2011 in American television
|List of years in American television:|
|2010–11 United States network television schedule|
|2011–12 United States network television schedule|
|List of American television programs currently in production|
This is a list of significant events involving American television in 2011. Events listed include television show debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel launches, closures and re-branding, as well as information about controversies and carriage disputes.
|1||Discovery Health Channel leaves the air and becomes Oprah Winfrey Network, with the former Discovery Health programming split between OWN and FitTV.|
|Antenna TV, a digital sub-channel network owned by Tribune Broadcasting, makes its debut. The network, whose programming is dedicated to classic television series and films, launches mainly on stations owned-or-operated by Tribune and Local TV LLC.|
|PBS member station KCET/Los Angeles becomes an independent public/educational station. KOCE-TV/Huntington Beach, a secondary PBS affiliate serving nearby Orange County, replaces KCET as the LA market's primary PBS member station, rebranding as PBS SoCal.|
|Dish Network and Frontier Radio Management fail to reach a new carriage agreement, leaving Macon customers without both ABC and Fox, where both networks come from WGXA.|
|DirecTV removes the stations of Northwest Broadcasting due to a carriage dispute. The sides reach a temporary deal on February 1, in time for Super Bowl XLV.|
|Comedy Central retires the skyscraper-and-globe-themed logo, which it used in one form or another since its 1991 debut, and adopts a new logo mark featuring two "C"'s (which resemble a copyright symbol), with one of them and the word "Central" turned upside-down.|
|3||The Second Circuit Court of Appeals throws out a fine the FCC levied against ABC for a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue in which Charlotte Ross' character was viewed with a bare back.|
|ESPN fires play-by-play announcer Ron Franklin for making derogatory remarks to colleague Jeannine Edwards during prep work for a December 31 telecast of the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Prior to the firing, Franklin was pulled from ESPN Radio's January 1 coverage of the Fiesta Bowl over the incident.|
|7||History announces that its first scripted miniseries, The Kennedys, will not air on the network, with a spokesperson stating, "This dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand." The content of the 8-part multimillion-dollar project (produced in Canada in partnership with History's Canadian counterpart, History Television) had been the source of controversy; various sources claimed inaccuracies in the script, while the miniseries' director and production company countered that History officials gave approval on the final draft script and final cuts before dropping their broadcast plans. The producers would then begin shopping the production around to other networks, and on February 1 reached a deal with ReelzChannel, which would air the miniseries in April (this after Showtime, Starz, FX, and Audience Network took a pass).|
|Both Joan and Melissa Rivers announce that they will no longer do red carpet specials.|
|15||After a lengthy dispute and two deadline extensions, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Time Warner Cable reach an agreement in principle to keep 28 Sinclair-owned-or-operated stations in 17 markets on Time Warner cable TV systems. A more formal agreement would be announced on February 2, which includes plans for TWC to produce newscasts for Sinclair's ABC affiliate in the Greensboro market, WXLV-TV, beginning in 2012.|
|17||Citing lack of air time, Marissa Jaret Winokur announces she will leave CBS' daytime series The Talk.|
|Piers Morgan Tonight, the replacement for the long-running Larry King Live, debuts on CNN, with Oprah Winfrey as Morgan's first guest.|
|18||Turner Broadcasting System announces it will turn over day-to-day control of its Atlanta station WPCH-TV to Meredith Corporation, who will operate the station through its CBS affiliate WGCL-TV. Additionally, production for Atlanta Braves broadcasts on WPCH (45 per year) will be handled by cable rights-holders Fox Sports South and SportSouth, making 2011 the first Braves season since 1972 in which Turner Sports will not produce local Braves telecasts.|
|After a lengthy review process, the FCC and Department of Justice approve (with conditions) Comcast's purchase of a controlling share of NBC Universal. The deal officially closes before midnight on January 28, with Comcast owning 51% of NBCU and General Electric 49%. GE completed a purchase of Vivendi's 12.3% share of NBCU on January 26.|
|20||Houston PBS outlet KUHT announces that they will merge their operations with its FM sister station to become Houston Public Media.|
|The American version of Skins premieres on MTV. The series' controversial content prompts the Parents Television Council to ask the show's producers be charged with child pornography and exploitation, alleging a violation of 18 USC 1466A. The controversy also leads major advertisers to pull their advertising from the program, among them Taco Bell, Wrigley Company, General Motors, Subway, H&R Block and Schick. MTV would cancel the show in June after one season.|
|21||Countdown with Keith Olbermann airs for the final time on MSNBC after its titular host abruptly departs the network.|
|25||U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his second State of the Union Address, which is followed by not one but two opposition responses: the official Republican Party rebuttal from Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin 1st) and a Tea Party response by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota 6th). CNN is the only major network to carry Bachmann's response live, during which she does not speak directly to the TV camera.|
|28||CBS announced that Two and a Half Men would go on a production hiatus after series star Charlie Sheen is admitted into a rehabilitation center, one day after his hospitalization for a hernia condition.|
|1||FitTV rebrands as Discovery Fit & Health, reflecting the migration of programming from the former Discovery Health Channel since that network's conversion to OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network exactly one month earlier.|
|2||Several American reporters are attacked during the protests in Egypt: Anderson Cooper is kicked and punched, Katie Couric gets rocks thrown at her, and several others are harassed, held or beaten by the angry mobs.|
|3||After ten weeks, Comcast SportsNet California and Dish Network end their carriage dispute, and the regional sports network is returned to the satellite provider.|
|Una Vez Mas purchases two Texas stations from the bankrupt Johnson Broadcasting, KNWS/Houston and KLDT/Dallas. The stations' call signs are respectively changed to KYAZ and KAZD, and their affiliations also change to Azteca America.|
|6||The Green Bay Packers's 31–25 defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV attracts 111 million viewers, making the Fox broadcast the most-watched program in American TV history, surpassing the previous record of 106.5 million viewers for Super Bowl XLIV one year earlier.|
|8||Current TV announces that Keith Olbermann will join the network as its Chief News Officer and will have an equity stake in the network's parent company, Current Media. Olbermann will also anchor and executive produce a nighttime broadcast for the network. That show, which would start on June 20, bears the same name as his former MSNBC show, Countdown.|
|10||Simon Cowell, a former American Idol judge and show founder of The X Factor, based on the British series of the same name, announced that the show's grand prize would include a US$5 million prize package with a recording contract, billed as its biggest prize in reality-competition.|
|11||Fox Entertainment Group announces that its MyNetwork TV service has been renewed for three more years, through 2014.|
|13||Sony, IMAX and Discovery Communications launch 3net, a new 3DTV channel.|
|14||Disney Channel's daily morning program block for preschoolers, Playhouse Disney, rebrands as Disney Junior, part of the network's plan to establish Disney Junior as a stand-alone network in 2012 (replacing SOAPNet).|
|ESPN 3D is upgraded to a 24-hour channel.|
|Time Warner Cable announces the formation of two new Southern California-based regional sports networks named TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes (one in English, one in Spanish) that will launch in 2012. The networks will serve as exclusive local TV homes of basketball's Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years beginning with the 2012–2013 NBA season.|
|14–16||The Watson computer built by IBM competes on the game show Jeopardy! and defeats two well-known Jeopardy! champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.|
|20||Xfinity 3D, a Comcast-owned 24-hour 3DTV channel, commences programming with coverage of the 2011 Heritage Classic.|
|22||NBC announces deals to broadcast all three races in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing—the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes—through 2015. The deals reunite all three Triple Crown races on NBC for the first time since 2005, and will also include coverage on Versus of the races' Friday and Saturday undercards, including the Kentucky Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. (ABC had aired the Belmont since 2006, while the undercards had aired on ESPN for several years.)|
|23–24||A unique daytime-primetime crossover airs involving ABC's All My Children and TV Land's Hot in Cleveland: the premise involves Wendie Malick's Cleveland character, Victoria Chase, landing a bit role on AMC as a housekeeper. Malick (as Victoria) appears on the AMC broadcast of the 24th; AMC castmembers Susan Lucci, Darnell Williams and Michael E. Knight appear on Cleveland's episode of the 23rd.|
|24||Following a series of angry public rants by star Charlie Sheen, including comments directed at his employers, CBS and Warner Bros. announce that production on Two and a Half Men will be canceled for the remainder of the season.|
|25||CNN announces that Parker Spitzer co-host Kathleen Parker will leave the show to concentrate on writing her syndicated news column (though she will continue to be a CNN contributor). On February 28, the show is revamped and retitled In the Arena, with sole host Eliot Spitzer presiding over roundtable discussions with journalists and contributors.|
|26||The seventh season of Game Show Network's High Stakes Poker premieres, with a 3D television simulcast on N3D, the first for a serial program.|
|3||Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Carlisle One Media, Inc. announces an agreement to purchase WZMY-TV/Derry, New Hampshire from ShootingStar Broadcasting of New England. The deal for the MyNetworkTV and Universal Sports station, which is operated by New Age Media, would close in May, when the station changes call sign to WBIN-TV.|
