1991 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television during 1991.

Events[edit]

Date Event
January 3 The first television sets with built-in closed-caption display are introduced in the United States.
January 14 Wheel of Fortune returned to NBC (but would ultimately be canceled on September 20, after a 16½ year run on daytime network television).
January 16 All major television network schedules were pre-empted by Gulf War coverage right after the evening news broadcasts. The planned broadcasts included Seinfeld.
January 19 NBC breaks away[1][2] from their telecast of the NHL All-Star Game in the third period[3] to televise a briefing from The Pentagon involving the Gulf War. SportsChannel America[4][5] included the missing coverage in a replay of NBC's telecast (NBC owned 50%[6][7][8][9] of Rainbow Enterprises, the parent of SportsChannel America).[10]
February 3 After 17 years, the 1st generation CBS Special Presentation bumper is shown for the final time.
February 9 Tim Meadows and Adam Sandler joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live. (Meadows stays with the show until 2000, while Sandler departs during 1995.)
February 10 The Simpsons begins its Australian air on Network Ten starting off with a double bill featuring Bart the Genius and Homer's Odyssey.
March 3 In Los Angeles, California, African-American Rodney King was beaten severely by police officers after leading them on a high-speed chase and allegedly resisting arrest. A video was made by observers, and portions of the tape are broadcast repeatedly, resulting in massive rioting in the Los Angeles area.
March 16 A. Whitney Brown makes his final appearance on the program Saturday Night Live.
March 27 Deidre Hall returns on-screen to the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives after a four-year absence in which her character, Marlena Evans is revealed to be mysteriously alive and kept hidden outside of Salem after being presumed dead in an accident nearly four years prior.
April 1 The premium movie channel Encore launches in the United States, primarily on TCI cable systems. The channel initially displayed movies from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, before eventually phasing in more recent movies by the 2000s (decade). Showtime Networks initiated Flix, a premium channel with a format identical to Encore less than a year-and-a-half later.
CBS began broadcasting a late-night crime-investigation program entitled Crimetime After Primetime.
April 5 Katie Couric is designated as co-host of The Today Show on NBC after substituting as host since February 1991.
April 20 The Museum of Broadcasting, now known as The Paley Center for Media, relocates into its new 17-story building, located a block from its previous location in New York City.
May 3 The final episode of Dallas is broadcast by CBS; it was 21 years later before it was resumed.
May 19 Knight Rider 2000 is first televised by NBC.
May 21 Financial News Network ceases broadcasting after being bought out by CNBC.
May 23 WFXG in Augusta, Georgia signs-on as a Fox affiliate, taking that affiliation from W67BE (now Youtoo America affiliate WAGT-CD) which becomes an independent station.
June 1 After merging with Ha! and The Comedy Channel. CTV: The Comedy Network becomes Comedy Central. This is to avoid confusion with the Canadian broadcast network known as CTV.
July 1 Court TV (now TruTV) goes on the air.
August 11 Nickelodeon introduced its first three original animated series, Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show.
WGMB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana signs-on the air, giving the Baton Rouge area its first full-time Fox affiliate (NBC affiliate WVLA had previously aired Fox programming on a delayed basis).
August 13 The time slot for Full House was moved from Friday's TGIF lineup on ABC to Tuesday nights (remaining there until its finale in 1995).
September 1 E! News debuts.
KLSB-TV in Nacogdoches, Texas signs-on as a satellite of the Tyler market's NBC affiliate KETK-TV. KLSB-TV will eventually become the market's CBS affiliate in 2004 when the station is sold to Max Media.
September 6 KLNO (now MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO) in Llano, Texas is signed-on by NBC affiliate KXAN-TV to improve coverage of that station in parts of the Texas Hill Country.
September 8 Minnie Pearl makes her final appearance on the program Hee Haw.
September 9–13 The 20th Anniversary week of The Price Is Right is celebrated during this week on CBS.
September 30 Square One TV returns for its fourth season on PBS.
October 13 Jennifer Lopez joins the cast as one of the Fly Girls on the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color. Other cast additions include future Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Steve Park. Shawn Wayans, the original DJ for the show, is replaced by Twist. Wayans joins the cast until the end of the next season.
October 31 KLSR-TV in Eugene, Oregon signs-on, giving Fox a full-power home in the Eugene market. Sister station K25AS (now MyNetworkTV affiliate KEVU-CD) becomes an independent station before joining UPN in 1995.
November 14 Michael Jackson's song Black or White was first televised by Fox. This is the first Michael Jackson music video to be shown by Fox, along with other MTV Networks music channels.
November 16 Ellen Cleghorne, Melanie Hutsell and Beth Cahill join the cast of Saturday Night Live.
KTMF in Missoula, Montana signs-on the air, giving the Missoula market its first full-time ABC affiliate.
November 18 Shining Time Station returns for a second season on PBS with George Carlin taking over the role as Mr. Conductor after the departure of Ringo Starr and new characters will be introduced such as Billy Twofeathers (played by Tom Jackson, Schemer's nephew Schemee (played by Jonathan Shapiro), Matt and Tanya's cousins Dan and Kara (played by Ari Magder and Erica Luttrell and their friend Becky played by Danielle Marcot. The series is now filmed in Toronto and Carlin will also be narrating the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends segments starting off with season 3 and re-narrating seasons 1 and 2 for both Shining Time Station and Thomas home video releases.
December 1 Britney Spears appears on the program Star Search.
December 8 Tim Russert becomes moderator of the NBC discussion program Meet the Press, a job he possesses until his sudden death in 2008.

