20th Anniversary of The WB

Defunct television network The WB celebrates its 20th anniversary today, having premiered two decades ago on Wednesday, January 11th, 1995 with a two-hour lineup of sitcoms. Take a look at how it all started:

The new network was on the air just one night a week until September when it added a second night (Sunday) to its broadcast schedule. Here’s the original line-up:

8:00PM The Wayans Brothers
8:30PM The Parent ‘Hood
9:00PM Unhappily Ever After
9:30PM Muscle

Muscle was given an hour-long premiere from 9-10PM on January 11th; The Parent ‘Hood didn’t premiere until the following week. The big launch didn’t help Muscle, however. It was the first show to be cancelled by The WB, after 13 episodes, and the only one of the inaugural shows not to be renewed for a second season.

In January 2006, CBS and Warner Bros. announced that both The WB and UPN would shut down and merge to create a new network called The CW. The WB signed off on Sunday, September 17th, 2006. During its more than 11 and a half years in existence, The WB aired dozens of shows that didn’t last very long. I believe the shortest-lived show on The WB was a drama called D.C. that ran for just four episodes during April 2000 (three other episodes were left unaired).

Other short-lived shows from The WB include:

First Time Out – 12 episodes (September – December 1995)
Cleghorne! – 12 episodes (September 1995 – January 1996)
The Army Show – 12 episodes (September – December 1998)
Do Over – 11 episodes (September – December 2002)
Safe Harbor – 10 episodes (September – November 1999)
Glory Days – 9 episodes (January – March 2002)
Three – 8 episodes (February – March 1998)
Rescue 77 – 8 episodes (March – May 1999)
Young Americans – 8 episodes (July – August 2000)
Baby Blues – 8 episodes (July – August 2000)
The Oblongs – 8 episodes (April – May 2001)
Tarzan – 8 episodes (October – November 2003)
Just Legal – 8 episodes (September – October 2005; August – September 2006)
The Bedford Diaries – 8 episodes (March – May 2006)
Kelly Kelly – 7 episodes (April – June 1998)
The Help – 7 episodes (March – April 2004)
Modern Men – 7 episodes (March – April 2006)
Black Sash – 6 episodes (March – June 2003)
Brutally Normal – 5 episodes (January 2000 –
Dead Last – 5 episodes (August – September 2001)
The O’Keefes – 5 episodes (May – June 2003)
Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show – 5 episodes (October – November 2004)

How many do you remember? Personally, I think the only one of these shows I watched was Just Legal although I recognize the names of several others. To be honest, I don’t really remember much about the launch of The WB twenty years ago. I was in elementary school at the time and much more excited about UPN and the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager (more on that in a few days when UPN celebrates its own 20th anniversary).

9 Replies to “20th Anniversary of The WB”

  1. The only ones that I can remember ever hearing about were “Do Over,” “The Oblongs,” and “Tarzan.” However, I never watched any of them.

  2. The only show I remember watching was “Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show”. I think it eventually became “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” or was that the other way around.

  3. It doesn’t really feel as if the WB is gone since it merged into the CW and many of the shows that would have been on the WB are CW shows. Supernatural started as a WB show and carried over onto CW. Shows like Arrow and The Flash are the sort of shows that would have been WB shows.

  4. I have a bad feeling that Jamie Kellner is the worst TV network president in television history with these reasons:

    * bad comedic stylist type of person.
    * hired the wrong members to support both his network and his bad style.

    Also, all these white WB comedies are considered the worst shows in TV history when they are framed with strong white creative difference problems which led to bad official abruptions.

    These types of WB shows got abrupted in the wrong time:

    * popular
    * maybe it’s me
    * do over
    * greetings from Tucson
    * run of the house

    Maybe it’s me was considered the worst brawled sitcom between fans, viewers and critics, especially it got worse after it’s abrupted official removal.

    That 15-year-old character in Greetings From Tuscon was poorly made completely by both producers and writers.

    Finally, these five need reboot in the future, get aired in a private network and last longer than two seasons each.

  5. I believe there was a comedy called ‘You’re the One’ that only lasted two episodes in spring 98. It came on Sundays.

  6. what about the network’s 1998-99 image campaign (“Dubba Dubba WB!”) with the Royal Crown Revue?, the promo used to be on here, and it’s nowhere to be found elsewhere (except for the people who worked at the network at the time who may have a copy).

  7. also a comedy named “Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane” with Selma Blair (renamed “Zoe” in its second season) which aired from January 1999-May 2000.

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