|4||Twenty-seven stations owned and operated by LIN TV Corporation that serve 17 markets vanish from Dish Network at midnight after the two companies fail to reach a retransmission consent deal. The stations are restored by March 13, when the companies reach a new deal.|
|7||After a week of interviews in which he continues criticizing his employers, but also appears at times rambling and incoherent, Charlie Sheen is officially fired from Two and a Half Men.|
|14||Aflac fires Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of its Aflac Duck after his comments on Twitter about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan three days prior are deemed insensitive by the press.|
|15||The 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament begins play, as does a multi-year broadcast partnership with CBS Sports and Turner Sports that will allow, for the first time, nationwide broadcasts of all tournament games in their entirety on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV (it's the first sports programming for the latter network, which is known for true crime and reality programming).|
|18||Netflix announces a deal with Media Rights Capital for North American distribution of the original drama series House of Cards, which will premiere on the online and video distribution service in late 2012. It is Netflix's first announced foray into distributing original episodic content. (Lilyhammer would be Netflix's first original show, debuting in February 2012.)|
|As part of an effort to end state funding of South Carolina ETV and turn over operations to private interests, South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley replaces the entire board of directors that oversee the radio/TV network.|
|19||Tribune-owned CW affiliate KIAH/Houston converts its hour-long 5 and 9 p.m. evening newscasts to NewsFix, a new format that de-emphasizes the traditional use of anchors and reporters, uses voiceover narration (by local radio personality Greg Onofrio) for continuity, and emphasizes visual storytelling, including graphics and camerawork.|
|22||A court-appointed receiver approves the sale of insolvent WLNE-TV/New Bedford, Massachusetts to Citadel Communications. Citadel, whose purchase attempt gained the approval of ABC (of which WLNE is an affiliate), close on the sale on June 1.|
|25||Amanda Knox, an American woman who was appealing her conviction of the 2007 murder of her roommate in Italy, filed an injunction to block a television film based on her case from airing on Italian television, claiming the movie (which premiered in the U.S. on Lifetime on February 22) left her "exploited" and "very disturbed." Knox also sought to block the film from running on the internet. YouTube has obliged by removing clips of and references to the movie from its website. On October 4, an Italian jury overturned her conviction and Knox was freed. As a result, Lifetime announced that it will alter the TV movie to reflect the outcome.|
|28||BBC World News America moves from BBC America to sister network BBC World News and is shortened from 60 to 30 minutes. The move is part of an effort to expand BBC News' U.S. operations (including efforts to increase cable/satellite carriage of BBC World News in the U.S.), as well as to more clearly define BBC America as an entertainment channel (content from BBC World News still airs on BBC America during the early morning hours, while WNA still airs on several public television stations).|
|29||AMC announces that the new season of Mad Men, its fifth, will be delayed into early 2012, the side effect of ongoing contract negotiations between AMC, Lions Gate Entertainment, and series creator/producer Matthew Weiner. Weiner would ink a deal to continue as Mad Men showrunner on March 31.|
|30||Avoiding a blackout, LIN TV Corporation reaches a retransmission deal with cable provider Cox Communications, covering 9 LIN stations in 5 markets.|
|31||New York City-based regional sports network SNY announces they are in a carriage dispute with Dish Network. The dispute comes to light the same day as the 2011 Major League Baseball season commences play (SNY is the cable home of the New York Mets). SNY was later removed from Dish Network, prompting SNY to take out ads attacking the satellite TV company, and encouraging their customers to switch providers.|
|Another New York City based regional sports network YES Network (cable home of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets) informed DirecTV customers of a carriage dispute, which would have resulted in a loss of the channel beginning April 2. After a week of good faith negotiations and a temporary agreement that allowed the channel to remain on DirecTV for another six days, a new long-term carriage agreement was reached on April 7 with no interruption of service.|
|Time Warner Cable removes 12 cable networks owned by Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks and Viacom from its iPad streaming video app after the companies complain their addition on the app was a violation of their distribution agreements with TWC. Animal Planet, FX, and MTV are among the networks removed from the app. The next day it replaces them with 17 new channels, among them those owned by The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, and AMC Networks.|
|1||Four Fox Sports Net-affiliated regional sports networks serving Pittsburgh, the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains and Utah, adopt a new branding, Root Sports. The networks, all owned by DirecTV Sports Networks, continue programming relationships with FSN as well as their own local team contracts.|
|Citing the station's lack of financial viability, the owners of Orlando PBS affiliate WMFE-TV announce that the station will be sold. The buyer is religious broadcaster Daystar, who plans to eventually WMFE to a Daystar station upon FCC approval.|
|SJL Broadcasting completes its reacquisition of WJRT-TV/Flint and WTVG/Toledo from ABC.|
|2||Elton John hosts Saturday Night Live and is the musical guest as well. It was John's first appearance on the NBC show in almost 30 years.|
|4||In an effort to expand its programming beyond college athletics, CBS College Sports Network rebrands as CBS Sports Network.|
|Cablevision unveils its own iPad app, featuring 300 live channels streaming over its own proprietary Advanced Digital Cable network. In response, YES Network claims its inclusion on the app is a violation of their distribution agreement. Viacom files a similar complaint on April 7.|
|5||Dish Network buys bankrupt video rental chain Blockbuster Inc. for $320 million at auction.|
|6||Fox News Channel and Glenn Beck announce that Beck's self-titled show will end later in the year (June 30 would be its final airing), although Beck plans to develop new content for the network.|
|7||Nexstar Broadcasting Group announces its purchase of CBS affiliates WFRV-TV/Green Bay and WJMN-TV/Marquette, a deal that would close on July 2. It also reveals its intentions for a separate local newscast on the latter station, which currently simulcasts news from the former.|
|WWE announces its plans to launch its own 24-hour cable channel in 2012.|
|11||Hearst Corporation announces it will purchase a stake in reality producer Mark Burnett's eponymous production company.|
|11-15||Wheel of Fortune introduced a gameplay element in which picking up two such car plates would win a car. The debut featured was in a form similar to the Million Dollar Wedge (with the car plate sandwiched between two $500 spaces), and it would become a permanent format starting September 26 (which now became regular car plates covering a full wedge), until its retirement at the end of the 36th season.|
|14||ABC announces the cancellation of two of its long-running daytime dramas—All My Children, which will end its 41-year run in September, and One Life to Live, whose 43-year run will end in January 2012. Both shows will be replaced by lifestyle and talk programming. The moves will leave General Hospital as ABC's last remaining daytime drama.|
|Cellular phone company Verizon Wireless announces it will phase out its famous "Can You Hear Me Now?" campaign. The catchphrase had been uttered on Verizon commercials since 2002 by the "Verizon Test Guy" (actor Paul Marcarelli), who last appeared in February promos for Verizon's iPhone 4.|
|The studios of NBC affiliate WDIV-TV/Detroit are evacuated after a suspicious package is left in the station foyer. Though no explosives are discovered, the scare forces the station's 11 p.m. newscast to be delayed by 15 minutes.|
|18||In protest over ABC's cancellation of All My Children and One Life to Live, floor care company Hoover announces it will pull all advertising from the network as of April 22 and start a campaign to save both shows.|
|GSN, ESPN, and Fox Sports Net begin to pare down or cancel airings of poker broadcasts and poker website advertising in the wake of United States v. Scheinberg, in which websites Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are seized by federal authorities. ESPN and FSN would pull broadcasts of PokerStars-sponsored events, while GSN would reduce the number of weekly airings of High Stakes Poker, airing them without any mentions of poker website sponsorship.|
|George Gray, former host of the syndicated version of The Weakest Link, officially becomes the fourth announcer of CBS's The Price Is Right.[unreliable source?]|
|19||NBC Sports and the National Hockey League reach a new 10-year broadcast deal, running through the 2020–2021 season. The new deal will include national broadcasts of all Stanley Cup playoff games on NBC or sister channel Versus.|
|20||20th Television announces that it will develop a new talk show for Ricki Lake, which will debut in September 2012.|
|Dave Willis announces that after 10 years on air, the title Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the longest running series on Cartoon Network's program block Adult Swim, would officially be changed to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. The first official episode of the series to premiere as an Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 eventually aired on May 8, 2011.|
|21||DirecTV launches its Home Premiere pay-per-view service, which allows subscribers to watch movies only 60 days after their theatrical release at a price of $29.99 each.|
|25||Public broadcasting station KCET/Los Angeles, beset by drops in ratings and revenues after disaffiliating with PBS, announces it will sell its longtime Sunset Boulevard studios to the Church of Scientology. In June, KCET would announce plans to move to a smaller studio in suburban Burbank by April 2012.|
|26||In NBC, the first season of the most popular and successful singing reality-competition The Voice, based on the Netherlands' show of the same name, premieres its first episode.|