Programs[edit]

Debuting this year[edit]

Date Show Network
January 5 Blossom NBC
January 7 The Party Machine with Nia Peeples Syndication
January 12 Roggin's Heroes
January 13 Harry and the Hendersons
February 25 The Pirates of Dark Water ABC
March 1 Clarissa Explains it All Nickelodeon
Toxic Crusaders Syndication
March 7 Yearbook Fox
March 11 Studs Syndication
March 18 Get the Picture Nickelodeon
April 26 Dinosaurs ABC
April 30 The Statler Brothers Show The Nashville Network
May 2 American Detective ABC
May 11 Sisters NBC
June 2 Liquid Television MTV
June 4 C. Everett Koop, M.D. NBC
June 24 Johnny B. On the Loose Syndication
July 8 Shop 'til You Drop Lifetime
July 19 Hi Honey, I'm Home! ABC
August 11 Doug Nickelodeon
Rugrats
The Ren & Stimpy Show
August 17 Best of the Worst Fox
August 25 Roc
August 31 Taz-Mania Fox Kids
September 1 Aeon Flux MTV
September 3 The Legend of Prince Valiant The Family Channel
Little Dracula Fox
September 7 Back to the Future: The Animated Series CBS
Little Shop Fox Kids
September 8 Herman's Head Fox
The Sunday Comics
Darkwing Duck Syndication and ABC
Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars Syndication
September 9 The Chuck Woolery Show
The Maury Povich Show
Now It Can Be Told
Realities with David Hartman
The Adventures of Mark & Brian NBC
September 14 Chip and Pepper
Nurses
Super Mario World
Wish Kid
Yo Yogi!
Hammerman ABC
The Pirates of Dark Water
Mother Goose and Grimm CBS
Where's Wally?: The Animated Series
September 15 P.S. I Luv U
Eerie, Indiana NBC
Man of the People
Pacific Station
September 16 James Bond Jr. Syndication
The Jenny Jones Show
The Montel Williams Show
September 17 Home Improvement ABC
September 18 The Royal Family CBS
Teech
September 19 Drexell's Class Fox
Flesh 'n' Blood NBC
Reasonable Doubts
September 20 Brooklyn Bridge CBS
Step by Step ABC
September 21 The Torkelsons NBC
September 24 Homefront
September 25 Good & Evil ABC
Sibs
September 26 FBI: The Untold Stories
September 27 Princesses CBS
September 28 The Commish ABC
September 29 Street Justice Syndication
September 30 The Jerry Springer Show Syndication, on Multimedia stations
Charlie Rose WNET, later PBS nationwide in 1993
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego PBS
October 4 Beyond Reality Syndication
October 7 I'll Fly Away NBC
October 12 Adventures in Wonderland Disney Channel
October 17 Sightings Fox
October 18 Palace Guard CBS

