1997 in television

1997 in television

The year 1997 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 1997.


*January 1 - The U.S. television networks adopt ratings systems for their programming, similar to those used for motion pictures.
*January 3 - NBC's "The Today Show" Bryant Gumbel signs off for the last time.
*January 6 - The UK's Channel 4 closes down for the last time. From 6am, the channel broadcasts 24 hours a day.
*February 3 - UK channels Bravo And Trouble changed identity
*February 9 - "The Simpsons" surpasses "The Flintstones" as the longest-running prime-time animated series in terms of episodes aired.
*March 10 - Dave Spikey becomes the 6th host of the final series of ITV weekday morning game show Chain Letters.
*March 17 - Toonami debuts on Cartoon Network.
*March 30 - Five, the UK's fifth & last terrestrial channel, launches at 6.00pm. The first faces seen are the Spice Girls, who perform "1-2-3-4-5", a rewritten version of the Manfred Mann song "5-4-3-2-1".
* April 20 - World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstar Bret Hart appeared on "The Simpsons", the first wrestler to appear on this longest running cartoon.
* May 1 - UK General Election night: for the first time, the brothers David Dimbleby and Jonathan Dimbleby anchor rival results programmes on BBC 1 and ITV respectively. The same arrangement will occur for the general elections in 2001 and 2005.
*June 6 - Actress Farrah Fawcett makes a bizarre appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman". Fawcett tells long, rambling stories without a point, fails to understand simple questions, and gets easily distracted by things like blinking lights on the set.
*June 21 - ABC Sports's Pro Bowlers Tour ends after 36 years.
*July 3 - Peter Snow presents "Newsnight" for the last time, though he will continue to make occasional appearances as a political analyst until 2005.
*July 15 - A tribute episode is aired on "Another World" in honor of core cast member Victoria Wyndham's 25 years with the program.
*August 13 - South Park is aired for the first time on Comedy Central.
*August 23 - Rugrats returns with new regular episodes on Nickelodeon after being canceled in 1994. It would go on to become one of the channel's most successful shows, running for six more seasons before being canceled in 2003. Note: four special episodes were aired during the hiatus between cancellation and revival, but are not counted as part of the show's normal run.
*August 31 - BBC1 continues to air through the whole night in the UK for the first time (apart from general elections), simulcasting with BBC World News to bring news updates of Diana, Princess of Wales's car accident. The live broadcast of her funeral was watched by 2.5 billion viewers worldwide. The ceremony's footage went down in the Guinness World Records as the biggest TV audience for a live broadcast. [cite news|title= TV's world record breakers
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1219668.stm|publisher="BBC News"|date=22 March 2001|accessdate=2008-05-21
] In the UK, 32.10 million viewers watched the broadcast. It is the UK's second most-watched broadcast of all time, behind 1966's World Cup final. [cite news|title= The biggest TV audience ever ... it is now|author=Tapper, James |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=346942&in_page_id=1773|publisher="Daily Mail"|date=1 May 2005|accessdate=2007-09-05]
*September 1 - debuts in syndication.
*September – After several years of anchoring ABC's successful "TGIF" Friday night situation comedy programming block, "Family Matters" and "Step by Step" switch networks to CBS. Both shows, which were in their waning years (and would be canceled in 1998), anchor CBS's new Friday night lineup of family-friendly programming.
*October 3 - The 'Cow II' ident is seen for the final time on BBC One after six years in use.
*October 4 - BBC One adopts new "hot air balloon" globe identifications to coincide with the introduction of the network's new corporate logo. See BBC One 'Balloon' idents.
*October 13 - Canadian cable channels like The Comedy Network, Food Network, HGTV, Prime, Teletoon began launching, Speedvision was introduced there.
*October 27 - UK Living changes its name to Living TV, to distance itself from the forthcoming UKTV network.
*November 1 - The UKTV network is launched in the UK. Existing channel UK Gold is joined by UK Horizons, UK Arena and UK Style.
*November 2 - A third production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's version of "Cinderella" airs on ABC. This version, starring Brandy Norwood and Whitney Houston, is produced by The Walt Disney Company, who made their own version of the story as an animated film in 1950.
*November 8 - BBC One closes down for the last time, making BBC Two England's last terrestrial channel to still closedown at night. From the next day, BBC News 24 broadcasts on BBC1 through the night.
*November 9 - BBC News 24 launched, the BBC's first new UK channel since BBC Two in 1964.
*November 9 - Bret Hart lost his last match in the WWF (World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)) via submission to Shawn Michaels, however Hart never tapped out. see Montreal Screwjob.
*December 1 - The 25 Days of Christmas Special started on The Family Channel, starting one of the longest running Christmas Specials.
*December 1 - Konnie Huq presents her first episode of the UK children's programme "Blue Peter". She would go on to be the longest running female presenter and third longest overall in the shows' history, presenting for over ten years before leaving in January 2008.
*December 16 - An episode of Pokémon (called Dennō Senshi Porygon) in Japan causes 685 children to have epileptic seizures.


