2004 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television during 2004. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and new channel initiations.



Date Event
1 After the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, American television becomes more censored as the Federal Communications Commission increases its rules concerning certain types of indecency.
9 The Jetix trade-name was introduced for the first time.
22 The series Sex and the City broadcasts its final episode, "An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux."


Date Event
1 The series The Price Is Right broadcasts its 6,000th episode.
15 Game Show Network reformatted as GSN.


Date Event
16 Rich Fields becomes the third permanent announcer on The Price Is Right.
Cartoon Network's Toonami ends its weekday run after 8 years.
17 Cartoon Network's Toonami is transferred from 5 pm Weekdays to 7 pm (prime time) Saturdays, and extended by four hours (from two to six).


Date Event
6 The series Friends ends its run of 10 years, broadcasting the final episode, The Last One. The Friends spinoff, Joey, was then initiated.
13 The series Frasier broadcasts its final episode, "Goodnight Seattle".
15 Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member of Saturday Night Live, for its season finale.
26 Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol.
28 TechTV merges with G4 to form G4techTV, one of the most controversial mergers of television history as less than a year later, the merged network becomes G4 once again.


Date Event
2 A contestant of Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings of Salt Lake City, Utah, begins a long run as champion.
10 TBS reinitiated its Very Funny campaign, using its current branding for this network.
14 Cartoon Network reveals its new logo.


Date Event
28 PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch ends


Date Event
19 The 56th Primetime Emmy Awards are given.
21 Drew Daniel is the winner of the American version of Big Brother 5. Runner-Up Michael "Cowboy" Ellis wins $50,000.
28 Longtime veteran Marcy Walker makes her final appearance for the series All My Children after two decades of being affiliated with the program.


Date Event
2 Amy Poehler succeeds Jimmy Fallon as Tina Fey's co-anchor of NBC's Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update skit, making the first Weekend Update female duos.
Nickelodeon and its affiliated channels begin debuting special educational programming, Worldwide Day of Play, after the Let's Just Play campaign.
11 PBS Kids Go is debut.


Date Event
The series The Young and the Restless broadcasts its 8,000th episode.
7 A series based on Dallas is initiated, named Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork.
30 After seventy-four consecutive wins, contestant Ken Jennings finally loses on Jeopardy!, to competitor Nancy Zerg. Jennings' final cash winnings total is $2,522,700 making him the richest winner of American television history.


Date Event
2 Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News and is replaced by Brian Williams.
15 CNN's financial news channel, CNNfn, is ended.
16 The series All My Children broadcasts its 9,000th episode.
29 Rogers Media buys remaining 20% ownership of Rogers Sportsnet from Fox's Los Angeles affiliate KTTV.
General Electric, owner of NBC, purchases Universal Studios from Vivendi, leaving all six U.S. broadcast networks part of a company which also owns a movie studio.
For the first time in its history, Nielsen Media Research, the official American television ratings service, began counting original shows on pay Television premium channels in its prime-time ratings.[1] At the time, most of these were broadcast by competitors HBO and Showtime, but Starz has since begun producing original shows.

Television Programs[edit]

Programs debuting in 2004[edit]

The following is a list of shows that premiered in 2004.

Date Debut Network
January 5 Boohbah PBS Kids
Koala Bear Playhouse Disney
January 7 The Apprentice NBC
January 11 Drake & Josh Nickelodeon
January 17 Astro Boy Kids' WB!
January 18 The L Word Showtime
February 14 Power Rangers Dino Thunder ABC Family
February 15 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ABC
March 4 Pimp My Ride MTV
March 21 Deadwood HBO
April 3 Danny Phantom Nickelodeon
May 1 Megas XLR Cartoon Network
June 1 Summerland The WB
June 4 TNA iMPACT! Fox Sports Net
June 16 Quintuplets Fox
June 19 Winx Club Fox Box
July 16 Stargate Atlantis Sci-Fi Channel
July 18 Entourage HBO
July 21 Rescue Me FX Network
July 29 Blue Collar TV The WB
August 2 Blue's Room Nickelodeon
August 13 Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Cartoon Network
August 21 Brandy and Mr. Whiskers Disney Channel
August 31 Father of the Pride NBC
September 9 Joey
September 11 The Batman Kids' WB!
Da Boom Crew
September 12 Jack & Bobby The WB
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Nickelodeon
September 17 Atomic Betty Cartoon Network
September 18 F-Zero: GP Legend Fox Box
One Piece
September 20 Second Time Around UPN
September 22 Veronica Mars
The Mountain The WB
Lost ABC
September 24 Complete Savages
October 3 Desperate Housewives
Boston Legal
October 4 Higglytown Heroes Playhouse Disney
October 6 Ghost Hunters Syfy
October 7 Life As We Know It ABC
October 11 The Backyardigans Nickelodeon
Maya & Miguel PBS Kids Go!
Postcards From Buster
October 27 Center of the Universe CBS
Drawn Together Comedy Central
November 3 Nanny 911 Fox
November 5 Cartoon Alley TCM
November 6 Fullmetal Alchemist Adult Swim
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
November 8 ToddWorld Discovery Kids
November 19 Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Cartoon Network