Resuming this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network New network Date of return
The $100,000 Pyramid 1988 Syndication same January 7
Seinfeld 1990 NBC January 23
Beetlejuice: The Animated Series ABC Fox Kids September 9
Candid Camera 1988 CBS Syndication September 16
A Different World 1990 NBC Same September 19
Baywatch Syndication September 23

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 1 American Chronicles 1990
January 5 Haywire
January 19 Zazoo U
January 25 Generations 1989
Piggsburg Pigs! 1990
February 3 Good Grief
February 11 About Face 1989
February 16 The Fanelli Boys 1990
February 22 Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears 1985
March 8 Tic-Tac-Dough 1956
The Joker's Wild 1972
Going Places 1990
March 9 Lenny
Uncle Buck
March 16 Married People
April 5 Against the Law
April 6 Doctor Doctor 1989
April 12 Fun House 1988
April 26 Hunter 1984
April 27 21 Jump Street 1987
May 3 Dallas 1978
May 4 Yearbook 1991
May 8 The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd 1987
May 10 Paradise 1988
May 11 Swap Thing 1990
May 17 Midnight Caller 1988
May 18 The Flash 1990
May 19 Babes
May 25 The Munsters Today 1988
Out of This World 1987
May 28 thirtysomething
June 1 D.E.A. 1990
June 6 Gabriel's Fire
June 10 Twin Peaks
June 12 Over My Dead Body
June 22 American Dreamer
June 25 Head of the Class 1986
June 30 C. Everett Koop, M.D. 1991
July 14 Lifestories 1990
July 17 The Family Man
July 20 Carol & Company
The Hogan Family 1986
July 22 China Beach 1988
July 27 Amen 1986
August 8 TaleSpin 1990
August 11 Ferris Bueller
Parenthood (returned in 2010)
August 17 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 1988
August 30 The Challengers 1990
Hey Dude 1989
August 31 Dink, The Little Dinosaur
Kid 'n Play 1990
September 6 Trump Card
September 15 The Party Machine with Nia Peeples 1991
September 20 Wheel of Fortune 1975
October 5 The Real Ghostbusters 1986
October 16 Teech 1991
October 25 Princesses
October 26 Captain N: The Game Master 1989
The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 1988
October 30 Good & Evil 1991
November 1 Palace Guard
November 6 Mathman from Square One TV 1987
November 15 Flesh 'n' Blood 1991
November 16 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures 1990
November 23 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
November 30 Little Shop 1991
December 2 Peter Pan and the Pirates 1990
December 6 Beetlejuice 1989
Get the Picture 1991
December 7 Wish Kid
Yo Yogi!
Super Mario World
December 8 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda 1990
December 14 Where's Wally?: The Animated Series 1991

Made-for-TV movies and miniseries[edit]

Title Channel Premiere
Sarah, Plain and Tall CBS February 3
The Josephine Baker Story HBO March 16
Separate but Equal ABC April 7
Switched at Birth NBC April 28
Knight Rider 2000 May 19
C. Everett Koop, M.D. June 4
A Woman Named Jackie October 13

