2002 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television in 2002. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and new channel initiations.

Events[edit]

January[edit]

Date Event
1 KRON-TV (channel 4) in San Francisco ends its 52-year affiliation with NBC and becomes independent after Young Broadcasting, which purchased the station more than a year earlier from the deYoung family (who also sold the San Francisco Chronicle to Hearst Corporation), refuses to obey demands made by NBC to manage the station by the conventions of an NBC-owned station (e.g., renaming as "NBC 4", and managing the entire network schedule in pattern with no pre-emptions except for news emergencies). Former ABC affiliate KNTV (channel 11) in San Jose assumed the affiliation and was purchased soon afterward by NBC.
5 Soul Train broadcasts its 1000th episode.
14 TeleFutura, Univision's second Spanish-language channel was launched.
17 The Price is Right tapes its 30th Anniversary Special broadcast in Las Vegas, and it was broadcast by CBS January 31.

February[edit]

Date Event
3 Super Commercials: A Mental Engineering Special broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service stations reaching 85% of the U.S. after Super Bowl XXXVI; reportedly the best coverage yet achieved by a former public-access television program.
8 The opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics are televised by NBC.
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, WNBC in New York City revives the We're 4 New York campaign.
14 CBS buys KCAL (channel 9) in Los Angeles, California from Young Broadcasting for $650 million, making it a sister station to KCBS channel 2.
The final Family Guy episode airs after Fox announces its cancellation (however, record DVD sales and high ratings in syndication convince Fox to bring it back in 2005).

March[edit]

Date Event
10 CBS broadcasts its first commercial-free 9/11 documentary TV movie, about the Sept 11 attacks.

April[edit]

Date Event
1 The N, a digital cable and satellite channel intended for teenagers, is launched, sharing the channel frequency of Noggin.
17 General Hospital broadcasts its milestone 10,000th episode.
19 Tribune Broadcasting buys WTTV (channel 4) in Bloomington, Indiana and its translator WTTK (channel 29) in Indianapolis, Indiana from Sinclair for $125 million.
24 G4 debuts.

May[edit]

Date Event
1 Nicktoons TV (renamed Nicktoons in 2004, then in 2009) launched in the United States.
All of the MTV themed channels are initiated as well as the VH1 affiliated network, VH1 Country (now known as CMT Pure Country).
6 One Life to Live broadcasts a full week of episodes broadcast live from the ABC New York studios.
12 CNN Sports Illustrated ceases operations.
13 TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time is presented by ABC.
15 Jeopardy! aired its 4000th episode.
17 The 29th Daytime Emmy Awards presentation was broadcast.
19 The X-Files' two-hour series finale was broadcast.
22 The Rosie O'Donnell Show airs its last live episode.

June[edit]

Date Event
1 The very first HD cable channel, Discovery HD Theater (now known as Velocity) begins broadcasting.
3 Sailor Moon resumes airing on Cartoon Network at 3:30pm EST/PST after a year of the network not showing the program.
7 Kim Possible has its first three episodes broadcast by Disney Channel.
12 NBC broadcasts its last NBA game after 12 years with the league.
16 The Dead Zone premieres on USA Network, with the highest ratings of a cable series debut in history.

July[edit]

Date Event
4 ABC broadcasts a three-hour primetime news special, entitled In Search of America: Celebration.
5 Cartoon Network stops broadcasting the popular anime series Sailor Moon (the last time the network or any other network in the U.S. has broadcast the series).
13 Fox News Channel overtook CNN as the number one news channel.
15 After negotiations concerning a new affiliation agreement with CBS failed, WJXT (channel 4) in Jacksonville, Florida became an independent station on this date, with former UPN affiliate WTEV-TV (channel 47) assuming the market's CBS affiliation.

August[edit]

Date Event
21 Fine Living Network debuted.

