1993 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television during 1993. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel initiations, closures and rebrandings, as well as information about controversies and disputes.

Events[edit]

Date Event
January 3 ABC and CBS simultaneously broadcast their own movies based on Amy Fisher's life, with Fisher played by Drew Barrymore (for ABC) and Alyssa Milano (for CBS); NBC had broadcast its own version of the Fisher saga six days earlier (December 28, 1992).
January 19 Fox expands its regular prime-time schedule to seven days a week; the network premieres two dramas on this Tuesday, Class of '96 and Key West.
January 20 Warner Bros. Television Distribution launches the Prime Time Entertainment Network.
January 31 The Super Bowl, broadcast by NBC, has a solo halftime performer for the first time—Michael Jackson, who performs a medley of his successful songs.
February 10 Oprah Winfrey interviews Michael Jackson during a live primetime special, hosted at Jackson's Neverland ranch. This was Jackson's first TV interview since a 1979 conversation with Barbara Walters for the program 20/20. The 90-minute special was the highest-rated special of the 1992–93 TV season.
February 24 Michael Jackson received a Grammy Legend Award at the 35th Grammy Awards, presented by his younger sister, Janet.
February 26 The Days of our Lives nighttime special Night Sins is broadcast by NBC.
March 26 CBS broadcasts the last new episode of Family Feud with host Ray Combs. The series would be broadcast as reruns until September 10.
April 29 An cartoon version of Barry White appears on the fourth season finale of The Simpsons.
May 5 Senior As the World Turns cast member Don Hastings hosts a memorial tribute to Douglas Marland. Marland, who died during March after an abdominal surgery procedure, had been the series' chief writer since 1985 and was responsible for several story lines of the show.
May 14 Jaimee Foxworth (Judy) and Telma Hopkins (Rachel) make their final regular appearances on the series Family Matters; though Hopkins would later make return appearances on the series as Rachel, Judy's disappearance from the show is never resolved. Michelle Thomas would join the cast as fan-favorite antagonist Myra Monkhouse in the series' fifth season the next autumn.
May 20 Seinfeld's season four finale, expanded to 60 minutes, concludes a season-long story sequence involving a pilot show written by Jerry and George, with the pilot finally coming to fruition only to be refused by NBC executives.
80.4 million people watched the series finale of Cheers.
May 22 Saved by the Bell broadcasts its graduation episode for the series finale on NBC. It broadcast this final episode before a spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, debuted three months later.
May 23 One month after federal agents make an infamous raid on David Koresh's Waco, Texas compound, NBC broadcasts a hastily-produced television movie based on the incident, In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco; Tim Daly plays Koresh for the movie.
June 25 David Letterman has his last late-night talk show with NBC.
July 11 PTV (later PBS Kids) debuts.
August 30 Late Show with David Letterman premiered, with guests Bill Murray and musical guest Billy Joel.
September 12 Raymond Burr died of liver cancer at his ranch home in California at the age of 76. (The last Perry Mason movie, Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss, aired on NBC on November 29, and was dedicated to Raymond Burr, with an in memoriam tribute at the end of the movie.)
September 13 Late Night with Conan O'Brien premiered on NBC, replacing David Letterman as host.
September 16 Marc Wilmore, Reggie McFadden, Jay Leggett, Carol Rosenthal and Anne-Marie Johnson join the cast of the series In Living Color for its final season. None of the Wayans Family are involved at all during the season.
September 19 The 45th Primetime Emmy Awards presentation was broadcast on ABC.
September 24 Raven-Symoné, Nell Carter and Saundra Quarterman join the cast of the series Hangin' with Mr. Cooper on ABC.
October 1 ESPN's secondary channel, ESPN2 (known as The Deuce), debuts.
October 15 Jewelry TV debuts as American Collectable Network, a home shopping network.
October 23 CBS's four-year broadcast relationship with Major League Baseball ends with Blue Jay Joe Carter's walk-off home run to win the World Series. (Bob Seger's song "The Famous Final Scene" plays during the broadcast's closing credits.)
October 25 The Rocky Horror Picture Show makes its TV debut on Fox; the movie is intercut with a live cast performance.
October 29 The first Got Milk? commercial is broadcast on TV. Directed by Michael Bay, a guy obsessed by the history of the duel, hears a voice on the radio asking a $10,000 question, "Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?", while making and eating a peanut butter sandwich. The question was transferred to the telephone, answers the correct answer "Aaron Burr", but the person on the telephone can't hear it clearly with his mouth full of peanut butter sandwich before time ends, and he only has a few drops of milk left.
November 15 Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera join the cast of the series The New Mickey Mouse Club.
November 21 Bill Bixby died of prostate cancer at the age of 59 (six days after his final directing job on Blossom).
November 23 Food Network made its debut.
December 18 CBS (which had been broadcaster of National Football League games for 38 years) lost their rights to the then-new Fox Network. Fox offered a then-record $1.58 billion to the NFL over four years for the rights to the National Football Conference games, significantly more than the $290 million per year CBS was willing to pay.

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

The following is a list of shows that premiered in 1993.

