. Events listed include television show
debuts, finales, cancellations, and new channel launches.
51 years as an NBC affiliate, KBTV/Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas joins the
affiliation moves over to the DT subchannel of ABC affiliate KBMT.
|The all baseball channel MLB Network
launched at 6:00 PM Eastern Time
on cable and satellite systems, becoming the last of the 4 major
American sports leagues to launch its own channel.
||Fox replaces the 4Kids TV block, with
two hours from 8-10 AM going to the affiliates, and 10AM-12PM
becoming Weekend Marketplace
||Nickelodeon kicks off
year-long celebration of SpongeBob SquarePants' 10th
||American cable channel Comedy
Central launched its HD version. Cablevision systems added it first. DirecTV added the HD version on January 21. Cox Cable systems announced it would add
it by the end of the month. Dish
Network added it on April 9. Viacom
(owner of Comedy Central) hopes to reach carriage agreements for
the HD channel with several more providers later in the year.
||The Simpsons (on this day in
season 20) begins a new
slogan: Best. 20 Years. Ever.
||Hawaii became the
first state in the United States to have all of its television
stations switch to digital television.
|William Petersen appears for
the last time as a regular cast member on CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation as Supervisor Gil
||Disgraced Illinois governor Rod
Blagojevich goes on a media blitz appearing on The Today Show, The
View, and Larry King
Live while his impeachment trial continues in his
homestate. Blagojevich is later ousted from office on January
||Super Bowl XLIII, which saw the
Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the
Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and give
the Steelers their history-making sixth Super
Bowl win ever for the franchise, is televised live on NBC in the United States. International coverage
of the Super Bowl is also served by Sky
Sports and BBC One (UK), CTV Television Network (Canada), TV Azteca (Mexico), ESPN Australia, Foxtel,
and Austar (Australia), Das Erste
(Germany), TV6 (Sweden), TV3 (Denmark), Sport TV (Portugal), CCTV-5 (China), and
||Programming blocks Nick Jr. and TEENick discontinued on Nickelodeon.
||My Network TV announced that they
will switch from a network to a syndication programming service for
the 2009-2010 television season.
||President Obama signed the DTV Delay
Act into law, officially moving the DTV transition in the United
States cutoff date to June 12, 2009.
files for Chapter 11
||Toon Disney rebranded itself as
||The Simpsons season 20 begins broadcasting in HD
with the first HD episode as "Take
My Life, Please". To celebrate this event, there is a new
opening and Bart writes "HDTV is worth
every cent" on the chalkboard for this episode. Reruns that were
not in HD will not broadcast in HD.
||368 United States television stations permanently shut off
their analog signals on the original February 17 date of the
DTV transition in
the United States and are now broadcasting exclusively in
digital. 53 stations qualify for
service status, meaning they must use their analog signals only
for DTV transition public
service announcements and severe weather alerts. All others
must wait until June 12 to go all digital (see DTV Delay Act for further details).
||After 16 years on the air, the last episode of Late Night with Conan
O'Brien aired on NBC. Conan's favorite
band The White Stripes was the
final guest. Will Ferrell
(impersonating former U.S. President George W. Bush)
and former sidekick/O'Brien's Tonight
Show announcer Andy Richter
made surprise appearances, and pre-recorded clips of John Mayer and Abe
Vigoda were shown. Late Night leaves Studio 6A at NBC's
Center studios in New York after 27 years.
||81st Academy Awards are
televised live on ABC.
||The traditional Nielsen Ratings
February sweeps are moved to March.
||Late Night with
Jimmy Fallon premiered on NBC. The Roots is the house band. Oscar winner Robert DeNiro, Grammy winner Van Morrison, and singer / actor Justin Timberlake were Jimmy's first
guests. Former host Conan O'Brien also
made a cameo appearance. Late Night moves to Studio 6B (the
former WNBC-TV news studio)
Studios in Rockefeller Center.
||NBC owned-and-operated station
WNBC launches New York
Nonstop, an entertainment/lifestyle channel.
||Ion Television affiliates launch their HD
season 20 episode In the Name of the
Grandfather broadcasts on Sky1 in the
Kingdom. The episode later premiered in the United States on March 22.
||President Barack Obama appeared on
The Tonight Show with
Jay Leno, marking the first time a sitting President has
appeared on a late night talk show.
television provider DirecTV paid $4
billion to extend its exclusive contract for the NFL Sunday Ticket package until 2014.