*January 6 - "Sunset Beach" premieres on NBC (1997-1999).
*January 12 - "King of the Hill" premieres on FOX (1997-present).
*January 13 - "La Femme Nikita" premieres on USA Network. (1997-2001)
*March 3 - "Daria" premieres on MTV (1997-2001).
*March 4 - "Just Shoot Me!" premieres on NBC (1997-2003).
*March 4 - "The Practice" premieres (1997-2004).
*March 10 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" premieres on the WB (1997-2003).
*March 10 - "It Takes Two (game show)" returns to the Family Channel for 12 weeks host Dick Clark (entertainer)
*March 30 - "Family Affairs" premieres on Channel 5 (1997-2005).
*March 31 - "100% (game show)" premieres on Channel 5 (1997-2001)
*March 31 - "Teletubbies" premieres on BBC1 (1997-2001).
*April 7 - "50/50 premieres on BBC1 (1997-2005).
*April 18 - "Lexx" premieres in Canada (1997-2002).
*April 19 - "The Angry Beavers" premieres on Nickelodeon (1997-2001)
*June 1 - "Port Charles" premieres on ABC.
*July 14 - "Johnny Bravo" premieres on Cartoon Network (1997-2003).
*July 15 - "Cow and Chicken" premieres on Cartoon Network (1997-1999).
*July 27 - "Stargate SG-1" (1997-2007).
*August 13 - "South Park" premieres on Comedy Central (1997-present).
*September 1 - "" premieres on USA (1997-2000)
*September 6 - "City Guys" premieres on NBC (1997-2001)
*September 8 - "Ally McBeal" premieres on FOX (1997-2002).
*September 8 - "The Crayon Box" premieres on (1997-1998)
*September 13 - "Disney's One Saturday Morning" premieres on ABC (1997-2002) featuring "Recess" and "Pepper Ann".
*September 15 - "Talkshow with Spike Feresten" on ABC (1997-present)
*September 15 - "George & Leo" premieres on CBS (1997-1997)
*September 22 - "Brooklyn South" premieres on CBS (1997-1998)
*September 23 - "Dharma & Greg" premieres on ABC (1997-2002).
*September 28 - "The Wonderful World of Disney" returns on ABC after a seven year break (1997-present).
*October 1 - "Ned's Newt" (1997-1998).
*October 14 - "Dream Team" debuts on Sky One (1997-2007).


*"", a reunion of the 1979-93 series
*"The Last Don"
*"Blockbusters" (UK) with Michael Aspel

Television shows


*"Meet the Press" (1947-present).
*"Candid Camera" (1948-present)


*"Hallmark Hall of Fame" (1951-present).
*"Guiding Light" (1952-present).
*"The Today Show" (1952-present).
*"Panorama" (UK) (1953-present).
*"Face the Nation" (1954-present).
*"The Tonight Show" (1954-present).
*"This Is Your Life" (UK) (1955-2003).
*"As the World Turns" (1956-present).
*"What the Papers Say" (UK) (1956-present).
*"The Sky at Night" (UK) (1957-present).
*"Blue Peter" (UK) (1958-present).
*"Grandstand" (UK) (1958-2007).


*"Coronation Street" (UK) (1960-present).
*"Four Corners" (Australia) (1961-present).
*"It's Academic" (1961-present).
*"The Late Late Show" (Ireland) (1962-present).
*"General Hospital" (1963-present).
*"Another World" (1964-1999).
*"Top of the Pops" (UK) (1964-2006).
*"Days of Our Lives" (1965-present).
*"Play School" (1966-present).
*"The Money Programme" (1966-present).
*"60 Minutes" (1968-present).
*"One Life to Live" (1968-present).
*"Sesame Street" (1969-present).


*"All My Children" (1970-present).
*"Monday Night Football" (1970-present).
*"Masterpiece Theatre" (1971-present).
*"Soul Train" (1971-present).
*"Emmerdale" (UK) (1972-present).
*"Newsround" (UK) (1972-present).
*"The Price Is Right" (1972-present).
*"Last of the Summer Wine" (UK) (1973-present).
*"The Young and the Restless" (1973-present).
*"Derrick" (1974-1998).
*"Wish You Were Here...?" (UK) (1974-present).
*"Arena" (UK) (1975–present).
*"Good Morning America" (1975-present).
*"Saturday Night Live" (1975-present).
*"the fifth estate" (Canada) (1975-present).
*"Wheel of Fortune" (1975-present).
*"20/20" (1978-present).
*"Grange Hill" (UK) (1978-present).
*"Antiques Roadshow" (UK) (1979-present).
*"Nightline" (1979-present).
*"This Old House" (1979-present).