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 25 10-8: Officers on Duty 2003
January 28 Becker 1998
January 29 Threat Matrix 2003
January 30 The Handler
Boston Public 2000
February 5 Little Bill 1999
February 6 Ed 2000
February 14 Lizzie McGuire 2001
February 22 Sex and the City 1998
February 27 Lloyd in Space 2001
March 7 Teamo Supremo 2002
March 13 Hack
March 25 The Chris Isaak Show 2001
April 4 Home Movies 1999
April 6 It's All Relative 2003
April 9 Life with Bonnie 2002
April 12 Space Ghost Coast to Coast 1994
April 20 Happy Family 2003
April 23 Married to the Kellys
April 25 Sealab 2021 2001
April 27 I'm with Her 2003
April 29 The Jamie Kennedy Experiment 2002
April 30 Living It Up! With Ali & Jack 2003
May 1 The District 2000
May 4 The Guardian 2001
May 6 Friends 1994
May 10 The Parkers 1999
May 13 Frasier 1993
May 16 The Practice 1997
May 17 Mutant X 2001
May 19 Angel 1999
May 21 The Wayne Brady Show 2002
May 26 Soul Food 2000
May 28 The Sharon Osbourne Show 2003
June 4 Hollywood Squares 1998
June 8 Hey Arnold! 1996
Rugrats 1991
June 11 The Wild Thornberrys 1998
June 19 The Man Show 1999
July 24 CatDog 1998
July 30 Rocket Power 1999
August 27 Johnny Bravo 1997
Ricki Lake (returned in 2012) 1993
August 28 PBS Kids Bookworm Bunch 2000
September 8 The Drew Carey Show 1995
September 25 Samurai Jack 2001
October 29 All About Me 2002
October 31 Dead Like Me 2003
November 11 Unscrewed with Martin Sargent
November 20 Power Rangers Dino Thunder 2004
November 22 The Crocodile Hunter 1997
December 15 Wonderfalls 2004
December 28 Father of the Pride

Changes of Network Affiliation[edit]

Show Transferred from Transferred to
The Surreal Life The WB VH1
Thomas and Friends CITV PBS Kids


Date Name Age Cinematic Credibility
January 2 Lynn Cartwright 76 U.S. actor.
January 17 Noble Willingham 72 U.S. film and T.V. actor
January 19 Jerry Nachman 57 MSNBC editor-in-chief.
January 23 Bob Keeshan 76 U.S. actor (Captain Kangaroo).
January 27 Jack Paar 85 The Tonight Show host.
January 29 Mary-Ellis Bunim 57 producer and co-creator of The Real World.
February 23 Carl Anderson 58 U.S. actor
February 24 John Randolph 88
March 7 Paul Winfield 62 Emmy-winning actor.
March 8 Robert Pastorelli 50 actor (Murphy Brown).
March 17 J.J. Jackson 62 former MTV VJ.
March 26 Jan Sterling 82 U.S. actor.
March 27 Art James 74 game show host and announcer.
April 1 Carrie Snodgress 57 character actress.
May 9 Alan King 76 comedian.
May 17 Tony Randall 84 actor and star of television version of The Odd Couple.
May 21 Gene Wood 78 announcer of Family Feud and other U.S. game shows.
May 22 Richard Biggs 44 U.S. actor
May 29 Jack Rosenthal 72 TV scriptwriter and playwright
June 5 Ronald Reagan 93 U.S. actor, politician, and 40th President of the United States. Hosted General Electric Theater.
July 9 Isabel Sanford 86 actress, (Louise "Weezie" Mills Jefferson on The Jeffersons), from natural causes.
July 28 Eugene Roche 75 actor (Soap, Webster, and many other series).
August 13 Julia Child 91 Host of The French Chef on PBS
November 6 Howard Keel 85 actor/singer, (Clayton Farlow on Dallas).
December 28 Jerry Orbach 69 actor (Law & Order)