After the 2014 season, DirecTV will have had exclusive U.S. rights
for the package for 20 straight seasons, since the package's (and
DirecTV's) inception in 1994.
||The TV Guide Network announces
that they will no longer carry local television listing grids on
|Emmy Award-winning medical drama ER airs its series finale on NBC after a
||The television special Charlie Brown's All-Stars
returns to American television for the first time since 1982.
Madden announces his retirement at age 73.
|Bob Barker returns to the set of his
former game show of 35 years, The Price Is Right,
to promote his new book Priceless Memories.
CW arrives in Guam with the
on-air debut of KTKB-LP.
CW affiliate WLGA/Columbus,
Georgia becomes an independent station. The CW affiliation
moves to a subchannel for NBC affiliate WLTZ, known as
Games and Sports for Kids is discontinued on Dish Network and replaced by a west coast feed
||ABC launches an HD
subchannel network called Live Well
HD Network. The channel will air on its O&Os first before
expanding it to other affiliates at the end of the year.
||CBS series NCIS features the characters of a
spin-off called NCIS: Los
Angeles. A second-part episode is continued next
||May Sweeps begin.
|The Fairly OddParents
returns on Nickelodeon once
again with a three day one hour movie called Wishology.
||The CW announces that it will turn over its Sunday night
schedule to its affiliates for the 2009-2010 TV season
||Noggin and The N split up on Dish
||The Game is
cancelled by The CW. With the cancellation of The Game,
there is no longer a scripted series (comedy or drama) on American
network television with a predominantly African-American cast.
|Kris Allen is declared the winner of
American Idol season 8.
||After 17 years on the air, the last episode of The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno aired on NBC. Appearing on the
show are incoming Tonight host Conan O'Brien and musician James Taylor. Leno's depature from
Tonight marks the end of the show's 37-year run at
NBC Studios in Burbank,
Show with Conan O'Brien premieres at 11:35 p.m. EDT on NBC, with
Will Ferrell and Pearl Jam as the show's first guests. Tonight
moves to Stage 1 at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California.
remaining NTSC full
service television stations in the United States stop broadcasting analog television and start broadcasting
digital television signals only
(see DTV transition
in the United States for further details).
||American cable news
channel MSNBC launches its high definition version, becoming
the last of the Big 3 cable news
channels to do so.
|The Michael Jackson themed
episode for American Idol
season 8 was re-aired due
to Michael Jackson's death on
service for the singer Michael
Jackson, who died on June
25, is broadcast live around the world, with an estimated
audience of one billion.
|Sci Fi Channel
renames itself "Syfy". Warehouse 13 is the first show on the network
(with the new name), which premiered on this day.
||New Vision Television
files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
||The 2009 MLB All-Star Game
broadcasts. The ceremonial first pitch is thrown by President
||Ben Silverman, co-chairman of
NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, announced
that he is leaving the company.
||After eight seasons, Paula Abdul
confirmed to her fans on her Twitter page
that she will no longer be a judge for American Idol season 9 and so on.
||Laura Ling and
Euna Lee, both Asian-American journalists
for Current TV, are released from prison
Korea through negotiations between the government and
Bill Clinton. Both women were
sentenced to 12 years hard labor for accidentely
crossing the border from China while doing
a story in 2008.
Sotomayor's swearing in as United
States Supreme Court Justice marks the first time that a televised event was
shown live at the Supreme Court instead of the White
Wants to Be a Millionaire for 11 episodes in primetime as an event to commemorate the 10th
Anniversary of the show.
||ABC announced that
All My Children will move
its production from New York
City to Los Angeles in 2010. This will mark the first time in
its 40-year run (Its 40th anniversary will be in 2010) that the
serial will switch studio production locations, and the first soap
opera to do so since CBS' The Brighter
Day in 1961.
||Rainbow Media launches a new theme
channel named Wedding Central on its
parent system Cablevision.
|Honolulu, Hawaii television outlets KGMB (CBS),
KHNL (NBC) and KFVE (My Network
TV) combine their operations under a SSA deal made between Raycom Media and MCG. As part of the
deal, Raycom takes over KGMB's programming and newscast and swap
channels with MCG, who oversee KFVE and move the station to KGMB's
||VH1 cancels the reality
shows Megan Wants a
Millionaire and I Love
Money after Ryan Jenkins, a
contestant on both shows, is charged with the murder of his
ex-wife, swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore,
and is later found dead himself in Hope,
Entertainment Services, the parent company of Lifetime Television, is acquired by
||After 26 years, PBS airs Reading Rainbow for the last time. The
children's program, hosted by LeVar
Burton, had been in reruns since 2006.
||The Walt Disney Company
Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS
begins broadcasting in high-definition, along with a
brand new opening, and a change to the theme song.
||DirecTV removed sports channel Versus due to an ongoing carriage
dispute about subscriber fees.
