UPN Moves Game Over

Ratings difficulties have led to a scheduling shake-up at UPN, according to Daily Variety. Among others, the network hopes to improve the performance of its CG animated series Game Over by pulling it form the Wednesday schedule and out of competition with Fox’s American Idol. The show will move to Fridays, when new and repeat episodes will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Produced by Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, the Game Over series follows the misadventures of The Smashenburns, a family of video game characters. Patrick Warburton (The Tick, Seinfeld, The Emperor’s New Groove) voices patriarch Rip Smashenburn, a Grand Prix race-car driver, while Lucy Liu (Kill Bill Vol. 1, Charlie’s Angels) plays his tomb-raiding wife, Raquel.

The action-comedy finished last among network offerings when it debuted two weeks ago. Ratings for last week’s installment were even lower as half of its audience went M.I.A.

As broadcasters are struggling to compete with video games for their target demographics, UPN simultaneously launched a free downloadable PC game based on Game Over. Available at www.UPN.com, the game was built on the Quake III engine, it includes a Machinimation feature that allows users to create short animated films.