1998 in American television

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The following is a list of events affecting American television during 1998. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel initiations, closures and rebrandings, as well as information about controversies and disputes.

Events[edit]

January[edit]

Date Event
5 An affiliation swap occurs in Sacramento, California: KMAX-TV switches its affiliation to UPN after being purchased by Paramount Stations Group, while The WB affiliates with KQCA.
12 CBS acquires the rights to the AFC of the NFL as part of a $4 billion, eight-year contract; Fox and ABC renew their agreements for the NFC and Monday Night Football, respectively (Super Bowl XXXII, broadcast on January 25, would be NBC's last NFL game until 2006).

February[edit]

Date Event
9 Prevue Channel (now Pop) revamps its programming to include short-form segments. The revamp lasts until January 31, 1999, when the channel is renamed TV Guide Channel.

March[edit]

Date Event
10 Showtime launches a new multiplex channel, Showtime Extreme, which airs action and adventure films, thrillers, gangster films and sporting events. The channel's launch coincided with Viacom's channels (excluding the Showtime networks) moving from USSB to DirecTV.
29 BBC Worldwide debuts BBC America.

April[edit]

Date Event
9 The Price Is Right's 5,000th episode is broadcast on CBS. On the show, every pricing game is played for a car (something Price had only done once before. It has been repeated only once since then). At the beginning of the show, CBS announces it has renamed Studio 33 (the studio at CBS Television City where The Price Is Right has taped since its 1972 return) the Bob Barker Studios in honor of the show's then-host and executive producer.
11 The National Cable Television Association announces they will discontinue the CableACE awards, due to the Emmy Awards recognizing cable programming.
18 Toon Disney – devoted to carrying animated series and movies, 24 hours a day, is launched by The Walt Disney Company.
24 A second special episode of Dallas, Dallas: War of the Ewings, airs on CBS seven years after the original series finished.

May[edit]

Date Event
11 ZDTV, a technology-based cable channel, debuts.
14 76.3 million people tune in to The Finale of Seinfeld on NBC.
28 Former Saturday Night Live actor and comedian Phil Hartman, then featuring on the NBC sitcom NewsRadio, the Fox animated sitcom The Simpsons, and announcer of Cartoon Network is shot and killed by his wife (who then kills herself).

June[edit]

Date Event
11 United Video Satellite Group, parent company of the Prevue Channel (now Pop), acquires TV Guide from News Corporation for $800 million and 60 million shares of stock worth an additional $1.2 billion. In recognition of this, Prevue Channel will rebrand to the TV Guide Channel on February 1, 1999.[1][2]
29 Lifetime Movie Network, a movie channel from Lifetime, debuts.

August[edit]

Date Event
15 More than a year after its acquisition by News Corporation's Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc., The Family Channel is re-initiated as Fox Family Channel, with the network now targeting a younger family-oriented audience than that of its predecessor.
A pre-season football game in Vancouver, British Columbia between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks is CBS's first NFL football broadcast since January 1994.
16 KATH-LP in Juneau, Alaska signs on the air, giving the Juneau market its first full-time NBC affiliate. The sign-on was delayed for a month due to delays in receiving the equipment required to place the station on the local GCI cable system (Sister station KSCT-LP in Sitka, the market's former Fox affiliate, had already switched to NBC).[3][4]
31 Pax TV (now named Ion Television), a family-oriented broadcast network owned by Paxson Communications, begins broadcasting. The network was originally carried for Paxson-owned stations by a number of paid programming services (as well as the overnight Christian block The Worship Network), branded as the Infomall Television Network until at the time of its network launch.[5]

September[edit]

Date Event
14 The revived edition of Hollywood Squares resumes syndication. Tom Bergeron serves as host.
21 The WB launches its programming service of cable-only networks, branded as the 100+ Station Group. It was originally known as The WeB, which was from its launch until March of next year. Several cable providers that carried The WB's programming on WGN Superstation feed (until it was dropped the following September) were replaced by its own service.[6]

October[edit]

Date Event
1 Style Network debuts.
4 UPN adds two additional nights of programming to its schedule with primetime series added to Friday nights, including a movie block on Thursday nights.
29 ABC affiliate WKOW (Madison, Wisconsin) airs one of the first High-definition television broadcasts in digital television.

