2001 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television during 2001. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel initiations, closures and re-brandings, as well as information about controversies and disputes.

Events[edit]

January
Date Event
1 After the acquisition of Viacom subsidiary MTV Networks, The request video music channel The Box shuts down, replacing MTV sister channel MTV2 on its terrestrial stations.
4 All of HBO's children's programs are transferred to its multiplex channel HBO Family.
12 The US version of National Geographic Channel debuts; UK commences first international network since 1997.
February
Date Event
5 Kelly Ripa steps in on Live! as a permanent co-host with Regis Philbin.
March
Date Event
26 The series WCW Monday Nitro broadcasts its final show from Panama City Beach, Florida with a simulcast with the WWF's (Now WWE's) Monday Night RAW television series, officially ending a six year ratings struggle in professional wrestling known as the Monday Night Wars.
April
Date Event
10 Kevin Olmstead wins a $2.18 million jackpot on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, making him the biggest winner of American game show history until Ken Jennings' Jeopardy! run three years later.[1]
May
Date Event
18 The 28th Daytime Emmy Awards are given.
23 Star Trek: Voyager airs the series finale with its two-part episode Endgame.
15 Airing of the hour-long season seven finale of Friends titled "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding"
June
Date Event
12 TNT is reinitiated as a drama-based cable channel with a new slogan, We Know Drama.
18 Characters Luke and Laura Spencer, widely regarded as the soap opera pairing that helped generate the term "supercouple", signed divorce papers on General Hospital, dissolving their fictional two-decade union.
July
Date Event
1 HBO's second multiplex channel HBO Plus is renamed as HBO 2, which the channel was originally named from its 1991 initiation until 1998.
August
Date Event
5 The Jim Henson owned cable network Odyssey is renamed to Hallmark Channel
September
Date Event
2 Adult Swim, an adult-oriented programming block debuts on its Turner sister cable channel Cartoon Network.
8 Fox broadcasts the final episode of the game series Murder in Small Town X, in which New York City firefighter Ángel Juarbe, Jr. won. Juarbe was killed on Sept. 11 during the collapse of the World Trade Center.
11 Viewers around the world witness a terrorist attack on the United States, and the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City, live on television. Additionally, the ABC and NBC affiliates' broadcast towers are ruined by the attacks, but New Yorkers can still view them by cable and satellite. Most broadcasters abandon regular programming – American networks for more than a week – and numerous major daily talk shows are cancelled for several weeks until their hosts feel comfortable resuming programming.
Although they were first seen during 1952 and used by some television news programs ever since, continually scrolling news headlines along the bottom of the screen become commonplace after the Fox News Channel used it to allow viewers to keep track of the latest developments during the September 11 attacks.
17 The game show Card Sharks is revived with host Pat Bullard, but due to its dramatically different gameplay, it is cancelled after just 13 weeks.
20 Dr. Will Kirby is the winner of Big Brother 2, which was delayed by the attacks of September 11, 2001. Runner-Up Nicole Nilson-Schafrich wins $50,000.
21 All four major US networks broadcast America: A Tribute to Heroes a two-hour telethon to raise money for the families of those killed by the attacks.[2]
Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, appears for the first time without his trademark mustache.
24 The start of the 2001–2002 autumn season in the US is delayed as a result of the attacks, with some series such as The West Wing substituting special episodes dealing with the event in lieu of their originally scheduled season premieres. Some series, such as the military-themed series JAG and New York-based Third Watch have to be reformatted in consideration of the attacks.
October
Date Event
3 In addition, several planned series and events were cancelled; most notably, a mini-series planned for 2002 spring, which would have united the cast of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, dealing with a terrorist attack on New York City.
20 Concert For New York: A Tribute To Heroes is broadcast by VH1, with performances by Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Billy Joel and others. It raises funds for the families of those killed by the attacks.
22 A new bonus round premieres on Wheel of Fortune, in which a contestant can win as much as $100,000. This never won until a winner was aired on December 19.
November
Date Event
1 Telemundo reinitiates GEMS Television as Mun2, featuring English and Spanish language programming intended for a young Latino audience.
4 The 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards were given by CBS. The original date was postponed 2 months ago when the September 11 attacks occurred.[3]
10 Fox Family Channel name is changed to ABC Family, representing its then-recent sale by News Corporation to the corporate parent of the ABC television network, The Walt Disney Company.
26 The values of clues on Jeopardy! have doubled. Since 1984, clues have been worth $100 to $500 in the Jeopardy! and twice as much in Double Jeopardy!. On this date these values have doubled for both rounds.
30 The series finale of CGI cartoon series ReBoot is broadcast.
December
Date Event
31 ABC broadcasts its half-hour special entitled ABC 2002, a particular spinoff of ABC 2000.

