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This Was Television On September 18

2006: The CW Network Launches

The CW Network emerged following the closures of The WB and UPN over the previous weekend, becoming America’s fifth major broadcast network without any competition.

It was established as a blend of the most popular shows from both predecessor networks at the time of their shutdowns.

The CW’s initial primetime slots featured reruns and preview specials.

For the 2006–07 season, its schedule primarily included series carried over from The WB, such as Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, and Smallville, as well as those from UPN, including America’s Next Top Model and Veronica Mars.

Although it still trailed behind the Big Four networks in terms of viewership, The CW developed a unique success metric known as “The CW Index.”

According to this measure, a show is considered a hit if its average Nielsen rating surpasses the average body fat percentage of its cast. -A.D.

Also on September 18:

1927: The Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System, later known as the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), makes its radio debut, marking the beginning of one of America’s most enduring networks.

1957: Wagon Train embarks on its journey.

Adapted from the 1950 film Wagon Master directed by John Ford, this Western series followed a group of travelers from Missouri to California and aired for five seasons on NBC and three on ABC.

1963: The first season of The Patty Duke Show commences.

This ABC sitcom, spanning three seasons, centered on a pair of “identical cousins,” both portrayed by Patty Duke, who were as different as rock ‘n roll and a minuet.

1964: The Addams Family makes its eerie and comical debut on ABC.

Based on Charles Addams’ cartoons, this macabre take on the family sitcom starred John Astin as patriarch Gomez and ran for two seasons.

1965: Get Smart premieres, a spy spoof created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.

The series followed bumbling CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and his composed partner Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) in their battles against the villainous KAOS.

It aired for four seasons on NBC and one on CBS.

1978: WKRP in Cincinnati launches. This four-season sitcom featured contemporary rock music in every episode and revolved around the misfit employees of a low-rated FM radio station, including characters like Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman), Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid), and Les Nessman (Richard Sanders).

1987: DuckTales debuts, starring Donald Duck’s wealthy uncle, Scrooge McDuck.

Part of the popular Disney Afternoon lineup, the show featured globetrotting adventures with Uncle Scrooge, Launchpad McQuack, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie, running for four seasons and spawning an iconic NES video game.

2009: Guiding Light, after 57 years on CBS and a total of 72 years including its radio predecessor, airs its final episode due to declining ratings, making it the second-longest-running program in broadcast history.

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Nirajan Shrestha
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