Monday, April 15, 2019

Happy Days: “Pig Sty”

The success of the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation and of the brash startup Fox Network made a lot of people at the Paramount lot take notice. Paramount had produced a ton of high rated programming for others, maybe it was time to use the launch of the next entry in the Star Trek franchise to setup a network of its own. The decision was eventually made; Star Trek: Voyager would launch UPN: The United Paramount Network.

Of course, a television network can’t consist of just one television show, so Paramount had to build programming around Star Trek: Voyager. Unfortunately, the studio’s television production arm wasn’t fully on board with the idea of UPN. So instead of shifting some of the higher profile programming it was developing for other networks to UPN, it tried to make something out of the programs that had previously been rejected and were just sitting in the Paramount dumpster. Thus America was treated to Pig Sty.

The classy title sounded like it came out of a rejected Saturday Night Live sketch as did its premise. A bunch of twentysomething guys lived together in a New York apartment (the titular “Pig Sty”) and did all the crude things that Hollywood thinks straight guys do when they live together, sanitized for mid-1990’s broadcast television.

Adding to the mix was a hot superintendent, who the guys would leer at while using double entendres and drinking beer. That was the “clever” part of the premise; after all, this was a *woman* who was fixing things! One can imagine the studio executives patting themselves on the back- after all, a lady was fixing things like a man! That ought to silence those women’s libbers!

The 1990’s!

This crude, mess of a show lasted just one season. As a matter of fact, the only show that survived UPN’s disastrous first year was Star Trek: Voyager.