September[edit]

Date Event
2 Disney Channel discontinues its afternoon and late night programming blocks "Zoog Disney" and "Vault Disney".
4 Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol.
The Price Is Right celebrates its 30th anniversary.
7 TNBC was renamed Discovery Kids on NBC.
8 In Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, WFTC (from Fox to UPN) and KMSP (from UPN to Fox) switched network affiliations.
14 Fox Kids, then owned by ABC Family, is transferred back to Fox and is renamed Fox Box.
ABC, Disney's One Saturday Morning ends, known as ABC Kids.
Nick Jr. on CBS was renamed Nick on CBS.
Cartoon Network shows the program Sailor Moon SuperS – The Movie: Black Dream Hole again, this is the last time Sailor Moon was featured in the United States, until 2009.
22 Friends and The West Wing won both Outstanding TV Series at the 54th Primetime Emmy Awards.
25 Lisa Donahue is the winner of the contest Big Brother 3 and wins the $500,000 prize; runner-up Danielle Reyes wins $50,000.
30 American Movie Classics is revamped to become a commercial general movie channel.
The ill-fated All News Channel ceases broadcasting.

October[edit]

Date Event
1 Cartoon Network celebrates its 10th anniversary.
5 Discovery Networks-owned programming strand Discovery Kids on NBC (a spinoff of a former digital cable channel Discovery Kids) debuts on NBC Saturday mornings, replacing the teen-oriented block TNBC.
14 Nickelodeon debuts its weekly programming variety sequence U-Pick Live.
15 The PBS children animated series Arthur airs its 100th episode.
17 The following stations were debuted in Guam: K28HS, K30HB, K32GB, and K36GJ.
30 Warren Zevon is featured on the Late Show with David Letterman as the only guest for the entire hour, performing several songs and talking about being diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.
Longtime cast member Hunter Tylo's character, Dr. Taylor Hamilton Forrester, is killed for the soap opera series The Bold and the Beautiful, which is seen worldwide.

December[edit]

Date Event
15 Animation for The Simpsons changed from cel animation to digital ink and paint.

