2001 in American television

The following is a list of events affecting American television during 2001. Events listed include television series debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel initiations, closures and re-brandings, as well as information about controversies and disputes.



Date Event
1 After being acquired by MTV Networks, The Box, a request video music channel shuts down, replaced by MTV2 on terrestrial stations.
In Hartford, Connecticut, UPN affiliate WTXX (now CW affiliate WCCT-TV) and WB affiliate WBNE (now MyNetworkTV affiliate WCTX) swap affiliations due to WTXX's impending purchase by Tribune Broadcasting, owners of Fox affiliate WTIC-TV (which at the time operated WTXX under a LMA) and a minority owner of The WB. WBNE, meanwhile, changes its call letters to the current WCTX and adopts new branding as "The X".
4 HBO's children's programs, including the recently cancelled Crashbox, are transferred to its multiplex channel HBO Family.
12 The American version of National Geographic Channel debuts.


Date Event
5 Kelly Ripa joins Live! as a permanent co-host with Regis Philbin.


Date Event
6 TEENick first airs as a Sunday night block.
26 WCW Monday Nitro broadcasts its final show from Panama City Beach, Florida with a simulcast with the WWF's (Now WWE's) Monday Night RAW television series, officially ending a six-year ratings struggle in professional wrestling known as the Monday Night Wars.


Date Event
10 Kevin Olmstead wins a $2.18 million jackpot on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, making him the biggest winner in American game show history until Ken Jennings' Jeopardy! run three years later.[1]


Date Event
15 Airing of the hour-long season seven finale of Friends titled "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding"
18 The 28th Daytime Emmy Awards are presented.
23 Star Trek: Voyager airs its series finale with a two-part episode "Endgame".


Date Event
12 TNT is refocused as a drama-based cable channel with a new slogan, We Know Drama.
18 Luke and Laura, widely regarded as the soap opera pairing that helped generate the term "supercouple", sign divorce papers on General Hospital, dissolving their fictional two-decade union.


Date Event
1 HBO's second multiplex channel HBO Plus is renamed HBO 2, its original name from 1991 to 1998.
21 Nickelodeon's hit TV series Rugrats celebrates its 10th anniversary with a one-hour special, All Growed Up, and a documentary, Still Babies After All These Years, narrated by Amanda Bynes


Date Event
5 The Jim Henson owned cable network Odyssey is renamed Hallmark Channel
10 Samurai Jack premieres on Cartoon Network with the premiere movie.
31 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood airs its final episode on PBS Kids.


Date Event
2 Adult Swim, an adult-oriented programming block debuts on its Turner sister cable channel Cartoon Network.
8 Fox broadcasts the final episode of Murder in Small Town X, in which New York City firefighter Ángel Juarbe, Jr. won. Juarbe was killed on Sept. 11 during the collapse of the World Trade Center.
11 Viewers around the world witness a terrorist attack on the United States, and the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City, live on television. Additionally, the ABC and NBC affiliates' broadcast towers are ruined by the attacks, but New Yorkers can still view them by cable and satellite. Most broadcasters abandon regular programming – American networks for more than a week – and numerous major daily talk shows are cancelled for several weeks until their hosts feel comfortable resuming programming.
Although they were first seen during 1952 and used by some television news programs ever since, continually scrolling news headlines along the bottom of the screen become commonplace after the Fox News Channel used it to allow viewers to keep track of the latest developments during the September 11 attacks.
17 Card Sharks is revived with host Pat Bullard, but due to its dramatically different gameplay, it is cancelled after just 13 weeks.
20 Dr. Will Kirby is the winner of Big Brother 2, which was delayed by the attacks of September 11, 2001. Runner-Up Nicole Nilson-Schafrich wins $50,000.
21 All four major US networks broadcast America: A Tribute to Heroes a two-hour telethon to raise money for the families of those killed by the attacks.[2]
Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy!, appears for the first time without his trademark mustache.
24 The start of the 2001–2002 autumn season in the US is delayed as a result of the attacks, with some series such as The West Wing substituting special episodes dealing with the event in lieu of their originally scheduled season premieres. Some series, such as the military-themed series JAG and New York-based Third Watch have to be reformatted in consideration of the attacks.