|27||NBC affiliate WALB in Albany, Georgia begins airing ABC programming on WALB-DT2, marking ABC's first full-time affiliate in Albany since the demise of WVGA (now CBS affiliate WSWG) in 1992. This also gives Albany in-market affiliates of all four major commercial networks.|
|28||The CW names Mark Pedowitz as its new president, replacing Dawn Ostroff, who will leave the network at the end of May.|
|In a "supersized" episode (from 30 to 50 minutes), Steve Carell makes his last appearance as a regular on The Office.|
|29||An estimated 22.8 million viewers in 18.6 million American households watch live coverage from Great Britain of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, which airs in the U.S. at 6 a.m. (EDT).|
|1||In an interview with 60 Minutes colleague Scott Pelley, CBS' Lara Logan recounts her sexual assault by male protestors in Cairo's Tahrir Square while covering the Egyptian protests the previous February.|
|A special crossover storyline involving Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad! is pulled by Fox in the wake of a recent series of devastating storms and tornadoes that destroyed portions of the Southeastern United States. The planned episodes had the characters in all three shows bracing for a hurricane that was headed their way. The episodes later aired October 2, 2011.|
|The major networks break into prime time programming to report the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in Pakistan, which is confirmed by a late night (11:30PM ET) address from the White House by President Obama.|
|2||Dish Network and EchoStar announce that it will pay TiVo $500 million to settle their seven-year-long patent infringement battle over DVR technology used by Dish.|
|3||An estimate released by Nielsen indicates that the number of households with television sets will decrease in 2012 for the first time in 20 years.|
|4||The soon-to-be Pac-12 Conference announces a broadcast deal with ESPN and Fox Sports that goes into effect in 2012. The agreement will feature game broadcasts on ESPN's and Fox's sister networks (including ABC and FX), as well as their sharing broadcast duties for the conference's football and men's basketball championships on an alternating basis.|
|5||Judy McGrath announces her resignation as chairman/CEO of MTV Networks.|
|Fox News Channel ends the contracts of two of its political contributors, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Both men, who were suspended by Fox on March 2, failed to meet a network-imposed May 1 deadline for their decisions on not running for president. (Gingrich would formally declare his candidacy on May 11, Santorum on June 6.)|
|6||OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network CEO Christina Norman is dismissed and replaced on an interim basis by Peter Liguori, the chief operating officer of OWN's co-owner Discovery Communications. Winfrey would move into the CEO position in the fall.|
|Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) acquires KTBU/Conroe, Texas from USFR Media Group for $16 million. Upon the completion of the sale, KTBU will join SBS-TV.|
|8||With contract negotiations finishing at the last minute, Paula Abdul formally joins the judging panel on Fox's The X Factor for this date's taping of the first judging session.|
|13||CBS announces that Ashton Kutcher will replace the fired Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men when new episodes resume in the fall.|
|14||At the closing of his weekly Fox News program, Mike Huckabee announces that he will not run for U.S. President in 2012.|
|15||After four attempts in Survivor, Rob Mariano emerged as the sole survivor on the twenty-second season of Survivor; at 117 days of participation, he surpassed Parvati Shallow's record of 114 days as the longest played player in the show's history at the time of the finale. As of his fifth played season in Winners at War, Mariano played a cumulative 152 days (excluding his involvement in Island of the Idols), surpassing Ozzy Lusth's 127 which was surpassed during Game Changers six years later.|
|16||After seriously flirting with the idea for months, businessman and The Apprentice host Donald Trump announces that he will not run for U.S. President in 2012. Eight months later on December 23, Trump switches his party affiliation from Republican to Independent due to a possible opening to enter the race as a third-party candidate.|
|NBC and its affiliates announce plans for a "proxy" agreement that would see the network handle cable/satellite retransmission negotiations for any consenting affiliates. NBC, in exchange, would receive a percentage of the retrans fees the stations receive.|
|Charlie Ergen steps down from his position as CEO of Dish Network. He will be succeeded in June by Joe Clayton.|
|Fox announces that Seth MacFarlane will create a new version of the classic animated series The Flintstones. Production will begin in Fall 2011 for a projected 2013 premiere.|
|17||Telemundo announces that Cristina Saralegui will host a weekend talk show on the Spanish-language network beginning later in 2011. Saralegui had hosted a long-running talk show on competitor Univision until its cancellation in November 2010.|
|19||After failing to reach a new contract with owner Comcast, Dick Ebersol announces his resignation as chairman of NBC Sports after 22 years, with Mark Lazarus, who heads NBC Sports Cable Group, being tapped to replace Ebersol. (Ebersol's second-in-command, NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer, would announce his retirement one week later on May 26, effective at the end of summer.)|
|Katie Couric ended her less-than-five-year tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News.|
|20||After 29 years, Mary Hart anchors Entertainment Tonight for the final time.|
|22||During a coverage of a tornado, Rockford, Illinois station WREX is hit by one.|
|24||ACME Communications announces it has completed the sale of 3 of its stations: WBXX-TV/Knoxville (to Lockwood Broadcast Group), WCWF/Green Bay (to LIN TV Corporation), and WBDT/Dayton (to WBDT Television, LLC, which will have LIN TV operate the station).|
|ABC announces that it will turn over its Saturday morning kids' programming block to Litton Entertainment, who will launch a new lineup billed as Litton's Weekend Adventure on September 3.|
|Nancy Grace steps down as host of Swift Justice with Nancy Grace to remain in Atlanta and continue with her eponymous HLN show. Former Las Vegas judge Jackie Glass will take over as host for the show's second season, which will relocate from Atlanta to Los Angeles.|
|25||After 25 years in syndication, Oprah Winfrey hosts the final original episode of her eponymous program, a guest-free retrospective and "thank you" to her viewers.|
|MSNBC talk host Ed Schultz takes a one-week unpaid leave from his MSNBC primetime show for comments directed at conservative commentator Laura Ingraham on his syndicated radio program the previous day, in which Schultz twice referred to Ingraham as a "slut". Schultz addresses the remarks and makes an on-air apology to Ingraham during the opening four minutes of this evening's broadcast, after which he turns it over to MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and begins his leave. Schultz returned as host of his primetime program on June 6.|
|26||The University of Central Florida's Board of Trustees approves a TV partnership with Brevard Community College, operator of WBCC/Cocoa, Florida. The partnership, which will be branded as WUCF-TV, will become Orlando's full-time PBS affiliate on July 1, when WMFE-TV disaffiliates from PBS and moves up V-me from a subchannel to its main channel while Daystar awaits FCC approval of its purchase of WMFE.|
|1||DirecTV rebrands The 101 Network as Audience Network.|
|6||ABC announces it has signed Katie Couric to host an eponymous daytime talk show that will be distributed by the network's syndication arm and premiere on September 6, 2012. At that time, ABC is expected to turn over the 3-4PM (ET/PT) hour of its daytime network schedule back to its affiliates (General Hospital currently airs in that time slot, and its future after September 2012 has yet to be determined). Also as part of the deal, Couric will contribute to ABC News programming.|
|Fox confirms that Cheryl Cole has been dropped as a judge on The X Factor. Nicole Scherzinger, who was originally tapped to co-host the show with Steve Jones, will fill Cole's void on the judging panel alongside Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and L.A. Reid (Jones will remain as solo host).|
|Scott Pelley takes over as anchor of the CBS Evening News.|
|Jim Lehrer steps down as a regular anchor of PBS NewsHour after 36 years, although he continues to make contributions to the program.|
|7||NBCUniversal outbids ESPN/ABC and Fox to retain rights to air the Olympic Games through 2020. The deal between NBC and the International Olympic Committee is valued at $4.38 billion.|
|8||Meredith Vieira anchors her final broadcast of Today after five years. Ann Curry, the NBC show's newsreader since 1997, moves into the co-host role with Matt Lauer the following day.|
|Science Channel rebrands with a new logo, graphics, and name, going as simply "Science."|
|13||NBC affiliate KSL-TV/Salt Lake City announced that it would not air the drama The Playboy Club when it premieres in September, citing the station's policy to screen content its audience may find objectionable (KSL's parent company, Bonneville International, is owned by The LDS Church). The show will air instead on the market's MyNetworkTV station, KMYU/St. George, and its Salt Lake City simulcast, KUTV-DT2. NBC later canceled the series after airing only three episodes.|
|Comcast SportsNet Bay Area began providing daily sports reports for KNTV/San Jose, California. It is the first instance since Comcast's takeover of NBCUniversal that a Comcast regional sports network provides sportscasts for an NBC O&O in the same market (CSN-produced broadcasts of San Francisco Giants games have aired on KNTV since 2008).|
|KNX radio announcer Jim Thornton officially becomes the announcer of Wheel of Fortune. Earlier, Thornton made his debut as announcer on a majority of the season starting on December 20, 2010.|
|15||NBC's broadcast of Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, in which the Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks to win their first Stanley Cup in 39 years, was watched by 8.5 million viewers, the largest audience for a NHL game in the U.S. since 1973.|
|20||NBC issued an apology for running an opening montage during its U.S. Open broadcast the previous day that featured a partially redacted recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.|