Communications, the parent company of WPEC/West Palm
Beach, Florida and WTVC/Chattanooga,
Tennessee, among others, files for Chapter 11
||Charles Gibson announces he will
step down as anchor of ABC World
News in January 2010. Diane
Sawyer will succeed him at that time.
||ESPN celebrates its 30th anniversary with a
special 90 minute edition of SportsCenter.
||Ellen DeGeneres is named
successor to Paula Abdul as judge of
American Idol season 9.
||John Stossel leaves ABC and his
co-hosting duties at 20/20 to join
Fox Business Network and
Fox News Channel
||The NFL introduces Red
Zone Channel, a special channel with extended highlights available
during the regular season. AT&T
U-Verse, Comcast, Dish Network, and Verizon FiOS are the first carriers to provide
the new channel.
|The final two episodes of King
of the Hill air on Fox. They are not the final
episodes, since the show currently airs on the Cartoon Network block
|A tribute to Michael Jackson and Kayne
West's interrupting Taylor Swift's
speech were among the major highlights at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
launches a new Spanish-language TV network called Estrella TV.
|For the first time ever, NBC launches a prime-time weeknight
talk/variety show with Jay Leno as host,
titled The Jay Leno Show,
which airs during the 10:00 p.m. Eastern/9:00 p.m. Central timeslots.
||For the first time ever on television, The Newlywed Game features a gay
couple on their show. George Takei and
his partner Brad Altman are the
celebrity newlyweds that make history on the long-running game
||The final broadcast of Guiding
Light, a CBS soap opera that began on
radio in 1937 before moving to television in 1952 on CBS. In the
last moments of the broadcast, supercouple Josh and Reva rode off
into the sunset and "The End" would be the last thing viewers would
see before it faded to black.
||CBS block KEWLopolis is renamed Cookie Jar TV by the Cookie Jar Group.
||Barack Obama makes history by appearing on five Sunday
news/talk shows on the same day: CBS's Face the Nation, ABC's This Week, CNN's State of the Union with John
King, NBC/MSNBC's Meet The Press
and on Univision.
Mulville, head of the British production company Hat Trick Productions, announced plans
to make a pilot for an American
version of the long-running British satirical
panel game Have I Got News for
|Mad Men wins Outstanding Drama
Series and 30 Rock wins Outstanding
Comedy Series at the 61st
Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and televised by
||President Barack Obama appears on the Late Show with David
Letterman, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president
has been host David Letterman's
News Now on the ABC television network becomes
the first overnight newscast to broadcast in high definition.
||Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien suffers a concussion after
hitting his head on the studio floor while taping a stunt with
guest Teri Hatcher. Production on that
day's episode is halted, and a rerun airs in its place. O'Brien
returned to work the following Monday.
||The Simpsons season 21 begins broadcasting with
the season premiere episode titled "Homer the Whopper." The season establishes
The Simpsons as the longest running prime-time
entertainment program in history, replacing Gunsmoke.
|The Cleveland Show,
a spin-off of Family Guy,
premieres on Fox. The show
was mentioned at the end of Family
Guy season 7 episode
"Baby Not on Board". The pilot episode shows Cleveland Brown's official departure from
||Viacom rebrands Noggin as Nick Jr., and The
N as TeenNick, using former Nickelodeon
block names to rebrand those channels. All four networks (including
the Nick@Nite block and Nicktoons) are rebranded with a new
universal logo, replacing the iconic "orange splat" logo that had
been in use since 1984. In addition, BET J is quietly rebranded as
|David Letterman admits on his
Late Show to
having sexual relationships with female members of his staff. He
also tells the audience that he wrote a fraudulent check for $2
million to a 48 Hours
producer who planned to blackmail him on the matter.
|ESPN's broadcast of Monday Night Football between the
Green Bay Packers and
becomes the most-watched cable television program in history, with
15 million homes tuning in to see Vikings quarterback Brett Favre face his former team for the first
time. The Vikings won the game 30-23 and Favre became the first
quarterback in NFL history to beat all 32 teams.