November[edit]

Date Event
20 The Rugrats Movie, based on Nickelodeon's hit series Rugrats is released in theaters. The movie introduces the character of Dil Pickles, who became a main character in Rugrats the following January. The Rugrats Movie was a commercial success, making a grand total of $100,494,675 domestically and another $40,400,000 in international markets.[7]

Programs[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Date Show Network
January 1 A Baby Story TLC
January 3 A Place of Our Own PBS
January 5 The Charlie Horse Music Pizza
January 8 Crime Stories Court TV
WCW Thunder TBS
January 9 Kids Say the Darndest Things CBS
January 20 Dawson's Creek The WB
January 26 Special Report with Bret Baier Fox News Channel
February 1 Fox & Friends
February 6 Power Rangers in Space Fox Kids
February 7 Silver Surfer
February 28 Bug Juice Disney Channel
March 10 Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place ABC
Weather Center The Weather Channel
March 15 PB&J Otter Playhouse Disney
March 17 For Your Love NBC
LateLine
March 24 True Life MTV
April 2 World's Wildest Police Videos Fox
April 4 CatDog Nickelodeon
April 6 Teletubbies PBS
April 13 The Love Boat: The Next Wave UPN
April 20 Kelly Kelly The WB
May 11 Call for Help ZDTV
Internet Tonight
The Screen Savers
Silicon Spin
May 14 Celebrity Deathmatch MTV
June 1 The Challenge
June 6 Sex and the City HBO
Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford Syndication
June 8 Invasion America The WB
Forgive or Forget Syndication
June 22 The Howie Mandel Show
Faux Pause Game Show Network
July 4 GameSpot TV ZDTV
July 13 The Sifl and Olly Show MTV
July 19 Oh Yeah! Cartoons Nickelodeon
August 1 Linc's Showtime
August 5 Whose Line Is It Anyway? ABC
August 11 Zoog Disney Disney Channel
August 17 Judge Mills Lane Syndication
August 18 Maggie Lifetime
August 23 Holding the Baby Fox
That '70s Show
August 26 Oh Baby Lifetime
August 31 Hercules: The Animated Series Syndication and Disney's One Saturday Morning
Dragon Ball Z Cartoon Network
The Reel to Reel Picture Show PAX TV
September 1 Book TV C-SPAN2
NFL Live ESPN2
Cousin Skeeter Nickelodeon
The Wild Thornberrys
September 5 The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs Fox Kids
September 6 It's a Miracle PAX TV
September 7 The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog Fox Kids
September 9 First Wave Sci-Fi Channel
September 11 Living in Captivity Fox
September 12 Godzilla: The Series Fox Kids
Mad Jack the Pirate
The Mr. Potato Head Show
Young Hercules
September 13 The Army Show The WB
September 14 Judge Joe Brown Syndication
The Roseanne Show
Total Request Live MTV
Histeria! Kids' WB
September 19 Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain
Anatole CBS Kidshow
Dumb Bunnies
Mythic Warriors
September 21 The Brian Benben Show CBS
The King of Queens
L.A. Doctors
Change of Heart Syndication
Donny & Marie
Felicity The WB
Hyperion Bay
Conrad Bloom NBC
Will and Grace
September 22 Encore! Encore!
The Hughleys ABC
Sports Night
September 23 The Secret Lives of Men
September 24 Jesse NBC
September 25 Buddy Faro CBS
Brother's Keeper ABC
Two of a Kind
September 26 Cupid
Martial Law CBS
V.I.P. Syndication
September 28 The Cut MTV
September 29 Vengeance Unlimited ABC
September 30 The Secret Lives of Men
Maggie Winters CBS
To Have & to Hold
October 2 Friday Night Fights ESPN2
Off the Wall Disney Channel
October 3 Birdz CBS Kidshow
Flying Rhino Junior High
Franklin
Mortal Kombat: Konquest Syndication
October 4 Rolie Polie Olie Playhouse Disney
Air America Syndication
October 5 Inquizition GSN
Noddy PBS
DiResta UPN
Guys Like Us
The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer
October 6 Mercy Point
October 7 Charmed The WB
Out of the Box Playhouse Disney
Seven Days UPN
October 9 Legacy
October 10 Brats of the Lost Nebula Kid's WB
Raging Planet Discovery Channel
October 11 Malibu, CA Syndication
October 16 Trinity NBC
October 17 Wind on Water
October 20 The FBI Files Discovery Channel
October 23 Brimstone Fox
October 25 The Famous Jett Jackson Disney Channel
October 27 Reunited UPN
November 2 Becker CBS
Jay Jay the Jet Plane TLC
November 7 Little Men PAX TV
November 18 The Powerpuff Girls Cartoon Network
December 1 Comedy Central Presents Comedy Central