|Citing a Major League Baseball rule that forbids franchises to borrow on future assets in order to pay current bills, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejects a proposed local TV contract between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports Net's Prime Ticket. As a result, the Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a week later. (Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had been in a protracted divorce case, the settlement of which was contingent on MLB's approval of the team's deal with Fox.)|
|23||Viacom sues Cablevision over the latter company's iPad app, claiming it is in violation of their distribution agreement.|
|24||The State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs issues a 15-year cable franchise license to Hawaiian Telcom, thus ending Oceanic Time Warner's 35-year monopoly as the state's sole cable TV provider. Hawaiian Telcom launched the service on July 1, after a year of testing in the Honolulu area, with statewide expansion to start in 2012.|
|27||New Moon Communications, a minority-owned broadcasting company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announces it will acquire four LPTV stations, all of them former TBN affiliates, from The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. The stations—WDON/Dothan, Alabama, WZMC/Jackson, Tennessee, KJNE/Jonesboro, Arkansas and KUMK/Ottumwa, Iowa—were slated for NBC affiliation starting in September, but eventually were either sold off or never had digital facilities built out and their licenses canceled. Of the four, only WDON ever came to air as an NBC affiliate, after being sold to Gray Television and becoming WRGX-LD.|
|29||In NBC, Javier Colon, who was coached by Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, was crowned as the first-ever winner of The Voice; Dia Frampton, coached by country singer Blake Shelton, became the runner-up.|
|30||Five months after joining Univision as its Executive Vice President and COO, Randy Falco is promoted to the President and CEO positions at the network.|
|MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin calls President Obama a "dick" during a live broadcast of Morning Joe. Halperin warned he was about to use the vulgarity and asked for a 7-second delay so it could be censored, but the show's new executive producer didn't know how to do so and the profanity was aired uncensored. Though Halperin would issue an on-air apology, he would be suspended by the network.|
|1||Control of public television's New Jersey Network shifts from the State of New Jersey to a subsidiary of WNET/New York City, which rebrands the stations as NJTV while the state retains the stations' licenses. The changeover comes 4 days after the New Jersey Senate, by one vote, fails to block the plan.|
|Cablevision completes its spinoff of Rainbow Media, changing its name to the publicly held company AMC Networks. On the same day, the new company shuts down Wedding Central.|
|PBS member station KTEH/San Jose, rebrands to KQED Plus (KQEH) for another channel of quality Public Television, where KQED was not related to KTEH.|
|3||NBC airs Wimbledon for the 43rd and final time, with the network stating later in the day that they have been outbid for future US broadcast rights to the annual British tennis tournament. The winning bidder would be ESPN, who has carried early round coverage since 2003 and will carry all rounds exclusively (and live to all time zones) until 2023.|
|4||OTA Broadcasting wins the bankrupt independent station KFFV/Seattle from North Pacific International Television, Inc., with a bid of $5.2 million in auction.|
|6||NBC transferred the ownership of one of its three O&Os in Los Angeles, Spanish-language independent station KWHY-TV, to local businessman Alex Meruelo, who had acquired the station for $43 million in January. The station became a MundoFox affiliate in 2012.|
|7||Media/production company Prospect Park announces it has picked up the license to produce and air new episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live on an in-development website similar to Hulu after the shows conclude their runs on ABC. Prospect Park would be unable to reach deals with all parties involved (from actors to financial backing), and by November 23 would announce it would shut down production development on both soaps, thus preventing both from being the first of the genre to transfer their first-run broadcasts from conventional TV to online broadcasting.|
|The Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of the Federal Communications Commission over their 2008 decision to keep the cross-ownership rules for TV/radio stations as it is. The ruling also includes keeping current limits on local ownership rules, including the "sub-caps" for AM and FM stations, and that the Commission was correct in not counting HD Radio simulcasts against the ownership limits.|
|8||Al Michaels teams with Bob Costas to broadcast a Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants from San Francisco on the MLB Network. This marked the first time that Michaels did commentary for a baseball game since Game 5 of the 1995 World Series on ABC. Michaels and Costas also made appearances on SportsNet New York and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area during the game's middle innings, since the MLB Network broadcast was blacked out in the Mets' and Giants' respective home markets.|
|9||Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents marks its ten-year anniversary with a live-action adaptation of the popular cartoon called A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner. The direct-to-TV movie stars Drake & Josh star Drake Bell as Timmy Turner.|
|11||Bahakel Communications announces its purchase (subject to FCC approval) of Montgomery's CW affiliate, WBMM, from SagamoreHill Broadcasting, as well as a shared services agreement to operate SagamoreHill's ABC affiliate, WNCF. Both stations will be operated through Bahakel's CBS affiliate, WAKA.|
|Law & Order: LA airs its series finale on NBC, leaving the network's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as the last remaining show in the Law & Order franchise.|
|17||The United States women's national soccer team's shootout loss to Japan in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final gives ESPN its highest ratings ever for a soccer telecast, with an average of nearly 13.5 million viewers.|
|18||Citing fatigue in the position and difficulty with boxing broadcast negotiations, Ross Greenburg announces he will leave as president of HBO Sports after 11 years in the position and 33 years with the network.|
|20||After a six-month stint as a fill-in for MSNBC's 6 pm timeslot, The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur turns down a deal to sign with the network and parts ways. Al Sharpton, who took his spot and saw the ratings for his appearance increased, took over the hour on a permanent basis and was later given his own show called PoliticsNation, which premiered August 29.|
|21||Nexstar Broadcasting Group announces that it will put all of its 65 television stations, including 15 stations operated by Mission Broadcasting, up for sale.|
|25||Nickelodeon launches a block of reruns of its 1990s programming to cater to its twentysomething viewers. Dubbed The '90s Are All That, the block airs on its older-skewing sister channel, TeenNick.|
|26||The Parents Television Council sends letters to all NBC affiliates urging them to not air the new series The Playboy Club. NBC later canceled the series after airing only three episodes.|
|27||Both MSNBC and host Rachel Maddow are sued by conservative preacher-musician Bradlee Dean (the founder of the religious group You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International) for $50 million in damages, claiming that Maddow took his comments that homosexuals should be executed in accordance with Islamic Sharia law out of context during a segment on her show in 2010, despite a disclaimer about his personal views (including a posted retraction by Dean about the statement) made by Maddow. MSNBC has stated that Dean's lawsuit has no merit.|
|The Pac-12 Conference announces it will launch a group of one national and six regional networks dedicated to airing sporting events featuring the conference's schools. The networks are set to debut in August 2012.|
|28||Una Vez Mas acquires KFTY/Santa Rosa, California from High Plains Broadcasting (operated through a joint sales agreement with Newport Television) for $5.2 million. By September 29, the station will end 39-years as an English-language independent station (and 3 months with MeTV) and become the San Francisco Bay Area's Azteca America affiliate (under the new call sign KEMO-TV).|
|31||Johnathan A. Rodgers steps down as president and CEO of TV One. Wonya Lucas replaces him.|
|1||Starz Entertainment makes several changes and additions to its Encore premium multiplex service: an eighth channel, Encore Español, launches as a Spanish-language simulcast of the primary Encore channel; Encore Mystery and Encore WAM are rebranded as Encore Suspense and Encore Family respectively; and high definition feeds of Encore Action and Encore Drama launch. Additionally, MoviePlex discontinues its rotating daily simulcasts of programming from Encore's multiplex channels and becomes a standalone channel. On this date and August 2, Encore aired its first original programming: the mini-series Moby Dick. Additional original programs scheduled for Encore this year are the mini-series The Take and the documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis.|
|The Fox affiliation in Fort Wayne, Indiana moves from WFFT-TV to WISE-DT2, a subchannel of Fort Wayne's NBC affiliate that retains secondary affiliation with MyNetworkTV. WFFT-TV becomes an independent station, which was its status from its 1977 launch until joining Fox in 1986. The swap occurs 6 days after WFFT owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group, which had been going through a falling out with Fox in several of its markets, files a federal antitrust lawsuit against WISE owner Granite Broadcasting over Granite's monopolization of operating 2 TV stations with 4 network affiliations in the Fort Wayne market (Granite operates, through an LMA, ABC/CW affiliate WPTA, which is owned by Malara Broadcasting).|
|MTV celebrates the 30th anniversary of its launch. Sister network VH1 Classic joins in by airing the channel's original first hour (including the original commercials and technical difficulties) in addition to some of the network's most memorable shows and moments throughout the weekend.|
|PBS announces that it is launching a PBS-branded channel in the United Kingdom in November.|
|Fox Soccer Channel renamed Fox Soccer.|
|Comcast and NBCUniversal announce that Versus will be rebranded as NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012.|
|4||Comcast sues DirecTV for false advertising for ads that claim its exclusive out of market sports package NFL Sunday Ticket is now free for new customers. Comcast dropped the case on August 19 after DirecTV altered the ads to remove the word "free".|
|8||Verizon Communications accuses striking workers of vandalizing its systems.|