|News Corporation announces that
Fox Reality Channel will be
replaced by National Geographic
Wild in April 2010.
|Nickelodeon (Viacom) acquires global rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
from Mirage Studios for $60
|Steve Phillips is fired by ESPN
after the baseball analyst admits to having an affair with Brooke Hundley, a 22-year-old production
assistant at the sports network. Hundley, who was later given a
court restraining order after trying to stalk Phillips, his
soon-to-be-ex-wife and son, was also fired.
|The newscasts of Honolulu television outlets KGMB and KHNL/KFVE
are combined into one, becoming "Hawaii News Now." KGMB and KHNL
will simulcast their early morning show "Sunrise", 5PM and 10PM
newscast, with the exception of KGMB's 7AM portion of "Sunrise" and
6PM newscast, KHNL's relocated 5:30PM newscast and during the 7AM
hour when they start airing NBC's Today
Show, and during separate programming. KFVE's 6:30PM and 9PM
newscasts remains intact
|Washington, D.C. station WJLA-TV, an affiliate of ABC, airs a local special
"Touch of Life: The Guide to Breast Self Examination" featuring
uncensored self breast exams. The special is also continued
the next day.
||For the first time in its 27 year history, The Weather Channel begins showing
weekly weather related movies, including The Perfect Storm and
|Epix, a new premium channel, launches, with Verizon FiOS being its first carrier.
|TNT announced it has purchased
the rights to Southland's original seven
episodes from NBC, as well as six completed
episodes from what would have been its second season.
Southland will begin airing on TNT on January 12, 2010.
The station has no plans to change the look of the show, but no
additional episodes of the series have been ordered pending an
assessment of ratings for the original 13.
Interactive pays $1.1 billion for a 65% share of Travel Channel.
||First Lady Michelle
Obama appears on the season premiere of Sesame Street, commemorating the PBS show's 40th birthday.
||CNN anchor Lou
Dobbs, a mainstay at the channel since its start in 1980,
announces he is leaving the network effective immediately.
||Oprah Winfrey announces that she
will end her long-running talk
show in 2011..
||The NFL Network airs an expletive
uttered by Denver Broncos head coach
Josh McDaniels during the team's
Thanksgiving night football game with the New York Giants. Play-by-play announcer
Bob Papa apologized for the network's gaffe
later in the broadcast.
||American TV and film actor (Gunsmoke)
||American TV actress (The
Mickey Mouse Club)
||American television actor (Ironside)
||American television actor/singer (Hee
||American-born Irish actor (Danger
||Mexican-born actor (Fantasy
Island, "Space Seed" episode of
||Sir John Mortimer
||British barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author (Rumpole of the Bailey,
||American actor and stuntman (Lost
||American TV producer-director (The
||American actor (One Life to
||American film/TV actor and commercial spokesman (The Practice)
||American film/TV actor and commercial spokesman (Laredo, One Life to Live)
||American TV actress and singer (Hometown Jamboree)
||American radio and TV news commentator (Good Morning America, The Rest of the Story syndicated
wrestler known as Test in the WWF/E & The Punisher in
||Alan W. Livingston
||American music executive, songwriter, and
former president of Capitol Records (Creator of Bozo the
||American television, film and stage actor, director, producer,
and political activist (The West
||American TV writer and producer (All in the Family, Gimme a Break!, Kate & Allie)
||British film, television and stage actress
||Former American baseball player and sportscaster (Detroit Tigers play-by-play announcer from
||Irving R. Levine
||American journalist-correspondent for NBC
||Musical composer (Cimarron
of Nazareth, Shōgun, The Murder of Mary
||American singer and actor (Angel, Angel: Live Fast, Die
||Puetro Rican film and soap opera actor (Señora
||American television journalist and commentator (Crossfire), whose book Eight
Is Enough, recounting his experience raising his eight
children, was adapted into the series of
the same name
||American TV news anchorman, reporter, and
presenter (anchorman at WSMV/Nashville,
Tennessee and KCBS-TV/Los
Angeles, California; The Pat Sajak
radio and television play-by-play announcer since 1971, narrator of
NFL Films and NFL on Westwood One play-by-play
||American TV/radio sportscaster, commercial spokesman, and
businessman (Play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers;
Sportscaster/commentator for ABC and
NBC Sports programs, including MLB Game of the Week
||American actress (All in the
The Golden Girls)
||American singer, comedian and musical impressionist (portrayed
Dean Martin in the 1992 miniseries
||American actor (Bringing Up
Buddy, The Cara
Williams Show, Nancy, and several TV guest
||American voice actor and voice of Mickey Mouse
||American television, film, radio, stage, voice actress and game
show panelist (The Name's the
Same, The New
Adventures of Superman)
||American TV comedy writer/producer (All in the Family,
The Jeffersons, Three's Company)
||American television and film actor (Kung Fu and Kung Fu: The Legend
||American television and film actor (Everybody Hates Chris)
||American radio and television voiceover announcer and actor
(The Love of Life,
The Secret Storm,
||American TV comedian, game show host, and presenter
Show with Johnny Carson and Star Search)
||American film and TV actress (Charlie's Angels)
||American entertainer and recording artist (also The Jackson 5)
||American commercial/infomercial pitchman (OxiClean, Orange Glo, ESPN360.com etc.)
