The WB Television Network is a television network in the United States, founded as a joint venture between the Warner Bros. film studio and Tribune Company on January 11, 1995. The network is typically referred to as The WB or sometimes The Frog (referring to the network's mascot, the animated character Michigan J. Frog who was introduced in the 1955 animated short, One Froggy Evening).
Much like its contemporary UPN, the WB was a reaction to the success of the Fox Network and first-run syndicated programming during the late 1980s and early 1990s. WB's first programs were sitcoms and other cheap-to-produce fare; in 1995, WB also added the "Kids' WB" programming block, which mixed Warners' biggest hit shows (Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and later Batman: The Animated Series, all of which originated either on Fox, Fox Kids or in syndication) with new productions and original shows.
After the Turner-Time Warner merger in 1996, Kids' WB formed an alliance with Cartoon Network, and over time, they have shared more and more programming.
The WB's breakout hits during the late 1990s were Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek in prime time, and the American version of Pokémon in the Kids' WB blocks, which they acquired from syndication (TV Tokyo) in 1998. Buffy eventually moved to UPN in 2001. WB also got the English-language version of the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters in Japan.
It is sold to TV markets below the number 100 in viewership as determined by Nielsen in a packaged format, with a master schedule and no local advertisements.
It was estimated in 2003 that the WB is viewable by 84.66% of all households, reaching 90,282,480 houses in the United States. The WB has 177 VHF and UHF owned-and-operated or affiliate stations in the U.S.
See also: List of United States television networks
- The WB homepage (http://www.thewb.com/)
- Kids WB's Homepage (http://www.kidswb.com/)
- Suite 101: Kids' WB! 2004-2005 Preview (http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/17172/107581)