|10||Major League Soccer announced a three-year deal, effective in 2012, with NBC Sports that will see MLS regular season and playoff games, as well as United States men's national soccer team games, carried by NBC and NBC Sports Network. The deal will replace MLS' relationship with Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes that dates back to 2003 (deals with ESPN and Univision will remain in place).|
|12||Cinemax, the Time Warner-owned premium cable channel known for running mainstream feature films and late night adult programming under the "Max After Dark" banner, expands its original programming into mainstream content with the U.S. launch of the primetime British action series Strike Back (the series, which will be aired in the United States for the first time, originally debuted on Sky1 in the U.K. in 2010, with first-run episodes set to air on Cinemax being from the second season). Additional action series Transporter: The Series, The Sector, Banshee, and Sandbox are in production and are scheduled to premiere in 2012. Earlier in the month on August 1, the channel retired its logos that have been used since 1997 (the logo in use at the time, a modification of the 1997 version, dates back to 2008), changing to a new ones with a different font and color scheme.|
|15||Fox will begin next-day streaming of its shows to paying customers of approved cable and satellite distributors. People who want to see the episodes the following day for free on Hulu will have to wait eight days after the first-run telecasts.|
|NBCUniversal rebrands its crime-and-mystery-oriented channel Sleuth as Cloo. The reason for the unusual spelling is to allow the company to own the trademark, as Hasbro owns the trademark rights to the name with their board game Clue. The newly branded channel launched its first original program, the non-fictional murder investigation series Killer Instinct, on September 17, 2011.|
|Time Warner Cable announces it will buy out Insight Communications for $3 billion.|
|17||Christine O'Donnell becomes the first guest to walk out on Piers Morgan Tonight after the host asked her questions on her views on same-sex marriage, which she thought were rude.|
|18||CBS announces that both Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini will no longer be co-hosts of The Talk when the second season starts. Kris Jenner has been tapped as a temporary co-host while comedian Sheryl Underwood is expected to be a permanent regular.|
|19||Bravo announces it will reedit the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after Russell Armstrong, husband of Taylor Armstrong, is found dead from an apparent suicide. The couple was reportedly having marital problems.|
|26||Longhorn Network, a 24-hour cable channel dedicated to the University of Texas at Austin launches, with Verizon FiOS as the only major provider to reach a carriage deal.|
|27||ABC Kids ceased broadcast.|
|29||Univision-owned WUVC-DT/Raleigh premieres a weeknight half-hour 6 p.m. newscast, titled Noticias 40. It is the first Spanish-language local newscast in the state of North Carolina.|
|1||Mediacom fails to reach a new carriage agreement with LIN Media, resulting in LIN stations in Mobile, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute and Lafayette, Indiana being removed from Mediacom systems. The signals would be restored by October 15, when the two sides reach a retransmission agreement.|
|4||Tennis Channel removes its signal from Cablevision and Verizon FiOS due to carriage disputes with both providers.|
|Major changes take place on the MDA Labor Day Telethon: The show is shortened to six hours (less than ⅓ its previous length), airs live only on the East Coast, and abandons its nominal and traditional carryover to Labor Day (instead airing only on this date). It also does not include any live appearance by Jerry Lewis, the telethon's founder and host since its inception, although a tribute to him is featured in the telecast's opening and closing segments (Lewis was "released" from his post at the Muscular Dystrophy Association on August 3).|
|8||Sinclair Broadcast Group announces its acquisition of 7 TV stations from Four Points Media Group for $200 million, a deal that closes the first week of January 2012. The stations involved in the transaction are KUTV and KMYU/Salt Lake City, KEYE/Austin, WTVX, WWHB and WTCN/West Palm Beach, and WLWC/Providence. The deal brings Sinclair into these four TV markets for the first time.|
|The same day the 2011 NFL regular season kicks off, ESPN extends its contract for Monday Night Football for another eight seasons, giving it rights to the broadcasts until 2021. The new deal, valued between $14.2 billion and $15.2 billion, also gives them rights to expanded highlights, international and digital rights, and possibly a Wildcard game. The deal also draws rebukes from cable operators over its cost and the likelihood of an increase in ESPN's already record-high retransmission consent fees.|
|After his original date (September 7) is turned down by House leadership, President Barack Obama delivers a speech on jobs to the United States Congress on this date. The speech is delivered at an unusual time for a Presidential speech to Congress: the prime time "access" slot of 7PM (ET), so as to avoid potential conflict with the NFL's season opener between New Orleans and Green Bay. The President's speech finishes well before the game's start time of 8:30PM (ET).|
|11||Broadcast and cable networks air programming to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Notable programs include live coverage of the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City plus memorial services at The Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the real-time airing of the documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America across A&E Television Networks at 8:46 a.m. EDT.|
|12||Seeking to expand the network's coverage and possibly add HD content, NBC Sports announces it will move its Universal Sports from an over-the-air digital multicast network to a cable/satellite network, beginning in early 2012. DirecTV already offers the channel on its national lineup.|
|Wichita CBS affiliate KWCH begins producing half-hour 4 and 9 p.m. newscasts for CW affiliate KSCW-DT (both stations are owned by Schurz Communications). The latter KSCW-DT newscasts will compete with an existing 9 p.m. newscast KWCH produces for Fox affiliate KSAS-TV, owned by Newport Television, since 2004 (KSAS' news share arrangement with KWCH will expire at the end of the year). As a result, KWCH will become the first U.S. television station to simultaneously produce newscasts for four stations in the same market (in addition to its own newscasts and the outsourced news programs for KSCW-DT and KSAS, it also produces a newscast for Univision affiliate KDCU-DT) and the first U.S. station to produce competing outsourced primetime newscasts for two stations in the same market.|
|13||Journal Communications announces that they will drop The Cool TV from their stations and plan to sue parent company Cool Music Network for $257,500, claiming that they were not paid for broadcasting services prior to June 1. The channels will be replaced with programming from other providers, such as Live Well Network and Me-TV.|
|The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards airs on Fox. This telecast, which was produced for the first time by Mark Burnett, is part of an eight-year renewal deal with the four major over-the-air networks (Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC), ending speculations that it would move to cable.|
|23||All My Children, an ABC long-running 41-year-old soap opera that debuted in 1970, airs its final episode on the network after more than 10,000 episodes.|
|25||Fast food chain Wendy's unveils a new ad campaign based on its famous "Where's the beef?" ad campaign of the 1980s, using a new slogan that answers that famous question: "Here's the beef."|
|26||Bounce TV, an over-the-air digital broadcast television network aimed at an African-American audience, commences programming.|
|A&E Networks rebrands History International as H2, which includes broadcasts of more recent documentary programming to it from parent channel History.|
|27||ALN is rebranded as Youtoo TV, with a new format featuring Internet based programs as well as viewer contributed videos via social networking sites.|
|28||The Price Is Right airs its 7,500th CBS daytime episode.|
|1||AT&T Uverse removes NHL Network due to a carriage dispute.|
|2||Ending a 33-year run, and just one month before his November 4 death, Andy Rooney makes his last appearance as a commentator on 60 Minutes.|
|3||ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr.'s longtime opening intro to its Monday Night Football telecast after the singer makes remarks on Fox and Friends earlier in the day comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler. Although Williams later apologized for the comments, Williams and ESPN mutually agreed to no longer use the song as the theme for Monday Night Football.|
|4||HD Theater is rebranded as Velocity to more naturally fit its increased focus on male-oriented programming.|
|11||Roberts Broadcasting, whose portfolio includes four CW affiliates and one My Network TV affiliate, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the company defaulting on payments to Warner Bros. Television Distribution that resulted in the latter pulling their properties from Roberts' stations, and an earlier lawsuit of the same from CBS Television Distribution.|
|14||After considering a sale of the online video service in June, News Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Comcast and Providence Equity Partners decide to continue their joint ownership of Hulu and pull it from the sale block.|
|The FCC orders that Madison Square Garden, Inc. has to make a carriage agreement with Verizon FiOS and AT&T Uverse for the high definition feeds of regional sports networks MSG and MSG Plus by October 22, and launch them on the providers by November 14.|
|18||Inspired by actor Zachary Quinto's decision to come out as a gay man, ABC World News Now anchor Dan Kloeffler announces on air that he is also coming out as a gay man as well.|
|20||CBS commemorates the 60th anniversary of its famous eye logo.|
|21||FIFA, soccer's governing body, reaches U.S. broadcast deals with Fox Sports (English language) and Telemundo (Spanish language) for FIFA championship events from 2015 to 2022, including the 2018 and 2022 Men's World Cup championships. Fox's bid surpasses those from incumbent ESPN and NBC Sports, while Telemundo's bests Spanish incumbent Univision.|
|27||14 years after ending its original run, Beavis and Butt-head returned to MTV with its all new season 8 and 9 premiere, the combined episode Werewolves of Highland/Crying.|