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Date Show Network
January 8 Last Call with Carson Daly NBC
January 13 The Jamie Kennedy Experiment The WB
January 15 The Chair ABC
First Monday CBS
January 18 NOW PBS
January 19 The Nick Cannon Show Nickelodeon
Teamo Supremo Disney's One Saturday Morning
January 21 Cyberchase PBS Kids
February 4 Closing Bell CNBC
On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren Fox News Channel
February 8 The Cramp Twins Cartoon Network
February 9 Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension Fox Kids
Power Rangers Wild Force
February 26 Watching Ellie NBC
February 28 Leap of Faith
March 3 Jeremiah Showtime
March 5 The Osbournes MTV
March 12 The Shield FX
March 19 Yankeeography YES Network
March 22 ChalkZone Nickelodeon
March 25 The Bachelor ABC
March 27 George Lopez
April 1 Degrassi: The Next Generation The N
Edgemont
The Most Extreme Animal Planet
Play with Me Sesame Noggin
April 7 Digimon Frontier Fox Kids
April 15 Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck Game Show Network
April 22 Made MTV
May 11 Bryan Stafford: Becoming Reality HBO
May 24 WWE Bottom Line Syndication
June 2 The Wire HBO
June 3 Crank Yankers Comedy Central
Friend or Foe? Game Show Network
Russian Roulette
June 7 Hamtaro Cartoon Network
Kim Possible Disney Channel
June 11 American Idol Fox
June 12 World Music Link TV
June 16 The Dead Zone USA Network
June 21 Def Poetry HBO
Odyssey 5 Showtime
June 24 Sorority Life MTV
July 11 Wide Angle PBS
July 12 Monk USA Network
Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? Cartoon Network
July 17 30 Seconds To Fame Fox
July 20 The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius Nickelodeon
She Spies NBC
July 29 One-Hit Wonders VH1
August 1 Contest Searchlight Comedy Central
Cavuto on Business Fox News Channel
August 12 Studio B with Shepard Smith
August 17 ¡Mucha Lucha! Kids' WB
August 25 Nickelodeon Robot Wars Nickelodeon
August 31 InuYasha Cartoon Network
September 2 The Caroline Rhea Show Syndication
Liberty Kids PBS Kids
September 7 Baby Looney Tunes Kids' WB
What's New, Scooby-Doo?
September 14 Ozzy & Drix
Filmore! ABC Kids
Fighting Foodons Fox Box
Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Stargate Infinity
Ultraman Tiga
Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
As Told By Ginger Nick on CBS
Blue's Clues
Dora the Explorer
Hey Arnold!
Pelswick
The Wild Thornberrys
September 15 Just Cause PAX TV
September 16 The Daily Buzz Syndication
Dr. Phil
Everwood The WB
September 17 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter ABC
Life with Bonnie
Push, Nevada
September 18 Cedric the Entertainer Presents Fox
Fastlane
September 19 Do Over The WB
September 20 Greetings from Tucson
What I Like About You
Firefly Fox
John Doe
September 22 The Chris Matthews Show NBC
O2Be Oxygen
September 23 CSI: Miami CBS
Half & Half UPN
September 24 Haunted
Hidden Hills NBC
In-Laws
Presidio Med CBS
September 25 MDs ABC
September 26 Good Morning, Miami NBC
Without a Trace CBS
September 27 Hack
Robbery Homicide Division
That Was Then ABC
September 28 Biker Build-Off Discovery Channel
September 29 American Dreams NBC
Boomtown
September 30 Recipe TV Featuring the World's Greatest Chefs Syndication
Still Standing CBS
Taboo Nat Geo
October 1 Less Than Perfect ABC
October 5 TNA Xplosion Sunshine Network
Croc Files Discovery Kids on NBC
Endurance
Junkyard Dogs
Scout's Safari
Strange Days at Blake Holsey High
Walking with Dinosaurs
October 6 Bram & Alice CBS
October 9 Birds of Prey The WB
Unsolved History Discovery Channel
October 13 Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye PAX TV
October 21 Girls Club Fox
Max and Ruby Nick Jr.
October 22 Scaredy Camp Nickelodeon
October 28 Page to Screen Bravo
October 30 3 South MTV
November 2 Clone High
November 4 Around the Horn ESPN
November 25 Doggy Fizzle Televizzle MTV
November 30 Barefoot Contessa Food Network
December 6 Codename: Kids Next Door Cartoon Network
December 9 WinTuition Game Show Network

Changes of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
The News with Brian Williams MSNBC CNBC
Stargate SG-1 Showtime Sci Fi
The Wiggles Disney's One Saturday Morning Playhouse Disney
Digimon: Digital Monsters Fox Kids UPN/ABC Family
Power Rangers ABC Kids/ABC Family
Transformers Cartoon Network
NBA Inside Stuff TNBC ABC
The Weakest Link Syndication
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Making the Band MTV
A Walk in Your Shoes Noggin The N
Oswald (TV series) Nick Jr. on CBS and Nick Jr. (returned to Nick Jr. in 2003)
Franklin (TV series)

Resuming this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network Retitled as/Same New/Same network Returning
All That 2000 Nickelodeon Same Same January 19
Lingo 1988 Syndication Game Show Network August 5
The $100,000 Pyramid 1992 Pyramid Same September 16
Wild Kingdom 1988 NBC Same Animal Planet September 17
The Twilight Zone 1989 Syndication UPN September 18