||American television/film actress and singer (My Little Margie, The Gale Storm Show)
||American impressionist, comedian, actor and game show host
||American actor (The
Streets of San Francisco, The
||American television executive (President of ABC from 1986 to 1994)
||American television and radio journalist, reporter, author and
narrator (Anchor of CBS Evening
News from 1962 to 1981)
||Canadian television actor and broadcaster (You Can't Do That On
||Gidget The Taco Bell
||15 (105 in dog years)
||Advertiser for Taco Bell
||American film producer, director and writer (Delta House, At
||American journalist, writer and commentator (Crossfire)
||American television producer, creator of 60 Minutes
||American television and radio voiceover announcer and actor
(The voice behind Allstate Insurance's
"You're In Good Hands" commercials; Maverick, Star Trek)
||Canadian businessman and reality television participant;
Alleged killer of ex-wife Jasmine
Fiore (Megan Wants a
||Edward M. Kennedy
||American politician, statesman, author, and nararrator
(Appeared as himself in Designing
Women, Chicago Hope
and the 1989 TV movie The Ted
Kennedy Jr. Story)
||American crime story writer and author, television/film
screenwriter, producer and news contributor/commentator
(Howdy Doody, Adventures in Paradise,
The Two Mrs.
Grenvilles), more recently host of Dominick Dunne's
Power, Privilege, and Justice
||American club DJ (stagename "DJ AM"), remixer and reality
television participant (Punk'd,
The Simple Life)
||American sportscaster (most
recently for the Atlanta Hawks)
||American entertainment columnist for "Variety" and television personality
The Movie Show)
||American businessman, co-founder of The Weather Channel
||American television/film/broadway/stage producer, director and
writer (creator of M*A*S*H,
The Marty Feldman
Comedy Machine, Caesar's Hour,
The Red Buttons Show)
||American television writer and producer (The Fugitive, Gunsmoke)
||American film and television actor/singer (TV credits include
The Beast and
||American actor (Rowan and Martin's
||American sportscaster (Boston
Bruins play-by-play announcer for
||American singer/songwriter; member of Peter, Paul and Mary (The Jack Benny Program,
What's My Line and Peter
Paul & Mary TV concert specials)
||American producer (creator of The
||American actor (The
Paper Chase, Falcon
Crest and Hawaiian
Heat) and director (China
Beach, Xena: Warrior
Bridges, Charmed, and
||American wrestler and actor (Mario on The Super Mario Bros.
||Jay W. Johnson
||American politician (Wisconsin's 8th
congressional district) and television news anchor/reporter
(Alumni of WFRV and
WLUK/Green Bay, Wisconsin)
||American songwriter (The Addams Family and
Green Acres theme songs)
||American children's television personality, actor, and comedian
(Lunch with Soupy Sales, What's My Line, Junior Almost Anything Goes)
||Canadian-born American television and film actor (The Dean Martin Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,
||American television and film actor, comedian, and magician
(McHale's Navy, Night Court, Garfield & Friends)
||American radio and television announcer, personality, jazz
musician and music producer (Soul
||American television screenwriter (The Mary Tyler Moore Show,
The Bob Newhart Show,
Taxi, Cheers, Frasier
||American radio DJ at KSKI-FM/Sun Valley, Idaho and reality TV game show participant (Wipeout)
||American television actor (Felony
World; The Young
and the Restless)
||American television and radio actor, presenter, personality,
and producer (Remote
Control; The New Adventures of Old
||British-born television and film actor (The Equalizer)
||American cable TV pioneer (founder of Bresnan Communications)