|31||Averting a midnight deadline, DirecTV reaches a carriage agreement with News Corporation to preserve the signals of News Corp-owned channels FX, National Geographic Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes and the 19 Fox Sports Net channels, which would have gone dark on DirecTV had the deal not been reached. The agreement also covers Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, National Geographic Wild, and the Fox owned and operated local broadcast stations, which were part of a separate deal that expired at years-end. (DirecTV filed a complaint with the FCC Media Bureau on October 27 about News Corp's false claims that the Fox broadcast stations were part of the networks' dispute.) In a separate deal, DirecTV reaches a carriage deal with Belo for that company's broadcast stations, which also would have been removed on November 1 had that deal not been reached.|
|2||Sinclair Broadcast Group makes its second station purchase of 2011, acquiring the eight stations (mainly ABC and CBS affiliates) put up for sale by Freedom Communications earlier in the year. The deal (pending FCC approval) is worth $385 million.|
|NBCUniversal announces that is reorganizing its local NBC Nonstop digital broadcast channels carried on ten of the 11 NBC stations owned by the company's NBC-Owned Television Stations division into one national network. The national NBC Nonstop, which will feature news and lifestyle programming (along with locally produced content by its affiliates) is set to launch in early 2012, and will also be made available for distribution to NBC affiliates not owned by NBCUniversal (it will be the second news and information digital multicast network venture by NBC, the weather-focused NBC Weather Plus operated from 2004 to 2008).|
|3||Bounce TV announces an affiliation deal with Fox Television Stations Group. The digital multicast network will initially be available to Fox's MyNetworkTV stations in Los Angeles (KCOP) and New York City (WWOR-TV), with eventual subchannel carriage on additional Fox-owned MNT stations. The deal is FTSG's first subchannel venture, and makes Bounce TV the second outside-owned multicaster to reach an affiliation agreement with a major O&O group (The Local AccuWeather Channel was carried on ABC's O&O stations from 2006 to 2010).|
|Conan O'Brien ends his week-long return to New York City by officiating what is believed to be the first televised same-sex marriage between a staff member and his partner on Conan.|
|7||ABC affiliate WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee announces that they have signed an affiliation deal with CBS and will carry their programs on their DT3 subchannel, beginning January 1, 2012. This will be the first time since 1968 that WBBJ carried CBS programming when it was WDXI-TV (as it was a CBS affiliate from its 1955 sign on until its network switch to ABC that year).|
|9||At approximately 2:00 PM EST, all TV and radio stations in the Emergency Alert System are tested simultaneously, the first nationwide test of the system since its 1997 inception.|
|14||NBC announces that it has signed Chelsea Clinton to their news division as their special correspondent.|
|15||Belo Corporation and Raycom Media announces a shared services agreement for their Tucson outlets. As a result of this deal, Raycom's CBS affiliate KOLD will take over the programming and newscasts operations of Belo's Fox outlet KMSB and sister My Network TV affiliate KTTU, starting in February 2012. Belo will continue to own KMSB and KTTU and retain their sales department.|
|18||After 28 years, Regis Philbin appears on Live! for the last time.|
|20||The American Music Awards airs, with the program being led into by its first official red carpet pre-show with a performance by Hot Chelle Rae.|
|24||Actor-director Hugh Laurie announces that he will retire from performing on television after 30 years in the business. Laurie states that he will transition more into directing and big-screen roles once his Fox series House M.D. concludes its run after its eighth season.|
|29||The 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is broadcast on CBS. 10.3 million people tune in.|
|On NBC Nightly News episode a fire alarm went off in the studio.|
|1||A station sale and shared services agreement announced on August 8 takes effect in the Evansville, Indiana market: Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquires ABC affiliate WEHT from Gilmore Communications, while selling independent WTVW to Mission Broadcasting. Both stations combine operations on this date out of WEHT's studios, and WEHT's sports subchannel affiliated with Wazoo Sports is discontinued completely. Additionally, their news operations are combined under one banner, Eyewitness News.|
|2||ABC announces that Brian Frons, who has served as the president of the network's ABC Daytime division since August 2002 and faced criticism over the April cancellation of longtime soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live, will step down from the position upon the expiration of his contract with ABC in January 2012. Vicki Dummer, currently serving as ABC's Senior Vice President of Current Series and Specials, will take over as president of the division, which will be internally renamed within the company as Times Square Studios.|
|5||Citing its "different business model" as an independent station (it lost its Fox affiliation on September 1), KTRV-TV/Boise suspends its news operations.|
|8||On Fox, criticisms surfaced about The X Factor where judge Nicole Scherzinger received death threats after she voted for a deadlock which caused one of the front-runners, Rachel Crow, to be eliminated. It was later revealed that Scherzinger will leave at the end of the season to become a judge in the flagship British edition of The X Factor the following year.|
|12||CBS Corporation announces it will purchase Long Island-based independent station WLNY-TV/Riverhead, New York from WLNY Limited Partnership. The sale, if approved by the FCC, would give CBS a duopoly with its O&O flagship WCBS-TV and allow it to expand WLNY's on-air staff and local news programming.|
|Disney XD announces that actor/singer Mitchel Musso will not return for the third and final season of Pair of Kings, with Adam Hicks (star of fellow Disney XD series Zeke and Luther) replacing Musso in a new role. The move comes after Musso's October 16 arrest and December 9 arraignment on 2 misdemeanor counts of DUI (for which a not guilty plea was entered in a Burbank district court). Additionally, his monthly Disney Channel series PrankStars was canceled immediately, with the remainder of the already filmed episodes never airing in the United States and burned off in the United Kingdom. Despite the arrest however, Musso would still be able to remain as the voice of Jeremy Johnson on Phineas and Ferb, until the show's series finale in June 2015.|
|13||Citing a desire to return to international reporting, ABC announced that Christiane Amanpour will step down as host of This Week, but will continue to work for both ABC and prior employer CNN, where she will host a daily show for CNN International, where she hosted a show until 2010. George Stephanopoulos, whom Amanpour succeeded as host, will return to hosting This Week in January 2012 while continuing as co-host on Good Morning America.|
|14||The National Football League announces an extension of its contracts with broadcast partners CBS (AFC package), Fox (NFC package), and NBC (Sunday Night Football) through the 2022 season at an average total fee of $3 billion/year (the networks' current deals do not expire until 2013).|
|15||Howard Stern confirms he will join the judges panel of America's Got Talent in 2012, replacing Piers Morgan, who announced his departure from the show on November 9 in order to focus on his CNN program.|
|20||ESPN on ABC announces changes to its NBA Countdown pregame show, including the elimination of the host position (leaving out Hannah Storm and Stuart Scott), a reliance on color commentators (including Magic Johnson), and a shift in production from ESPN's Bristol, Connecticut headquarters to its facility at LA Live.|
|22||The FCC puts forth a proposal that would loosen cross-ownership restrictions, including a move to allow common ownership of radio, TV, and print outlets in the top 20 U.S. markets (where restrictions are already tighter), and modifications to existing rules, including radio-TV ownership in smaller markets.|
|On Fox, Melanie Amaro (mentored by former American Idol judge Simon Cowell) was crowned the first U.S. winner of The X Factor, beating Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik.|
|30||The E. W. Scripps Company completes its $212 million purchase of McGraw-Hill's portfolio of TV stations.|
Changes of network affiliation
Returning this year
The following shows returned with new episodes after being canceled previously:
|Show||Last aired||Previous network||New title||New network||Returning||Source|
|God, the Devil and Bob||2000||NBC||Same||Adult Swim||January 8|
|The Game||2009||The CW||BET||January 11|
|Lou Dobbs Tonight||2009||CNN||Fox Business Network||March 14|||
|WWE Tough Enough||2004||UPN||USA Network||April 4|||
|Loonatics Unleashed||2007||Kids WB||The Looney Tunes Show||Cartoon Network||May 3|
|Billboard Music Award||2006||Fox||Same||ABC||May 22|||
|Chaotic||2010||Cartoon Network||Same||June 14|
|ThunderCats||1989||USA Network||Cartoon Network||July 29|
|120 Minutes||2003||MTV||MTV2||July 30|||
|Pop-Up Video||2002||VH1||Same||October 3|||
|Beavis and Butt-head||1997||MTV||Same||October 27|||
|Fear Factor||2006||NBC||Same||December 12|||
|Bay City Blues||1983||ESPN Classic|||
|Show||Network||Episode #||Episode title||Episode air date||Source|
|Supernanny||ABC||100th||"The George Family"||January 7|||
|Brothers & Sisters||"Safe At Home"||January 16|||
|The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||NBC||4,000th||Simon Cowell, Jeff Gordon & Travis Barker||March 2|||
|Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's||The CW||100th||"The Edge of Elimination, Part 1"||April 9|||
|Wizards of Waverly Place||Disney Channel||"Wizards of Apartment 13B"||October 7||N/A|
Ending this year
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)
Made-for-TV movies and miniseries
|March 12||Best Player||Nickelodeon|
|March 25||The Suite Life Movie||Disney Channel|
|April 15||Lemonade Mouth|
|April 19||Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure|
|July 9||A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!||Nickelodeon|
|August 5||Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension||Disney Channel|
|November 4||Johnny Bravo Goes to Bollywood||Cartoon Network|
|November 11||Geek Charming||Disney Channel|
|December 2||Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!|
- The Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor is a combined award. Nominees include actors from drama and comedy series, TV films, and miniseries. The winner is only listed once, based on the genre of the series they are a part of.