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 4 Olivia Tennet New Zealand actress (Power Rangers RPM)
January 19 Ryan Coleman Actor (All That)
January 19 Erin Sanders Actress (Zoey 101, Big Time Rush)
January 20 Ciara Hanna Actress (Power Rangers Megaforce)
January 28 Calum Worthy Canadian actor (Austin & Ally)
February 3 Glenn McCuen Actor (Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures)
February 10 Emma Roberts Actress (Unfabulous, Scream Queens) and daughter of Eric Roberts
February 16 Micah Stephen Williams Actor (Good Luck Charlie)
February 17 Bonnie Wright English actress (Harry Potter)
Ed Sheeran English singer
February 18 Malese Jow Actress (Unfabulous, The Vampire Diaries), singer
March 5 Hanna Mangan-Lawrence Australian actress (Bed of Roses)
March 8 Devon Werkheiser Actor (Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide)
March 16 Wolfgang Van Halen Musician (Van Halen)
March 19 Garrett Clayton Actor, singer and dancer
March 25 Seychelle Gabriel Actress (Falling Skies)
March 28 Amy Bruckner Actress (Phil of the Future, American Dragon: Jake Long)
March 29 Hayley McFarland Actress (Lie to Me)
April 3 Hayley Kiyoko Actress (Wizards of Waverly Place, CSI: Cyber) and singer
April 4 Jamie Lynn Spears Actress (All That, Zoey 101) and sister of Britney Spears
April 10 AJ Michalka Actress (The Goldbergs), singer and guitarist
April 21 Frank Dillane English actor (Fear the Walking Dead)
April 28 Aleisha Allen Actress (Blue's Clues)
May 1 Creagen Dow Actress
May 12 Jennifer Damiano Actress and singer
May 17 Daniel Curtis Lee Actor (Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Zeke and Luther) and rapper
May 21 Sarah Ramos Actress (American Dreams, Parenthood)
May 26 Julianna Rose Mauriello Actress (LazyTown)
May 29 Kristen Alderson Actress (One Life to Live)
June 4 Jordan Hinson Actress (Eureka)
June 7 Poppy Drayton English actress (The Shannara Chronicles)
June 12 Louisa Gummer American model and daughter of Meryl Streep
June 18 Willa Holland Actress (The O.C., Arrow)
June 24 Max Ehrich Actor (The Young and the Restless, 100 Things to Do Before High School)
June 27 Madylin Sweeten Actress (Ally on Everybody Loves Raymond)
June 29 Addison Timlin Actress
July 3 Grant Rosenmeyer Actor (Oliver Beene)
July 5 Jason Dolley Actor (Complete Savages, Cory in the House, Good Luck Charlie), musician
July 9 Mitchel Musso Actor (Hannah Montana, Phineas and Ferb, Pair of Kings)
July 11 Kelsey Impicciche YouTube personality, actress and singer
July 12 Erik Per Sullivan Actor (Malcolm in the Middle)
July 15 Emily Roeske Actress (Halloweentown)
July 16 Alexandra Shipp Actress (House of Anubis)
July 24 Emily Bett Rickards Actress (Arrow)
July 29 Maestro Harrell Actor (Guys Like Us, The Wire, Suburgatory)
Miki Ishikawa Actress (Zoey 101)
August 2 Skyler Day Actress (Gigantic, Parenthood) and singer
August 16 Evanna Lynch Irish actress (Harry Potter)
August 17 Austin Butler Actor (Zoey 101, The Carrie Diaries)
August 18 Richard Harmon Canadian actor (The 100)
August 26 Dylan O'Brien Actor (Teen Wolf)
August 28 Jonathan Whitesell Canadian actor (The 100, Beyond)
Kyle Massey Actor (That's So Raven, Cory in the House, Fish Hooks) and rapper
Samuel Larsen Actor (Glee)
August 30 Gaia Weiss French-American actress (Vikings)
September 4 Carter Jenkins Actor (The Bernie Mac Show)
September 7 Jennifer Veal English actress (Descendants: Wicked World)
September 9 Kelsey Chow Actress (One Tree Hill, Pair of Kings, Teen Wolf)
September 20 Spencer Locke Actress
September 22 Chelsea Tavares Actress (Unfabulous, Just Jordan)
October 5 Jackson Rogow Actor (Dude, What Would Happen)
October 6 Roshon Fegan Actor (Shake It Up) and singer
October 18 Tyler Posey Actor (Teen Wolf)
October 19 Samantha Robinson Actress
November 6 Pierson Fodé Actor (The Bold and the Beautiful)
November 8 Riker Lynch Actor (Glee) and singer (R5)
November 11 Emma Blackery Actress, singer and YouTube personality
Christa B. Allen Actress (Cake, Revenge)
November 13 Devon Bostick Canadian actor (The 100)
Matt Bennett Actor (Victorious)
November 14 Graham Patrick Martin Actor
November 15 Shailene Woodley Actress (The Secret Life of the American Teenager)
December 12 Wallis Currie-Wood Actress (Madam Secretary)
December 20 Hunter Gomez Actor (National Treasure)
December 24 Louis Tomlinson English actor (One Direction) and singer
December 26 Eden Sher Actress (The Middle, Mew Mew Power, Star vs. the Forces of Evil)
December 27 Chloe Bridges Actress (The Carrie Diaries)


Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 12 Keye Luke 86 Character actor (Kung Fu)
February 1 Jimmy MacDonald 84 Voice actor (Mickey Mouse)
February 3 Harry Ackerman 78 Producer (Bewitched)
Nancy Kulp 69 Actress (Miss Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies)
February 6 Danny Thomas 79 Actor and comedian (Danny Williams on Make Room for Daddy)
February 24 George Gobel 71 Comedian (The George Gobel Show)
March 3 Vance Colvig 72 Actor (Bozo the Clown on KTLA in Los Angeles)
April 10 Natalie Schafer 90 Actress (Lovey Howell on Gilligan's Island)
April 23 William Dozier 83 Producer (Batman)
June 9 Joe Hamilton 62 Producer (The Carol Burnett Show, Mama's Family), former husband of Carol Burnett
July 1 Michael Landon 54 Actor, producer (Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven)
July 15 Bert Convy 57 Game show host (Super Password and Win, Lose Or Draw)
July 21 Theodore Wilson 47 Character actor (That's My Mama)
August 6 Harry Reasoner 68 News anchor/reporter (60 Minutes)
August 22 Colleen Dewhurst 67 Actress (Murphy Brown, Anne of Green Gables)
September 4 Tom Tryon 65 Actor (Texas John Slaughter)
September 7 Ben Piazza 57 Actor (Dallas)
September 15 John Hoyt 85 Actor (Gimme a Break!)
October 9 Thalmus Rasulala 51 Actor (Roots, What's Happening!!)
October 11 Redd Foxx 68 Comedian and actor (Fred Sanford on Sanford and Son)
October 24 Gene Roddenberry 70 Creator of (Star Trek)
November 2 Irwin Allen 75 Producer (Lost in Space)
November 5 Fred MacMurray 83 Actor (Steve Douglas on My Three Sons)
November 24 Eric Carr 41 Singer (Kiss)
Freddie Mercury 45 British singer (Queen)

See also[edit]

  • ^ Steve Berkowitz (January 20, 1991). "Bush Endorses Playing of NFL Championship Games". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. 
  • ^ Herb Gould (January 20, 1991). "Hawks'all-stars all stars Roenick, Larmer, Chelios on target". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. p. 1. 
  • ^ 1991 NHL All-Star Game, Chicago Stadium (second intermission, third period) on YouTube
  • ^ Helene Elliot (February 17, 1989). "INSIDE THE NHL U.S. Coach Has Mellowed". Newsday. Cablevision Systems Corporation. p. 163. 
  • ^ Rudy Martzke (March 16, 1989). "NBC to replace baseball with a few NHL games". USA Today. Gannett Company. p. 3C. 
  • ^ Rudy Martzke (January 31, 1989). "NBC plans innovative ways to fill baseball void". USA Today. Gannett Company. p. 3C. 
  • ^ Robert Fachet (March 14, 1989). "NOTEBOOK; Best of the West Enter Media Twilight Zone". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. p. C08. 
  • ^ Larry Jackson (April 7, 1989). "IS RISING SON SET FOR A TV FALL?". The Palm Beach Post. p. 2C. 
  • ^ Steve Nidetz (April 18, 1989). "NHL providing SportsChannel with a Cupful of riches". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. p. 3. 
  • ^ Jack Craig (February 12, 1989). "WILL THE NHL PINCH HIT? WITH SHIFT OF BASEBALL TO CBS, NBC NEEDS TO FILL HOLE IN ITS LINEUP". Boston Globe. p. 58.