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 11 Card Sharks 1978
The Ellen Show 2001
January 18 The Outer Limits 1995
January 21 Daria 1997
February 13 Dr. Katz Professional Therapist 1995
February 14 Family Guy (returned in 2005) 1999
February 17 Jackass 2000
The Steve Harvey Show 1996
February 24 Angela Anaconda 1999
March 5 100 Centre Street 2001
March 12 Undeclared
March 15 To Tell the Truth 1956
March 31 Dirk Niblick of the Math Brigade 1999
The Phred on Your Head Show
URL With Phred 2001
The Further Adventures of Zook & Alison 2000
April 7 Sheep in the Big City
April 15 Once and Again 1999
April 21 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd
April 26 Lexx 1997
April 30 Dharma & Greg
Spin City 1996
May 3 Dark Angel 2000
May 10 Teacher's Pet
May 11 Taina 2001
May 14 Roswell 1999
May 18 V.I.P. 2002
May 17 Talk Soup 1991
May 19 The X-Files 1993
May 20 Ally McBeal 1997
Earth: Final Conflict
Relic Hunter 1999
May 22 Felicity 1998
The Rosie O'Donnell Show 1996
Sally 1985
June 14 Johnny Bravo (returned in 2003) 1997
July 5 Politically Incorrect 1996
Sailor Moon 1995
August 10 The Zeta Project 2001
August 11 Greg the Bunny 2002
August 12 Titus 2000
August 18 A Nero Wolfe Mystery 2001
August 23 What a Cartoon! 1995
August 26 Witchblade 2001
August 30 Catchphrase 1986
September 1 The Ink and Paint Club 1997
Valut Disney
September 7 Disney's One Saturday Morning
Fox Kids 1990
Nick Jr. on CBS (returned in 2005) 2000
September 8 Arliss 1996
September 21 The Amanda Show 1999
September 28 TNBC 1992
October 5 Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat 2001
October 14 The Oblongs
October 18 Grim & Evil
October 20 Celebrity Deathmatch (returned in 2006) 1998
November 14 Pelswick 2000
November 16 Power Rangers Wild Force 2002
November 22 Courage the Cowardly Dog 1999
December 10 Invader Zim (returned to 2006) 2001
December 18 Rescue Heroes 1999
The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries 1995

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 13 Ted Demme 38 Director
February 13 Waylon Jennings 64 Singer (balladeer/narrator on The Dukes of Hazzard)
February 22 Chuck Jones 89 Animator (Looney Tunes), director (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)
February 24 Mel Stewart 72 Character actor (Henry Jefferson on All in the Family and Billy Melrose on Scarecrow and Mrs. King)
February 28 Mary Stuart 75 Soap opera actress (Jo for the entire 35-year run of Search for Tomorrow)
March 15 Sylvester Weaver 93 President of NBC, credited with creating The Today Show and The Tonight Show
March 17 Rosetta LeNoire 90 Actress (Mother Winslow on Family Matters)
March 27 Milton Berle 93 Comedian, actor (Texaco Star Theater)
April 2 Jack Kruschen 80 Character actor (Papa Papadopolous on Webster)
April 16 Robert Urich 55 Actor (Spenser on Spenser: For Hire and Dan Tanna on Vega$)
May 24 Susie Garrett 72 Actress (Betty Johnson on Punky Brewster), sister of Marla Gibbs
June 13 John Hope 83 Meteorologist of The Weather Channel
September 14 LaWanda Page 81 Comedian, actress (Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son)
September 28 Whitney Blake 76 Actress (Dorothy Baxter on Hazel); co-creator of One Day at a Time; mother of Meredith Baxter
October 13 Keene Curtis 79 Actor (John Allen Hill on Cheers)
October 20 Barbara Berjer 82 Actress (Claire Cassen Shea on As the World Turns, Barbara Norris Thorpe on Guiding Light, Bridget Connell on Another World)
November 3 Jonathan Harris 87 Actor (Bradford Webster on The Third Man, Doctor Zachary Smith on Lost in Space, Commander Isaac Gampu on Space Academy)
November 9 Merlin Santana 26 Actor (Romeo Santana on The Steve Harvey Show)
December 3 Glenn Quinn 32 Actor (Mark on Roseanne)
December 5 Roone Arledge 71 Sports producer, credited with creating Monday Night Football