Stations changing network affiliation
The following is a list of television stations making noteworthy network affiliation changes during 2011.
|February 18||Erie, Pennsylvania||WLEP-LD||9.1||RetroTV|
|February 22||Farmington, Missouri||KDKZ-LD||18.1||RetroTV|
|February 27||Traverse City/Cadillac, Michigan||WMNN-LD||26.1||MI News 26|
|June 24||Evansville, Indiana||W47EE-D||47.1||Fox (primary)
|September 1||Juneau, Alaska||KJUD-DT3||8.3||Fox|||
|September 22||Evansville, Indiana||WTSN-CD||20.1||Me-TV|
|September 29||Topeka, Kansas||KSQA||12.1||Independent|
|March 31||Hagåtña, Guam||KTKB-LD||26||The CW/Universal Sports||April 20, 2009|||
|December 9||Davenport, Iowa||WBQD-LP||MyNetworkTV||June 1, 2002|||
|December 31||Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands||WEON-LP||60||Fox||2005|
|January 2||Anne Francis||80||Actress (Honey West, Dallas, Riptide)|||
|January 10||John Dye||47||Actor (Touched by an Angel)|||
|Margaret Whiting||86||Singer and actress (Those Whiting Girls)|||
|January 11||David Nelson||74||Actor and producer (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet)|||
|January 12||Paul Picerni||88||Actor (The Untouchables)|||
|January 13||Dan Filie||56||Screenwriter (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), producer (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess)|||
|January 15||Susannah York||72||Actress (Jane Eyre)|||
|January 17||Don Kirshner||76||Music executive, producer, and host (Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, ABC In Concert, The Monkees)|||
|January 19||Bob Young||87||News reporter/anchor (ABC Evening News, WCBS-TV)|||
|January 20||Bruce Gordon||94||Actor (The Untouchables)|||
|Liz Dribben||73||Journalist (Dialing for Dollars on WKBW-TV, CBS News)|||
|January 23||Jack LaLanne||96||Fitness, exercise, and nutrition instructor (The Jack LaLanne Show)|||
|January 24||David Frye||77||Political impressionist-comedian (The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour)|||
|January 26||Stefanie Kowal||69||Former production executive with Universal Television (Centennial, The Four Seasons)|||
|January 27||Charlie Callas||83||Actor and stand-up comedian (Love, American Style; Switch; Hart To Hart)|||
|January 30||John Barry||77||British music composer (Eleanor and Franklin, USA Today: The Television Show)|||
|February 5||Marcia Adams||75||Cooking expert & author, host of Marcia Adams' Kitchen (PBS)|||
|Peggy Rea||89||Character actress (The Waltons and The Dukes of Hazzard)|||
|February 9||Robert F. Schenkkan, Sr.||93||Public broadcasting executive (Co-founder of KLRN/San Antonio) and advocate (advised President Johnson on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967)|||
|February 10||Jon Petrovich||63||Former local news reporter (WHAS-TV), news director (WDIV-TV, WBAL-TV), and executive with CNN|||
|February 11||Tom Carnegie||91||Indianapolis radio/TV sportscaster (WFBM/WRTV, 1953–85), public address voice of Indianapolis Motor Speedway|||
|February 12||Betty Garrett||91||Actress, singer, dancer and comedian (Laverne & Shirley and All in the Family)|||
|Kenneth Mars||75||Comedic actor (Malcolm in the Middle, Fernwood Tonight, He & She) and voice actor (The Jetsons, Uncle Croc's Block, The Little Mermaid)|||
|February 14||John Strauss||90||Musician-composer (themes to Car 54, Where Are You? and The Phil Silvers Show; sound editing on The Amazing Howard Hughes)|||
|February 16||Len Lesser||88||Actor (Uncle Leo on Seinfeld)|||
|February 17||Bill Monroe||90||Washington, D.C. bureau chief for NBC News, moderator of Meet the Press|||
|February 18||Nancy Carr||50||American television and PR executive for CBS, Fox and Hallmark Channel|||
|February 21||Dwayne McDuffie||49||Writer (Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Static Shock, Justice League/Justice League Unlimited)|||
|February 28||Jane Russell||89||Actress and TV spokesperson for Playtex|||
|March 3||Al Morgan||91||Novelist/playwright, producer of Today from 1961 to 1968|||
|March 4||Annie Fargé||76||French actress (Angel)|||
|Frank Chirkinian||84||Director/producer for CBS Sports (including 38 years on Masters golf telecasts)|||
|March 9||David S. Broder||81||Political columnist (panelist on Meet The Press from 1960 to 2008)|||
|March 15||James Pritchett||88||Soap opera actor (As the World Turns, The Doctors, Guiding Light)|||
|Nate Dogg||41||Hip-hop singer and actor (guest appearances on The Sopranos and The Boondocks)|||
|March 21||Barry Ackerley||76||Former Chairman/CEO of Ackerley Group (TV/radio station ownership)|||
|March 23||Elizabeth Taylor||79||Actress (Malice in Wonderland, These Old Broads, Divorce His, Divorce Hers; supporting roles on General Hospital, All My Children, North and South)|||
|March 24||Lanford Wilson||73||Playwright (his play The Hot l Baltimore was adopted for a 1975 TV series)|||
|March 26||Geraldine Ferraro||75||Politician and television political analyst/commentator (Crossfire)|||
|Jobie Martin||93||Television/radio personality, businessman, and educator (host of The Jobie Martin Show at WLBT/Jackson, Mississippi)|||
|Larry Fraiberg||89||TV executive (VP/GM of WTTG and WNEW-TV, president of Metromedia and Group W)|||
|March 27||DJ Megatron||32||Television/radio personality, presenter, musician and remixer (106 & Park)|||
|March 28||David Smith||55||President/CEO of Mission Broadcasting|||
|April 9||Sidney Lumet||86||producer, director, playwright, and screenwriter (Danger, Mama, You Are There, Playhouse 90, Kraft Television Theatre)|||
|April 14||Jon Cedar||80||Actor (Corporal Langenscheidt on Hogan's Heroes)|||
|April 16||Sol Saks||100||Comedy writer (My Favorite Husband, Mr. Adams and Eve, I Married Joan; creator of Bewitched)|||
|April 17||Michael Sarrazin||70||Canadian actor (The Christmas Choir, "The Quickening" episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1978 host on Saturday Night Live)|||
|April 20||Hubert Schlafly||91||Satellite television pioneer, inventor of the teleprompter|||
|Madelyn Pugh||90||Comedy series writer/producer (I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, The Mothers-in-Law, Here's Lucy, Alice, Life With Lucy)|||
|April 21||William J. McCarter, Jr.||81||Public television executive (WETA-TV/Washington, WTTW/Chicago), creator of Washington Week in Review and The McLaughlin Group|||
|April 26||John Cossette||54||Executive producer for the Grammy Award telecasts|||
|Phoebe Snow||60||Singer and songwriter (appearances on Reading Rainbow, Roseanne, Saturday Night Live; wrote and performed WDIV/Detroit's "Go 4 It" promos)|||
|Roger Gimbel||86||Producer (A War of Children, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman)|||
|April 27||Marian Mercer||75||Actress (Nancy Bebe on It's a Living)|||
|April 29||Howard J. Brown||87||Owner, president and founder of United Communications Corporation, an owner of TV stations and newspapers|||
|May 3||Jackie Cooper||88||Actor (The People's Choice, Hennesey), executive with Screen Gems, director (Hennesey, M*A*S*H, The White Shadow)|||
|May 4||Sada Thompson||83||Actress (Kate Lawrence on Family, Mrs. Gibbs in 1977 TV production of Our Town)|||
|May 9||Jeff Gralnick||84||News reporter/producer for CBS; news executive for ABC, NBC, and CNN; executive producer for ABC World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News|||
|May 10||Burt Reinhardt||91||First president of CNN|||
|Mia Amber Davis||36||Plus-size model and actress (appearances in The Tyra Banks Show and Rip the Runway; stand-in for Queen Latifah in the 2007 HBO film Life Support)|||
|Norma Zimmer||87||Singer (The Lawrence Welk Show)|||
|May 11||Tina Gulland||62||Reporter for Washington, D.C. area radio and TV stations and former head of television and radio projects for The Washington Post and co-owned Post-Newsweek Stations|||
|May 12||Daryl Hawks||38||Sportscaster, WMAQ-TV/Chicago, among other stations|||