Date Show Network
January 1 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman CBS
January 3 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Syndication
January 8 Hotel Room HBO
January 11 The Untouchables Syndication
WWF Monday Night Raw USA Network
January 18 Scattergories NBC
January 19 Class of '96 Fox
Key West
January 20 Time Trax PTEN
January 27 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
January 31 Homicide: Life on the Street NBC
February 8 Day One ABC
March 5 Getting By
Where I Live
March 8 Beavis and Butt-Head MTV
March 22 Family Secrets NBC
April 21 Walker, Texas Ranger CBS
May 24 Equal Time CNBC
June 7 Rumor Has It VH1
Trivial Pursuit The Family Channel
June 14 John and Leeza from Hollywood NBC/Syndication
July 11 Weinerville Nickelodeon
August 18 Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric NBC
August 27 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Fox
August 28 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fox Kids
August 29 Living Single Fox
August 30 Late Show with David Letterman CBS
Missing Persons ABC
September 2 The John Larroquette Show NBC
September 3 Thea ABC
September 4 Bonkers Disney Channel
September 5 2 Stupid Dogs TBS
NFL Matchup ESPN
September 6 NFL Prime Monday
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Syndication
American Journal
September 7 The Les Brown Show
The Chevy Chase Show Fox
September 10 The X-Files
Bill Nye the Science Guy PTV
September 11 Legends of the Hidden Temple Nickelodeon
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron Cartoon Network
Saved by the Bell: The New Class TNBC
Madeline The Family Channel
September 12 Baby Races
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman ABC
Townsend Television Fox
seaQuest DSV NBC
September 13 Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Animaniacs Fox Kids
Ricki Lake Syndication
September 14 Bakersfield P.D. Fox
Saved by the Bell: The College Years NBC
Phenom ABC
September 15 Moon Over Miami
September 16 The Sinbad Show Fox
Cobra Syndication
September 18 Biker Mice from Mars
CityKids ABC
Cro
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tales from the Cryptkeeper
Running the Halls TNBC
Café Americain NBC
Frasier
The Mommies
Rocko's Modern Life Nickelodeon
All-New Dennis the Menace CBS Toontastic
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Marsupilami
September 20 Dave's World CBS
September 21 NYPD Blue ABC
September 23 Angel Falls CBS
Eye to Eye with Connie Chung
September 24 Boy Meets World ABC
September 25 Front Page Fox
Harts of the West CBS
September 28 Acapulco H.E.A.T. Syndication
September 29 Grace Under Fire ABC
Joe's Life
October 3 Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer CNN
October 14 Against the Grain NBC
October 25 The Jon Stewart Show MTV
October 29 Diagnosis: Murder CBS
October 30 The Paula Poundstone Show ABC
November 3 The Nanny CBS
November 20 George ABC
November 23 How to Boil Water TV Food Network
December 5 The Moxy Show Cartoon Network
December 17 Off Beat Cinema WKBW-TV
Scientific American Frontiers PBS
The State MTV

Resuming this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous channel New/Same channel Return date
Scrabble 1990 NBC Same January 18

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 15 Santa Barbara 1984
February 13 Double Dare 1986
February 16 Count Duckula 1988
March 24 Doogie Howser, M.D. 1989
April 16 Major Dad
April 17 Raven 1992
May 5 Quantum Leap 1989
May 12 The Wonder Years 1988
May 13 Knots Landing 1979
May 20 Cheers 1982
May 22 Saved by the Bell 1989
May 23 Life Goes On
Designing Women 1986
The Pirates of Dark Water 1991
June 25 Late Night with David Letterman 1982
July 9 A Different World 1987
August 6 Perfect Strangers 1986
August 14 Back to the Future: The Animated Series 1991
September 4 Hee Haw 1969
October 23 MLB on CBS 1990

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
Barney & Friends PBS PTV
Lamb Chop's Play-Along
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?

Made-for-TV movies[edit]

Premiere date Title Channel
May 24 The Hurricane Andrew Story NBC
September 12 seaQuest DSV
December 6 Gypsy CBS

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 18 Morgan York Actress (Hannah Montana)
February 19 Victoria Justice Actress (Victorious)
May 14 Miranda Cosgrove Actress (iCarly)
August 26 Keke Palmer Actress (Winx Club)
October 8 Angus T. Jones Actor (Two and a Half Men)
December 8 AnnaSophia Robb Actress (The Carrie Diaries)

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 27 André the Giant 46 Wrestler (WrestleMania)
March 6 Douglas Marland 59 Writer (As the World Turns)
March 17 Helen Hayes 92 Actress (The Snoop Sisters)
March 27 Kate Reid 62 Actress (Lillian Trotter on Dallas)
April 1 Jerry Hausner 83 Actor (Jerry the agent on I Love Lucy, voice of Waldo in Mr. Magoo cartoons)
April 3 Pinky Lee 85 Comedian (The Gumby Show)
June 11 Ray Sharkey 40 Actor (Wiseguy)
June 30 George McFarland 64 Actor (Our Gang)
July 2 Fred Gwynne 66 Actor (Herman on The Munsters, Muldoon on Car 54, Where Are You?)
August 16 Tom Fuccello 56 Actor (Dave Culver on Dallas)
September 4 Hervé Villechaize 50 Actor (Tattoo on Fantasy Island)
September 12 Raymond Burr 76 Actor (Perry Mason; Ironside)
October 12 Leon Ames 91 Actor (Mister Ed)
October 25 Vincent Price 82 Actor (The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Hollywood Squares)
November 21 Bill Bixby 59 Actor (My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Incredible Hulk), director, producer
November 28 Garry Moore 78 Game show host and TV personality (I've Got a Secret)
December 16 Moses Gunn 64 Actor (Good Times)