Ending this year[edit]

Date Show Debut
January 1 413 Hope St. 1997
Living Single 1993
January 9 Gullah Gullah Island 1994
January 10 Jungle Cubs 1996
January 12 Jenny 1997
January 15 Dellaventura
The Secret World of Alex Mack 1994
January 16 The Visitor 1997
January 22 Union Square
January 31 Spider-Man 1994
February 8 Muppets Tonight 1996
February 9 Fired Up 1997
February 13 Teen Angel
February 17 Grace Under Fire 1993
February 20 Channel Umptee-3 1997
February 23 Bobby's World 1990
February 27 The Gregory Hines Show 1997
March 2 Sparks 1996
March 4 101 Dalmatians: The Series 1997
March 6 Hiller and Diller
March 14 Teen Angel
March 15 The Tom Show
March 16 George & Leo
March 20 Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation
April 25 The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
April 27 Brooklyn South
May 3 Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher 1996
May 4 Alright Already 1997
May 14 Seinfeld 1989
May 10 Big Bag 1996
May 16 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman 1993
Silver Surfer 1998
May 18 Murphy Brown 1988
Team Knight Rider 1997
May 19 Good News
May 22 Singled Out 1995
May 25 The Naked Truth
May 26 Soul Man 1997
May 31 The Larry Sanders Show 1992
June 7 Kelly Kelly 1998
June 12 Geraldo 1987
June 15 Dexter's Laboratory (returned in 2001) 1996
Michael Hayes 1997
June 20 Bill Nye the Science Guy 1993
June 23 You Wish 1997
June 25 New York Undercover 1994
June 26 Step by Step 1991
June 30 Big Bag 1996
July 7 Invasion America 1998
July 13 Cybill 1995
July 17 Family Matters 1989
July 18 Timecop 1997
July 22 Ellen 1994
July 25 Weird Science
August 14 The Family Channel 1990
September 3 The Statler Brothers Show 1991
September 23 The RuPaul Show 1996
October 2 Wishbone 1995
October 12 The Brian Benben Show 1998
October 16 Living in Captivity
October 17 The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper 1996
October 28 The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer 1998
November 6 Trinity
November 7 The Secret Lives of Men
November 14 Animaniacs 1993
Pinky and the Brain 1995
November 16 Goosebumps
November 21 Power Rangers in Space 1998
November 25 Babylon 5 1994
December 4 The Puzzle Place 1995
Buddy Faro 1998
December 9 To Have & to Hold
December 12 The Cut
December 13 The Army Show
December 20 The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo 1996
December 21 Conrad Bloom 1998
December 28 The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss 1996
December 29 Reunited 1998
December 31 This Week in Baseball 1977

Entering syndication this year[edit]

Show Seasons In Production Source
Chicago Hope 4 Yes [8]
Doug 6 Yes
ER 4 Yes [9]
Friends 4 Yes [10]
New York Undercover 4 No [11]
Newsradio 4 Yes [12]
Sister, Sister 5 Yes [13]
This Old House 19 Yes [14]
Touched by an Angel 4 Yes [5]

Returning this year[edit]

Show Last aired Previous network New/Returning network Date of return
The NFL Today 1994 CBS Same September 6
Hollywood Squares 1989 Syndication September 14
Love Connection 1994 September 21
Match Game 1991 ABC Syndication

Change of network affiliation[edit]

Show Moved from Moved to
For Your Love NBC The WB
The Magic School Bus PBS Fox Kids
Sailor Moon Syndication Cartoon Network
Flipper PAX

Made-for-TV movies[edit]

Miniseries[edit]

Title Network Date of airing
Thanks of a Grateful Nation Showtime May 31

Births[edit]