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Shows that premiered in 2001:

Date Show Network
January 1 America's Test Kitchen PBS
Great Hotels Travel Channel
January 6 How It's Made Discovery Science
January 7 Lifestyle Magazine TBN
January 9 The Mole ABC
Three Sisters NBC
January 10 Grounded for Life Fox
January 11 Gary & Mike UPN
January 12 Lizzie McGuire Disney Channel
Popstars The WB
January 13 Disney's House of Mouse Disney's One Saturday Morning
January 14 Taina Nickelodeon
January 15 100 Centre Street A&E
Bob the Builder Nick Jr.
January 22 The Book of Pooh Playhouse Disney
January 27 The Zeta Project Kids' WB
February 3 Lloyd in Space Disney's One Saturday Morning
Power Rangers: Time Force Fox Kids
February 4 Kathy's So Called Reality MTV
February 24 Kate Brasher CBS
February 27 The Andy Dick Show MTV
February 28 Some of My Best Friends CBS
March 4 The Lone Gunmen Fox
March 6 The Fighting Fitzgeralds NBC
March 11 Doc PAX TV
March 12 The Chris Isaak Show Showtime
March 14 The Job ABC
March 27 What About Joan?
March 28 My Wife and Kids
Boot Camp Fox
March 30 The Fairly OddParents Nickelodeon
Invader Zim
April 1 The Oblongs The WB
Undergrads MTV
April 4 That's My Bush! Comedy Central
April 10 Robotica TLC
April 11 The Quarters TVG Network
Special Unit 2 UPN
April 16 The Weakest Link NBC
April 21 Weekend Now The Weather Channel
April 22 A Nero Wolfe Mystery A&E
May 5 The Cost of Freedom Fox News Channel
Dismissed MTV
June 1 Unwrapped Food Network
June 2 Braceface Fox Family
So Little Time
June 3 Six Feet Under HBO
June 8 Time Squad Cartoon Network
June 11 Fear Factor NBC
June 12 Witchblade TNT
June 13 The Beast ABC
June 18 Spyder Games MTV
June 21 WWE Tough Enough
July 10 Cinema Insomnia KXTV
July 24 Murder in Small Town X Fox
July 29 Leap Years Showtime
August 1 Out There TV America One
Hard Knocks HBO
MythQuest PBS
August 4 All About Us NBC
August 5 Insomniac with Dave Attell Comedy Central
August 9 Going to California Showtime
August 10 Samurai Jack Cartoon Network
August 11 Cubix: Robots for Everyone Kids' WB
August 20 Oswald Nick Jr.
August 24 Grim & Evil Cartoon Network
August 27 Shipmates Syndication
August 31 The Nightmare Room Kids' WB
September 1 The Legend of Tarzan UPN
Digimon Tamers Fox Kids
September 3 Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat PBS Kids
One on One UPN
September 5 The Amazing Race CBS
September 8 Medabots Fox Kids
Moolah Beach
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
September 9 Ponderosa PAX TV
September 10 The Ananda Lewis Show Syndication
Iyanla
URL With Phred Noggin
September 12 American Morning CNN
September 15 The Ripping Friends Fox Kids
Alienators: Evolution Continues
The Proud Family Disney Channel
Stanley Playhouse Disney
September 17 ElimiDate Syndication
Rendez-View
September 18 Access Granted BET
September 19 Wolf Lake CBS
September 23 The Education of Max Bickford
September 24 Crossing Jordan NBC
The Ellen Show CBS
September 25 The Guardian
Philly ABC
Undeclared Fox
September 26 Star Trek: Enterprise UPN
September 27 The Agency CBS
September 29 The Mummy: The Animated Series Kids' WB
Yu-Gi-Oh!
September 30 Alias ABC
Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC
War Stories with Oliver North Fox News Channel
October 1 Reba The WB
Tales from the Neverending Story HBO
The 5th Wheel Syndication
October 2 Scrubs NBC
Bob Patterson ABC
October 3 According to Jim
October 5 Maybe It's Me The WB
Raising Dad
October 6 Mutant X Syndication
Sk8 NBC
October 14 Men, Women & Dogs The WB
Off Centre
October 16 Smallville
October 20 Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action! ABC
October 22 Pardon the Interruption ESPN
November 3 Totally Spies! Cartoon Network
November 5 NewsNight with Aaron Brown CNN
November 6 24 Fox
November 7 Beat the Geeks Comedy Central
November 8 The Tick Fox
November 14 The Bernie Mac Show
November 17 Justice League Cartoon Network
30 Minute Meals Food Network
Sara's Secrets
December 31 CNN New Year's Eve Live CNN

