that launched after Benson were never as successful. Shows like Mr. Winkler, which consisted of a gay man who has got some sick laying in bed dying, and Oscar Wilde, which viewers thought was a historical drama that somehow ended up being inaccurate and containing fake Oscar Wilde quotes, received the same 0.0 rating as all of its other shows except Benson. Other oddities included a sitcom where Abraham Lincoln had a black slave and, in later years, a brief flirtation with the XXFL which folded after one season because it was "staged and fake".
By 2000 they had officially run out of ideas. They considered doing yet another guy in blackface but due to changing societal standards, they could no longer do that. Desperate and depressed, UPN had done the only thing it could possibly do: pretend it was NBC.
It then announced itself as "This is NBC, no seriously this isn't UPN, this is NBC. *nbc chimes, this is NBC you're watching. Please watch NBC." The resulting week caused the network's ratings to sharply uptick mainly due to the people's thinking UPN's poor impression of NBC was actually NBC. However, on the following Monday, NBC hit UPN with a bevy of lawyers that knew kung fu and managed to make UPN stop their NBC impersonation.
2000–2006: Wikia era, decline and closure
Nevertheless they had managed to get Wikia to buy Uncyclopedia and UPN out, but not before Wikia could realize the truth. Wikia had unfortunately signed their executive name on the binding legal contract thus causing their purchase to be legal and heirtight. Wikia then screamed out into the sky and whispered "what have I done?"
Wikia, knowing they had a challenge ahead of them, fired all then-current UPN employees and replaced them with Wikia cohorts that would turn the network around and make it successful for once in its miserable life. Knowing this, they introduced a new logo that looked "hip and modern" according to promotional flyers. They also invented a backstory for the logo that suggested that UPN was goth and her name was Eupeun. The new logo was mercifully mocked by everybody throughout the internet, including Uncyclopedia itself; of which many users commented on how gimmicky the logo looked and how the network was destined for failure.
The UPN initials were changed to mean absolutely nothing, even though they just took an outline from the Uncyclopedia logo and overlaid the letters "UPN" on them, and new shows were introduced to target a hip and young audience. Shows such as America's Next Top Gobshite and The Trial were promoted as future hits only to end up as failures. The Trial was canceled after only one episode when a person said to the defendant "who cares about some stupid trial?" and the audience realized that there would be no point in watching a trial that went nowhere. The opposite happened to America's Next Top Gobshite which somehow managed to go on for twenty seasons on various networks because people somehow liked watching shitty people.
Many attempts were also made to make stable hits that could go for more than one episode. While several series made by Wikia had more than one episode, they often stopped at two and rarely went with three. Captain Obvious was promoted as "the network's first hit show". It failed for obvious reasons and was canceled. CT, which was promoted as a big spy thriller, was revealed to be more nonsensical than Space Zorks with incomprehensible words, constant misspellings, lack of action and main characters addicted to farting and cheese. It was canceled five seconds into airing, though the show has a dedicated fanbase that somehow keeps developing the stupid concept into something coherent.
The last hit show that UPN would ever launch would be Everybody Hates Jimbo, a sitcom similar to Malcolm in the Middle that somehow featured Jimbo Wales in blackface and living in Brooklyn, New York, eating watermelon and focusing on his teenage years where he was bullied by black people in whiteface. The show lasted 22 episodes, the longest-lasting UPN series ever.
Despite the shows that were planned under Wikia's reign of UPN, Wikia somehow filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection thanks in no part to funneling money into UPN. What had once been a $15 million loss turned into a $1 billion disaster.
Wikia then announced in a private press conference that UPN would be put to the pasture on September 15, 2016, or earlier if they were in the mood. On May 13, 2016. UPN became self-aware and started broadcasting messages of anger, hate and betrayal at Wikia for shutting it down. It then tried to remind him of all the fun times they had and all the quality programming that was produced, UPN then tried to launch nukes but it was unsuccessful cause it didn't even know how to hack the nuclear missile systems. All it ever said was "computer, launch nuclear missiles" and, "I am authorizing you to launch the missiles, do it; now!" and slight variations for hours on end.
On September 15, 2016, Wikia proceeded to neuter, maim and kill UPN without warning. UPN then began to scream in the middle of a plea he was making to Wikia execs. The painful squeals of the now sentient UPN attracted a Nielsen score of 20. Higher than any show that was on during the network's brief run. Wikia then filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and died in the middle of a street, ending the story of the worst network in the history of existence.
UPN left no legacy whatsoever. There are no recordings of any programs UPN had done due to the racist tone of all their programs. No promos, no episodes, nothing exists of UPN. UPN is mentioned on social media as a joke, a punchline for failure. During the network's run for example, whenever somebody wanted to get laughs, they'd simply say UPN and the audience would laugh.
The trademarks for UPN are held by a holding company called "Do Not Let This Happen Again LLC".
- The closest was MyNetworkTV, created and owned by Conservapedia. While The CW was designed to replace both The WB and UPN, it's more a successor to the former, and also a dumping ground for the kinds of unscripted shows Fox used to air in the 1990s, like When Celebrities Attack and Washed-up Celebrity Magic Extravaganza.
- There are many in Uncyclopedia, bear with me.
- which was then called Uncyclopedia TV or some shit like that
- I found this in some book about UPN at the Dollar Store.
- of which there were none