|May 14||Joseph Wershba||90||Reporter/producer with CBS News (See It Now, 60 Minutes)|||
|May 15||Barbara Stuart||81||Actress (I Led Three Lives, Pete and Gladys, Gomer Pyle, USMC, Our Family Honor, Huff)|||
|May 19||Phyllis Avery||88||Actress (Meet Mr. McNutley, The Secret Storm)|||
|May 20||Randy Savage||58||Wrestler, actor (WWE/F and WCW, as "Macho Man Randy Savage"), commercial spokesperson (Slim Jim)|||
|May 24||Mark Haines||65||Journalist (co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk on the Street and Squawk Box)|||
|May 25||Paul Splittorff||64||Baseball pitcher and TV color commentator, both for the Kansas City Royals|||
|May 27||Jeff Conaway||60||Actor (Taxi) and reality show participant (Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew)|||
|May 30||Clarice Taylor||93||Actress (Anna Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Harriet on Sesame Street)|||
|Robert Foster||72||Writer/producer (Run for Your Life, Knight Rider)|||
|July 1||Bud Grant||79||Programming executive with NBC and CBS, independent producer|||
|July 8||Sam Denoff||83||Comedy screenwriter, creator and producer (co-writer for The Dick Van Dyke Show, co-creator of That Girl)|||
|July 12||Sherwood Schwartz||94||Producer and writer (creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch)|||
|July 21||Bruce Sundlun||91||Politician (Governor of Rhode Island) and former CEO of The Outlet Company, which later became Outlet Communications|||
|July 22||Tom Aldredge||83||Actor (Ryan's Hope, The Sopranos)|||
|July 23||Amy Winehouse||27||English singer and songwriter|
|July 24||G. D. Spradlin||90||Actor (Gomer Pyle, USMC, I Spy, Dragnet, War and Remembrance)|||
|July 26||Elmer Lower||98||Journalist and news executive (president of ABC News, 1963–74)|||
|August 3||Annette Charles||63||Actress and dancer (appearances in Man from Atlantis, Centennial, Magnum, P.I., The Flying Nun, Gunsmoke, Barnaby Jones)|||
|Bubba Smith||66||Football player, actor (appearances in Married... with Children) and spokesperson (Miller Lite's "Great Taste, Less Filling" ad campaign)|||
|August 8||Carolyn Chambers||79||Founder/CEO of Chambers Communications Corporation, founder of Liberty Communications|||
|August 13||Vic Dunlop||62||Comedian, actor (Harper Valley PTA, Make Me Laugh)|||
|August 19||Lane Venardos||67||News producer for CBS News and consultant on CBS' reality-based programs|||
|August 20||Patricia Hardy||79||Actress (The Loretta Young Show, Perry Mason, Lassie, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars)|||
|August 24||Mike Flanagan||59||Pitcher and announcer for the Baltimore Orioles|||
|September 5||Charles S. Dubin||92||Director (Omnibus, Twenty-One, Lou Grant, M*A*S*H, Square One TV)|||
|September 6||Donald F. Taffner, Sr.||80||Producer and distributor (Three's Company, Too Close For Comfort, The Benny Hill Show)|||
|September 7||Gardner Baldwin||60||Actor, known for his role as Carl Ziktor / Grimlord in VR Troopers|||
|September 8||Mary Fickett||83||Actress (All My Children)|||
|September 11||Andy Whitfield||39||Welsh actor (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)|||
|September 15||Frances Bay||92||Actress (Seinfeld, Happy Days, The Middle)|||
|October 2||Don Lapre||47||Infomercial pitchman|||
|October 3||Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr.||92||President (1957–75) and chairman (1975–83) of the ACNielsen ratings and marketing research service|||
|October 4||Doris Belack||85||Actress (One Life to Live, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)|||
|Joe Aceti||76||Director for ABC Sports, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports|||
|October 5||Charles Napier||75||Character actor (The Oregon Trail, Murder, She Wrote) and voice actor (The Simpsons, The Critic)|||
|Steve Jobs||56||Founder, and later CEO, of Apple Inc. (Oversaw the creation of, and helped adapted, television programs and other media platforms, for use on Apple's iPod, iPad, Apple TV, and iPhone devices)|||
|October 15||Sue Mengers||79||Entertainment talent/booking agent and manager for television, film and music performers|||
|October 16||Dan Wheldon||33||British IndyCar Series auto racer (two-time Indianapolis 500 winner), part-time IRL analyst for Versus, guest voice appearance in Hot Wheels Battle Force 5|||
|October 22||Robert Pierpoint||86||Correspondent for CBS News (1951–90), voiceover appearance on M*A*S*H's series finale|||
|October 26||Dan Burke||82||President and CEO of Capital Cities Communications and ABC|||
|October 31||Gilbert Cates||77||Executive Producer for the Academy Awards telecasts and a member of the Academy's Board of Governors, president of the Directors Guild of America, composer, and dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television|||
|November 2||Sid Melton||94||Actor (Green Acres, Make Room for Daddy, Captain Midnight)|||
|November 4||Andy Rooney||92||Journalist and writer (60 Minutes)|||
|November 8||Hal Bruno||83||Reporter and political correspondent for ABC News from 1978 to 1999|||
|Heavy D||44||Rapper/singer-songwriter, music producer, record label executive, and actor (composed and performed the theme songs to In Living Color and Mad TV)|||
|November 21||Jean Yoo||36||Newsanchor for KSCI/Los Angeles|||
|November 23||Tim Cuprisin||53||Television/radio critic and reviewer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and OnMilwaukee.com|||
|November 24||James Jespersen||77||Physicist and co-inventor of closed captioning|||
|December 1||Alan Sues||85||Comedian and actor (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In)|||
|December 7||Harry Morgan||96||Actor (M*A*S*H, Dragnet, Pete and Gladys)|||
|December 11||Bonnie Prudden||97||Physical fitness instructor, author, and health advocate (Host of her own series and contributor to The Today Show)|||
|Susan Gordon||62||Actress (Notable role as the handicapped girl in the 1962 Twilight Zone episode "The Fugitive")|||
|December 28||Kaye Stevens||79||Singer/actress (regular role on Days of Our Lives)|||
|December 30||Doug Sellars||50||Producer and executive with Fox Sports|||
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- "Steve Jobs dies: Apple chief created personal computer, iPad, iPod, iPhone" from Yahoo! (October 5, 2011)
- "Influential Hollywood Agent Sue Mengers Dies" from TV Guide (October 16, 2011)
- "IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon dies in wreck," from Palm Beach Post (October 16, 2011)
- Obituary for Robert Pierpoint from Associated Press/Yahoo! News, 10/23/2011
- ABC Icon Dan Burke Dies, 82 Multichannel News October 26, 2011 Archived October 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Oscar Producer Gilbert Cates Dead at 77" from The Wrap (November 1, 2011)
- "Sid Melton, Comic Actor of Film and TV, Dies at 94" from New York Times (November 6, 2011)
- "Hal Bruno of ABC News Dies at 83" from ABC News (November 9, 2011)
- "Heavy D dies at 44" from Yahoo (November 8, 2011)
- "Local LA News Anchor Dead in Apparent Suicide" Archived 2011-11-28 at the Wayback Machine form KoreAm (November 23, 2011)
- "Longtime Milwaukee Radio/TV Columnist Tim Cuprisin Dies At 53" from All Access (November 28, 2011)
- Obituary for James Jespersen from Denver Post, 1/24/2012
- "Alan Sues, a ‘Laugh-In’ Cast Mainstay, Dies at 85" from New York Times (December 2, 2011)
- 'MASH' star Harry Morgan dies at age 96 WJRT-TV via Associated Press December 7, 2011[dead link]
- "Bonnie Prudden, 97, Dies; Promoted Fitness for TV Generation" from New York Times (December 19, 2011)
- "Susan Gordon, Child Actress of the ’50s and ’60s, Dies at 62" from The Hollywood Reporter (December 14, 2011)
- Obituary for Kaye Stevens from Associated Press/TVNewsCheck, 12/30/2011
- "Fox Sports EVP of Production Doug Sellars Dies at Age 50," from Sports Video Group, 1/1/2012