Date Event
2 The medical comedy Scrubs premiered on NBC.
3 In addition, several planned series and events were cancelled; most notably, a mini-series planned for spring 2002 which would have united the cast of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, dealing with a terrorist attack on New York City.
20 Concert For New York: A Tribute To Heroes is broadcast by VH1, with performances by Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Billy Joel and others. It raises funds for the families of those killed by the attacks.
22 A new bonus round premieres on Wheel of Fortune, in which a contestant can win as much as $100,000. This was not won until the December 19 episode.
24 The Walt Disney Company completes its purchase of Fox Family for $2.9 billion.


Date Event
1 Telemundo relaunches GEMS Television as Mun2, featuring English and Spanish language programming intended for a young Latino audience.
4 The 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards are presented on CBS. The original date was postponed 2 months ago when the September 11 attacks occurred.[3]
10 Fox Family Channel is renamed ABC Family, as News Corporation sells the channel to The Walt Disney Company.
23 Samurai Jack joins Cartoon Cartoon Fridays for the first time.
26 The values of clues on Jeopardy! are doubled.
30 The series finale of CGI cartoon series ReBoot is broadcast.


Date Event
31 ABC broadcasts a live news special entitled ABC 2002, a spinoff of ABC 2000, which shows clips from the original special and also reflects on the September 11, 2001 attacks.



These shows premiered in 2001:

Date Title Channel
January 1 America's Test Kitchen PBS
Great Hotels Travel Channel
January 3 Top 20 Countdown CMT
January 6 How It's Made Discovery Science
January 7 Lifestyle Magazine TBN
January 9 The Mole ABC
Three Sisters NBC
January 10 Grounded for Life Fox
January 11 Gary & Mike UPN
January 12 Lizzie McGuire Disney Channel
Popstars The WB
January 13 House of Mouse Disney's One Saturday Morning
January 14 Taina Nickelodeon
January 15 100 Centre Street A&E
Bob the Builder Nick Jr.
January 22 The Book of Pooh Playhouse Disney
January 27 The Zeta Project Kids' WB
February 3 Lloyd in Space Disney's One Saturday Morning
Power Rangers Time Force Fox Kids
February 4 Kathy's So-Called Reality MTV
February 24 Kate Brasher CBS
February 27 The Andy Dick Show MTV
February 28 Some of My Best Friends CBS
March 4 The Lone Gunmen Fox
March 6 The Fighting Fitzgeralds NBC
March 11 Doc PAX TV
March 12 The Chris Isaak Show Showtime
March 14 The Job ABC
March 27 What About Joan?
March 28 My Wife and Kids
Boot Camp Fox
March 30 The Fairly OddParents Nickelodeon
Invader Zim
April 1 The Oblongs The WB
Undergrads MTV
April 4 That's My Bush! Comedy Central
April 10 Robotica TLC
April 11 The Quarters TVG Network
Special Unit 2 UPN
April 16 The Weakest Link NBC
April 21 Weekend Now The Weather Channel
April 22 A Nero Wolfe Mystery A&E
May 5 The Cost of Freedom Fox News Channel
Dismissed MTV
June 1 Unwrapped Food Network
June 2 Braceface Fox Family
So Little Time
June 3 Six Feet Under HBO
June 8 Time Squad Cartoon Network
June 11 Fear Factor NBC
June 12 Witchblade TNT
June 13 The Beast ABC
June 18 Spyder Games MTV
June 21 WWE Tough Enough
July 10 Cinema Insomnia KXTV
July 24 Murder in Small Town X Fox
July 29 Leap Years Showtime
August 1 Hard Knocks HBO
MythQuest PBS
Out There TV America One
August 4 All About Us NBC
August 5 Insomniac with Dave Attell Comedy Central
August 9 Going to California Showtime
August 10 Samurai Jack Cartoon Network
August 11 Cubix: Robots for Everyone Kids' WB
August 20 Oswald Nick Jr.
August 24 Grim & Evil Cartoon Network
August 27 Shipmates Syndication
August 31 The Nightmare Room Kids' WB
September 1 Digimon Tamers Fox Kids
The Legend of Tarzan UPN
September 3 One on One
Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat PBS Kids
September 5 The Amazing Race CBS
September 8 Medabots Fox Kids
Moolah Beach
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
September 9 Ponderosa PAX TV
September 10 The Ananda Lewis Show Syndication
The URL With Phred Show Noggin
September 12 American Morning CNN
September 15 Alienators: Evolution Continues Fox Kids
The Ripping Friends
The Proud Family Disney Channel
Stanley Playhouse Disney
September 17 ElimiDate Syndication
September 18 Access Granted BET
September 19 Wolf Lake CBS
September 22 What's with Andy? Teletoon
September 23 The Education of Max Bickford CBS
September 24 Crossing Jordan NBC
The Ellen Show CBS
September 25 The Guardian
Philly ABC
Undeclared Fox
September 26 Star Trek: Enterprise UPN
September 27 The Agency CBS
September 29 The Mummy: The Animated Series Kids' WB
September 30 Alias ABC
Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC
War Stories with Oliver North Fox News Channel
October 1 The 5th Wheel Syndication
Tales from the Neverending Story HBO
October 2 Scrubs NBC
Bob Patterson ABC
October 3 According to Jim
October 5 Maybe It's Me The WB
Raising Dad
October 6 Mutant X Syndication
October 14 Men, Women & Dogs The WB
Off Centre
October 16 Smallville
October 20 Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action! ABC
October 22 Pardon the Interruption ESPN
Unscripted with Chris Connelly
October 25 Truth or Scare Discovery Kids
November 3 Totally Spies! Cartoon Network
November 5 NewsNight with Aaron Brown CNN
November 6 24 Fox
November 7 Beat the Geeks Comedy Central
November 8 The Tick Fox
November 14 The Bernie Mac Show
November 17 Justice League Cartoon Network
30 Minute Meals Food Network
Sara's Secrets
December 31 CNN New Year's Eve Live CNN