*"Entertainment Tonight" (1981-present).
*"What Now" (1982-present)
*"Timewatch" (UK) (1982-present)
*"Jeopardy!" (1964-1975, 1984-present).
*"The Bill" (UK) (1984-present).
*"EastEnders" (UK) (1985-present).
*"Neighbours" (Australia) (1985-present).
*"Sally" (1985-2002).
*"The Oprah Winfrey Show" (1986-present).
*"Comic Relief" (UK) (1986-present).
*"Casualty" (UK) (1986-present).
*"ChuckleVision" (UK) (1987-present).
*"Inspector Morse" (1987-2000).
*"The Bold and the Beautiful" (1987-present).
*"America's Most Wanted" (1988-present).
*"The American Experience" (1988-present).
*"Fair City" (1988-present).
*"Home and Away" (1988-present).
*"This Morning" (1988-present).
*"Red Dwarf" (UK) (1988-1999).
*"Murphy Brown" (1988-1998).
*"Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988-1999).
*"The Ward" (UK) (1988-2000).
*"Electric Circus" (Canada) (1988-2003).
*"Baywatch" (1989-2001).
*"Cops" (1989-present).
*"Family Matters" (1989-1998).
*"Seinfeld" (1989-1998).
*"The Simpsons" (1989-present).
*"Family Fortunes" (UK) (1980–2002, 2005 special, 2007-present).


*"Law & Order" (1990-present).
*"America's Funniest Home Videos" (1990-present).
*"Beverly Hills 90210" (1990-2000).
*"One Foot in the Grave" (UK) (1990-2000).
*"Home Improvement" (1991-1999).
*"Rugrats" (1991-2004).
*"The Jerry Springer Show" (1991-present).
*"The Red Green Show" (1991-present).
*"Barney & Friends" (1992-present).
*"Dateline NBC" (1992-present).
*"Mad About You" (1992-1999).
*"The Larry Sanders Show" (1992-1998).
*"Melrose Place" (1992-1999).
*"The Real World" (1992-present).
*"Frasier" (1993-2004).
*"Ricki Lake" (1993-2004).
*"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993-present).
*"NYPD Blue" (1993-present).
*"" (1993-1999).
*"The Late Show with David Letterman" (1993-present).
*"The Nanny" (1993-1999).
*"The X-Files" (1993-2002).
*"WWF RAW Is War/WWF War Zone" (1993-present).
*"ER" (1994-present).
*"Friends" (1994-2004).
*"Party of Five" (1994-2000).
*"Pokémon" (Japan) (1997-2002).
*"Time Team" (UK) (1994-present).
*"Touched by an Angel" (1994-2003).
*"JAG" (1995-present).
*"Pamela Wallin Live" (Canada) (1995-1999).
*"Sesame Park" (Canada) (1995-2002).
*"Sliders" (1995-2000).
*"" (1995-2001).
*"The Drew Carey Show" (1995-2004).
*"Timon and Pumbaa" (1995-1998).
*"7th Heaven" (1996-2006).
*"Dexter's Laboratory" (1996-present).
*"Doug" (1991-1994, 1996-1999).
*"Everybody Loves Raymond" (1996-2005).
*"Hey Arnold!" (1996-2004).
*"Judge Judy" (1996-present).
*"Nash Bridges" (1996-2001).
*"Only Fools and Horses" (UK) (1981-1983, 1985-1993, 1996-1997, 2001-2003) (the only episode aired this year was a 10-minute special appeal "Comic Relief 1997 Sketch").
*"Spin City" (1996-2002).
*"The Daily Show" (1996-present).
*"The Demon Headmaster" (UK) (1996-1998).
*"The Newsroom" (Canada) (1996-1997, 2003-2004).
*"3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001).

Ending this year

Changes of network affiliation


*January 16 - Ennis Cosby, 27, Bill Cosby's son is murdered.
*February 26 - David Doyle, 67, actor.
*April 15 - Donald Bexley, 87, actor (Bubba on "Sanford and Son").
*May 4 - Alvy Moore, 75, actor on (Hank Kimball on "Green Acres").
*May 11 - Howard Morton, 71, character actor (Officer Ralph Simpson on "Gimme a Break!").
*June 8 - Reid Shelton, 72, actor.
*June 24 - Brian Keith, 75, actor (Uncle Bill on "Family Affair").
*July 4 - Charles Kuralt, 63, journalist.
*August 27 - Brandon Tartikoff, 48, former president of NBC.
*September 9 - Burgess Meredith, 89, actor.
*September 17 - Red Skelton, 84, comedian.
*October 16 - Audra Lindley, 79, actress (Mrs. Roper on "Three's Company").
*October 24 - Don Messick, 71, voice actor who voiced Scooby-Doo among others.
*October 30 - Sydney Newman, 80, producer.
*December 18 - Chris Farley, 33, accidental overdose of cocaine and morphine.
*December 25 - Denver Pyle, 77, actor (Uncle Jesse on "The Dukes of Hazzard").


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