The Night of Favorites and Farewells
The Night of Favorites and Farewells was a one-time special that aired on The WB on September 17, 2006. This special took a look back at the 11-year history of The WB and some of their biggest hits. The five-hour special was aired on all affiliates of The WB with the exception of those which had taken affiliation with MyNetworkTV, unless they kept the WB as a second affiliation. This was The WB's last nationally broadcast schedule, as the network officially closed down after the program Dawson's Creek ended to make way for The CW.
Schedule and format
The night began with the announcer, Hal Douglas (who had become the "voice" of the WB for the majority of its history, and would not continue as announcer for the CW, but instead moved to ABC), introducing the viewers to the night's schedule, and began with the premiere episode of Felicity.
The schedule of the night was:
- 5:00pm Eastern/4:00pm Central Felicity
- 6:00pm Eastern/5:00pm Central Angel
- 7:00pm Eastern/6:00pm Central Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2 hours)
- 9:00pm Eastern/8:00pm Central Dawson's Creek
Before each show, there was an introduction to the show, followed by the Night logo displayed with the year the show premiered on the bottom. During commercial breaks and after shows during the credits, flashbacks would air that would feature actors and other memorable stars on The WB, usually from stock footage or from commercials and image campaigns the network had. The names and the year when they became big on the network would also appear.
Commercials also included promo spots for each series' TV-on-DVD box sets as well as promo spots given to cable networks broadcasting the shows above in off-network syndication.
After the last act of the pilot for Dawson's Creek (and a short commercial break) concluded, a final 60-second clip montage aired featuring many of the network's previous stars, ending with this statement:
"For 11 years, you brought us into our homes. We made you smile and tugged at your heart. Faces you'll always remember. Names you'll never forget. The faces that touched our hearts. The WB says goodbye. A network that defined a generation says goodbye. Join us one last time. And now, we say goodbye. From all of us at The WB, thank you."
The final image on The WB was their former mascot Michigan J. Frog (who was shown as a silhouette due to the animated character being retired as the network's mascot the year before), taking his hat off and bowing while the words "thank you." are on the screen, thanking the audience for watching the network for the last 11 years. As the image faded out, The WB left the airwaves.
The clip montage officially ended the network, as the studio credits for Dawson's Creek were shown afterwards instead of The WB's standard credits scheme, which had been used on the other pilots that aired during the night.
Themes and marketing
The WB had limited marketing for this one last program on their network. Commercials mainly aired on the network itself.
Major themes for this program included "Faces you'll always remember.", "Names you'll never forget.", "The faces that touched our hearts", "The WB says goodbye", "A Network that defined a generation says goodbye." and "Join us one last time". The music playing in all the flashbacks and other promos for this event was "Crawl" by Thisway.
Viewer reaction and ratings
Over the next few days, there were many discussions about the night on The CW's forums, most of which expressed sadness. Additionally, many recalled memories of watching the WB. However, The Night of Favorites and Farewells was a disappointment in ratings; The WB that night scored a 0.9 household rating and a share of just 2. The main reason for this mostly lies in certain areas where former WB affiliates became MyNetworkTV affiliates, thus leaving The WB's final two weeks of programming unavailable in such areas as Philadelphia, Seattle and Atlanta, whose WB affiliates switched to MyNetworkTV.
- The WB Television Network
- The CW Television Network
- 2006 United States broadcast TV realignment