Returning this year

Show Last aired Previous network New/returning/same network Date of return
Unsolved Mysteries 1999 CBS Lifetime July 2
Home Movies UPN Adult Swim September 2
Card Sharks 1989 CBS Syndication September 17
Dexter's Laboratory 1999 Cartoon Network Same November 16

Ending this year

Date Show Debut
January 6 Noah Knows Best 2000
January 13 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
January 14 The Jamie Foxx Show 1996
The Lone Gunmen 2001
February 16 Teletubbies (returned in 2015) 1998
February 18 Grosse Pointe 2000
March 1 Madeline 1993
March 4 La Femme Nikita 1997
March 7 Bette 2000
March 21 WCW Thunder 1998
March 23 Generation O! 2000
March 26 WCW Monday Nitro bought out by WWF. 1995
March 31 Spider-Man Unlimited 1999
April 6 The Norm Show
April 9 Gideon's Crossing 2000
April 13 Gary & Mike 2001
April 16 30 Minutes 1994
April 28 Zoboomafoo 1999
May 4 Nash Bridges 1996
May 7 Comedown 1993
May 11 Diagnosis: Murder
May 14 Baywatch 1989
Moesha 1996
May 16 Two Guys and a Girl 1998
May 19 Cousin Skeeter
Walker, Texas Ranger 1993
May 22 3rd Rock from the Sun 1996
May 23 Star Trek: Voyager 1995
May 27 Mike, Lu & Og 1999
May 29 Seven Days 1998
June 1 Oh Yeah! Cartoons
June 18 Xena: Warrior Princess 1995
June 22 The Famous Jett Jackson 1998
June 30 Men in Black: The Series 1997
July 10 The Geena Davis Show 2000
July 13 The Powerpuff Girls (returned in 2002) 1998
August 12 Undergrads 2001
August 31 TV Funhouse 2000
The Big Help 1994
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood 1968
The Queen Latifah Show (returned in 2013) 1999
September 28 So Weird
September 30 WWF Superstars of Wrestling 1986
October 9 What About Joan? 2001
October 11 Little Bear 1995
October 15 Bug Juice 1998
November 1 Bob Patterson 2001
November 5 Recess 1997
November 11 The Angry Beavers
November 17 Power Rangers Time Force 2001
November 22 Maisy 1999
November 30 ReBoot 1994
December 7 Johnny Bravo (returned in 2003) 1997
December 15 City Guys
December 18 Batman Beyond 1999
December 28 Timothy Goes to School 2000
December 30 Men, Women & Dogs 2001

