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USA Network

The USA Network is a popular cable TV network based in the United States with about 87 million household subscribers as of 2003. The network shows a variety of original and second-run programming, from syndicated TV series to edited movies. USA also shows some sports coverage, such as select golf and tennis tournaments, as well as the annual Westminister Kennel Club dog show. In addition, they broadcasted portions of the 2004 Olympic Games with many other NBC Universal basic cable channels. Previously, it had a weekly boxing show named USA Tuesday Night Fights, which ran for 17 years. USA was also the home of the WWE's flagship TV show WWE RAW from its inception in 1993 until September of 2000. As of September 2005, WWE RAW will return to USA after WWE's acrimonious split with Spike TV (owned by Viacom) over contractual matters. Once a minor player in basic cable, the network has steadily been gaining popularity recently, almost single-handedly due to the breakout hit detective series Monk.

Table of contents

USA Network timeline

  • 1977: Originally organized as the Madison Square Garden Network (not to be confused with the New York City regional sports network), the channel became one of the first national television channels when it chose to use satellite delivery as opposed to traditional television broadcasting.
Logo used by USA Network from 1980 to 1995
* 1980: The channel changed its name to USA Network after the ownership structure was reorganized under a joint operating agreement by the UA-Columbia Cablevision cable system (now known as Cablevision Systems Corporation ) and MCA Inc. (currently a part of NBC Universal).
  • 1981: Time Inc. (now Time Warner) and Paramount Pictures Corp. (now a part of Viacom) took minority ownership stakes in USA.
  • 1987: Ownership consolidates under Paramount and MCA, each with 50 percent ownership.
  • 1992: USA launches a sister network, the Sci Fi Channel
  • 1994: Viacom buys Paramount.
  • 1995: The Seagram Company buys MCA Inc.
Logo used by USA Network from 1995 to 1998
  • 1997: Seagram buys out Viacom's interest and gains complete ownership of USA and Sci Fi and sells both channels to Barry Diller's Home Shopping Network, which renames itself USA Networks, Inc.
  • 1999: From bankrupt Polygram, USA Buys October Films and Gramercy Pictures, renaming them USA Films, and PolyGram Video, renaming it USA Home Video.
Logo used by USA Network from 1998 to 2002
  • 2000: USA Networks buys Canada's North American Television, Inc. (a joint partnership between the CBC and Power Corporation), owner of cable TV channels Trio and News World International. (The CBC continued to program NWI)
  • 2001: USA Networks sells its non-shopping TV and film assets (including the USA Network, the Sci Fi Channel, the Trio channel, USA Films (which is rechristened as Focus Features) and Studios USA) to Vivendi Universal. USA and the other channels are folded into Vivendi's Univeral Television Group.
  • 2003: General Electric's NBC agrees to buy Universal Television Group as part of an entertainment asset purchase from Vivendi.
  • 2004: NBC Universal officially takes over as owner of USA and its sibling cable channels except for News World International, which is bought by an investment group led by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt.

USA original programming

Children/Teen Programming

  • USA Cartoon Express, children's animation block which USA Network Kids Club segments in-between them
  • USA Action Extreme Team, action-oriented successor to the USA Cartoon Express
  • Calliope, children's anthology program
  • Dance Party USA, teen-oriented dance program
  • Radio 1990, music program that predated MTV for years
  • USA High, teen-oriented sitcom from Peter Engel, producer of Saved By The Bell
  • Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills, tween-oriented Power Rangers clone
  • USA Live, an afternoon program that mixed court shows with live lifestyle segments. This replaced the station's popular game show programming.

WWF Wrestling Programming

  • All American Wrestling, WWF's Sunday-afternoon showcase series hosted by "Mean" Gene Okerland and co-hosted by the likes of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Hillbilly Jim.
  • Prime Time Wrestling, WWF's weekly primetime airing of certain matches from the syndicated WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestling Spotlight series, hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan; precursor to Monday Night RAW
  • Tuesday Night Titans, WWF's weekly interview series hosted by Vince McMahon and Lord Alfred Hayes
  • Monday Night RAW, WWF's primetime wrestling program

USA Late Night Series

  • Night Flight, (1981 – 1988) – late-night anthology with music videos, short films and miscellanious programming
  • USA Up All Night, feature films hosted by Gilbert Gottfried, Caroline Schlitt, and Rhonda Shear

USA Original Series

  • Pacific Blue, Baywatch-like drama
  • The Dead Zone, mystery/paranormal series
  • Duckman, adult-oriented animated series
  • Monk, comedic mystery series
  • Silk Stalkings, mystery series
  • Campus Cops, comedy series
  • Weird Science, fantasy comedy series
  • Kojak, detective series coming in March 2005, based on the 70s series
  • The 4400, a sci-fi miniseries that debuted in July 2004. It will return for a second season of thirteen episodes starting June 5th, 2005.

Programming Staples

See also

  • USA Radio Network

External link

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