Returning this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network New/returning/same network Date of return
Card Sharks 1989 CBS Syndication September 17
Dexter's Laboratory 1998 Cartoon Network Same November 16

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 14 The Lone Gunmen 2001
The Jamie Foxx Show 1996
March 4 La Femme Nikita 1997
March 7 Bette 2000
March 21 WCW Thunder 1998
March 26 WCW Monday Nitro bought out by WWF. 1995
March 31 Spider-Man Unlimited 1999
April 6 The Norm Show
April 16 30 Minutes 1994
April 28 Zoboomafoo 1999
May 4 Nash Bridges 1996
May 7 Comedown 1993
May 11 Diagnosis: Murder
May 14 Baywatch 1989
Moesha 1996
May 16 Two Guys and a Girl 1998
May 19 Walker, Texas Ranger 1993
May 20 The PJs 1999
May 22 3rd Rock from the Sun 1996
May 23 Star Trek: Voyager 1995
June 1 Oh Yeah! Cartoons 1998
June 18 Xena: Warrior Princess 1995
June 22 The Famous Jett Jackson 1998
July 10 The Geena Davis Show 2000
August 31 TV Funhouse
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood 1968
The Big Help 1994
The Queen Latifah Show 1999
September 28 So Weird
September 31 WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1986
October 11 Little Bear 1995
November 1 Recess 1997
November 11 The Angry Beavers
November 17 Power Rangers: Time Force 2001

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
American High Fox PBS
Buffy the Vampire Slayer The WB UPN
Roswell
Home Movies UPN Cartoon Network
National Geographic Explorer CNBC MSNBC
Jay Jay the Jet Plane TLC PBS Kids

Notable TV movies[edit]

Premiere date Title Channel
April 29 On Golden Pond CBS
August 11 All Grown Up! Nickelodeon
November 18 The Facts of Life Reunion ABC

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 1 Ray Walston 86 Actor (My Favorite Martian )
January 18 Al Waxman 65 Actor (Lt. Samuels on Cagney & Lacey)
February 20 Bob Weiskopf 86 Writer (I Love Lucy)
February 27 Stan Margulies 80 Producer (Roots, The Thorn Birds)
March 8 Edward Winter 63 Actor (Colonel Flagg on M*A*S*H)
March 12 Morton Downey, Jr. 67 Host of The Morton Downey, Jr. Show
March 15 Ann Sothern 92 Actress (Private Secretary, My Mother the Car)
March 21 Norma MacMillan 79 Voice actor (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby)
March 22 William Hanna 90 Co-founder (with Joseph Barbera) of famous Hanna-Barbera animation studio
April 11 George Hersee 76 BBC engineer who designed Test Card F
May 2 Ted Rogers 65 Comedian and host of (3-2-1)
May 12 Perry Como 88 Singer, TV host (Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall)
May 19 Pat Falken Smith 75 Soap opera writer (Days of our Lives)
May 22 Whitman Mayo 70 Actor (Grady Wilson on Sanford and Son)
May 23 Harry Townes 86 Actor (The Fugitive)
May 31 Arlene Francis 93 Actress and game show panelist (What's My Line?)
June 2 Imogene Coca 92 Actress and comedienne (Your Show of Shows)
June 21 Carroll O'Connor 76 Actor (Archie Bunker on All in the Family)
August 3 Christopher Hewett 79 Actor (Mr. Belvedere)
August 4 Lorenzo Music 64 Writer and actor who co-created (The Bob Newhart Show and did the voices of Carlton the doorman on Rhoda and Garfield the cat)
September 3 Thuy Trang 27 Actress (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
September 11 David Angell 55 Writer (Cheers, Frasier)
October 9 Dagmar 79 1950s sex symbol
October 15 Ralph Levy 81 Director (The Jack Benny Program, Petticoat Junction)
October 17 Jay Livingston 86 Songwriter (themes to Bonanza and Mister Ed)
November 29 George Harrison 58 Singer-songwriter (The Beatles)
December 13 Chuck Schuldiner 34 Singer, songwriter, guitarist (guest on Headbanger's Ball)
December 22 Lance Loud 50 Member of the family documented in An American Family
December 26 Nigel Hawthorne 72 Actor (Yes, Prime Minister)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview: Kevin Olmstead, mega-Millionaire". Trivia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-04-18. 
  2. ^ Carman, John (September 22, 2001). "Musicians, actors honor heroes, raise money for attack victims". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A1. 
  3. ^ The 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards from Variety (November 6, 2001)