Date Name Notability
January 4 Coco Jones Actress (So Random!, Good Luck Charlie)
January 23 Rachel Crow Actress
January 24 Ariel Winter Actress (Modern Family)
February 15 Zachary Gordon Actor (Bubble Guppies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
March 22 Paola Andino Actress (Every Witch Way)
April 6 Peyton List Actress (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jessie, Bunk'd)
Spencer List Actor
April 9 Elle Fanning Actress and sister of Dakota Fanning
April 24 Ryan Newman Actress (Zeke and Luther, See Dad Run)
June 16 Lauren Taylor Actress (Best Friends Whenever) and singer
June 19 Atticus Shaffer Actor (The Middle, Steven Universe)
June 24 Coy Stewart Actor (Bella and the Bulldogs)
July 7 Dylan Sprayberry Actor (Teen Wolf)
July 8 Jaden Smith Actor and son of Will Smith
July 9 Robert Capron Actor (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
July 10 Haley Pullos Actress (General Hospital)
July 22 Madison Pettis Actress (Cory in the House, Life with Boys, Lab Rats, The Fosters)
July 24 Bindi Irwin Australian actress (Dancing with the Stars season 21 [winner])
Logan Grove Voice actor (Gumball on The Amazing World of Gumball (2011–14)
August 1 Khamani Griffin Actor (All of Us, Carpoolers)
August 8 Shawn Mendes Canadian singer
August 13 Devan Leos Actor (Mighty Med)
August 25 China Anne McClain Actress (Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Jonas , A.N.T. Farm, Descendants: Wicked World) and singer
September 4 Elizabeth Elias Actress (Every Witch Way)
October 28 Nolan Gould Actor (Modern Family)
November 22 Eric Unger Actor
November 23 Bradley Steven Perry Actor (Good Luck Charlie, Mighty Med, Descendants: Wicked World, Lab Rats: Elite Force)
November 24 Peyton Meyer Actor (Girl Meets World)
December 2 Annalise Basso Actress
Amber Montana Actress (The Haunted Hathaways)
December 22 G Hannelius Actress (Dog with a Blog) and singer
December 23 Jackie Radinsky Actor (Bella and the Bulldogs)
December 29 Paris Berelc Actress (Mighty Med, Lab Rats: Elite Force)

Deaths[edit]

Date Name Age Notability
January 4 Mae Questel 89 Actress (voice of Olive Oyl in Popeye the Sailor)
January 5 Sonny Bono 62 Singer and entertainer (The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour)
January 21 Jack Lord 77 Actor (Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O)
February 3 Fat Pat 27 American rapper
February 6 Carl Wilson 51 Singer-songwriter (The Beach Boys) and brother of Brian Wilson
February 19 Grandpa Jones 84 Comedian and musician (Hee Haw)
February 23 Philip Abbott 74 Actor (The F.B.I.)
March 10 Lloyd Bridges 85 Actor (Mike Nelson on Sea Hunt)
April 17 Linda McCartney 56 Musician (guest star on The Simpsons) (Paul McCartney's wife)
May 14 Frank Sinatra 82 Actor and producer
May 28 Phil Hartman 49 Actor, comedian (Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, NewsRadio)
July 6 Roy Rogers 86 Actor (The Roy Rogers Show)
July 21 Robert Young 91 Actor (Father Knows Best, Marcus Welby, M.D.)
July 30 Buffalo Bob Smith 80 Children's show host (Howdy Doody)
August 2 Shari Lewis 65 Puppeteer (Lamb Chop's Play-Along)
September 23 Mary Frann 55 Actress (Joanna on Newhart)
October 3 Roddy McDowall 70 Actor (Tales of the Gold Monkey)
November 17 Dick O'Neill 70 Actor (Family Matters, Home Improvement)
Esther Rolle 78 Actress (Florida on Maude and Good Times)
December 6 Michael Zaslow 56 Actor (Roger Thorpe on Guiding Light)
December 14 Norman Fell 74 Actor (Stanley Roper on Three's Company)
December 22 or 23 Michelle Thomas 30 Actress (Myra on Family Matters, Justine on The Cosby Show)
December 25 Richard Paul 58 Actor (Carter Country, Match Game)


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News Lite: TV Guide Deal Sets Up Broadcast Opportunity". Los Angeles Daily News. HighBeam Research. June 12, 1998. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The $2 Billion Acquisition of TV Guide". Folio. HighBeam Research. January 1, 1999. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Juneau-based television station to hit airwaves soon". Juneau Empire. June 26, 1998. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ "New local television station to hit airwaves Monday". Juneau Empire. August 16, 1998. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Lisa de Moraes (August 29, 1998). "On Monday, the Genesis of PAX TV". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved February 25, 2013 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "A Salute to The WB 100+ Station Group on its Fifth Anniversary" (PDF). TelevisionWeek. September 22, 2003 – via RussellMyerson.com. 
  7. ^ "THE RUGRATS MOVIE". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 
  8. ^ [1] from Broadcasting & Cable
  9. ^ [2] from Broadcasting & Cable
  10. ^ [3] from Broadcasting & Cable
  11. ^ [4] from Broadcasting & Cable
  12. ^ [5] from Broadcasting & Cable
  13. ^ [6] from Broadcasting & Cable
  14. ^ [7] from Broadcasting & Cable