Changes of network affiliation

Show Moved from Moved to
American High Fox PBS
Buffy the Vampire Slayer The WB UPN
Jay Jay the Jet Plane TLC PBS Kids
National Geographic Explorer CNBC MSNBC
Home Movies UPN Adult Swim
The Brak Show Cartoon Network
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Sealab 2021
Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Unsolved Mysteries CBS Lifetime

Notable TV movies

Premiere date Title Channel
March 24 Wit HBO
April 28 61*
April 29 On Golden Pond CBS
May 19 Conspiracy HBO
July 21 All Growed Up Nickelodeon
November 18 The Facts of Life Reunion ABC


Date Name Notability
February 5 Connor Gibbs Actor (Ghost Whisperer)
February 15 Haley Tju Actress (Bella and the Bulldogs)
July 10 Isabela Moner Actress (100 Things to Do Before High School)
September 4 Tenzing Norgay Trainor Actor (Liv and Maddie)
October 12 Raymond Ochoa Actor
October 14 Rowan Blanchard Actress (Girl Meets World)
December 5 Diego Velazquez Actor (The Thundermans)
December 28 Madison De La Garza Actress (Desperate Housewives)


Date Name Age Notability
January 1 Ray Walston 86 Actor (My Favorite Martian )
January 18 Al Waxman 65 Actor (Lt. Samuels on Cagney & Lacey)
January 22 Roy Brown 68 Clown and puppeteer
February 20 Bob Weiskopf 86 Writer (I Love Lucy)
February 27 Stan Margulies 80 Producer (Roots, The Thorn Birds)
March 8 Edward Winter 63 Actor (Colonel Flagg on M*A*S*H)
March 12 Morton Downey, Jr. 68 Host of The Morton Downey, Jr. Show
March 15 Ann Sothern 92 Actress (Private Secretary, My Mother the Car)
March 16 Norma MacMillan 79 Voice actor (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Gumby)
March 22 William Hanna 90 Co-founder (with Joseph Barbera) of famous Hanna-Barbera animation studio
May 12 Perry Como 88 Singer, TV host (Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall)
May 19 Pat Falken Smith 75 Soap opera writer (Days of Our Lives)
May 22 Whitman Mayo 70 Actor (Grady Wilson on Sanford and Son)
May 23 Harry Townes 86 Actor (The Fugitive)
May 31 Arlene Francis 93 Actress and game show panelist (What's My Line?)
June 2 Imogene Coca 92 Actress and comedian (Your Show of Shows)
June 21 Carroll O'Connor 76 Actor (Archie Bunker on All in the Family)
August 3 Christopher Hewett 80 Actor (Mr. Belvedere)
August 4 Lorenzo Music 64 Writer and actor who co-created (The Bob Newhart Show and did the voices of Carlton the doorman on Rhoda and Garfield the cat)
August 25 Aaliyah 22 American singer and actress
September 3 Thuy Trang 27 Actress (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
September 11 David Angell 55 Writer (Cheers, Frasier)
October 9 Dagmar 79 1950s sex symbol
October 15 Ralph Levy 80 Director (The Jack Benny Program, Petticoat Junction)
October 17 Jay Livingston 86 Songwriter (themes to Bonanza and Mister Ed)
November 29 George Harrison 58 Singer-songwriter (The Beatles)
December 13 Chuck Schuldiner 34 Singer, songwriter, guitarist (guest on Headbanger's Ball)
December 20 Foster Brooks 89 Actor
December 22 Lance Loud 50 Member of the family documented in (An American Family)


  1. "Interview: Kevin Olmstead, mega-Millionaire". Trivia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  2. Carman, John (September 22, 2001). "Musicians, actors honor heroes, raise money for attack victims". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A1.
  3. The 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards from Variety (November 6, 2001)
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