FOX BROADCASTING HISTORY
FOX was originally established in February 1986 as a national broadcast programming service for independent television stations. Its aim was to provide programming for the independent stations that became its affiliates, allowing them to compete effectively with affiliates of broadcast networks in a variety of dayparts: prirnetime, late night, weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
At that time, many industry observers doubted that the marketplace could sustain another broadcast network. News Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch and his colleague Barry Diller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fox Inc., went ahead nevertheless. They officially announced the formation of FOX Broadcasting Company on May 6, 1986, at a press conference that also unveiled Joan Rivers as host of the network’s first series. THE LATE SHOW STARRING JOAN RIVERS premiered Oct. 9. 1986, on 96 stations, representing 76 percent of the country.
On April 6, 1987. FOX launched its first night of primetime programming - Sunday -- with enthusiastic support from the advertising and creative communities. FOX's affiliate base had grown by then to 106 stations, representing 80 percent of the country.
FOX’s first Sunday night broadcast featured two half-hour comedies: MARRIED ... WITH CHILDREN, which gained notoriety because it subverted the traditional family sitcom, and THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW, a sketch comedy series that drew immense "critical acclaim. In the following three weeks, FOX added one new show a week, so that by May3,l987, its Sunday lineup was complete. Its addional shows consisted of 21 JUMP STREET, which quickly became a teenage favorite, along with MR. PRESIDENT and DUET.
Three months later, on July 11, 1987, FOX launched its Saturday primetime schedule. On Sept. 18, 1989, FOX added its third night of primetime programming - Monday -- which was used for broadcasting movies and specials once or twice a month.
One year later FOX launched two additional nights: Thursday on Aug. 23,1990, and Friday on Sept. 7.11990. The schedule was expanded to Wednesday nights on July 8, 1992, and to Tuesday nights on Jan. 19. 1993.
FOX became a full seven-nights-a-week network on June 21, 1993 under then President of Fox Entertainment Group Sandy Grushow with the weekly Monday telecasts of FOX NIGHT AT THE MOVIES, a mix of theatrical films (among them world television debuts), made-for-television movies and original mini-series.
From its earliest days, FOX distinguished itself as an irreverent innovator and created a youth-oriented brand identity using such groundbreaking fare as THE SIMPSONS, the first primetime animated hit in decades; AMERICA'S MOST WANTED and COPS, the originators of the reality genre; BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, MELROSE PLACE and PARTY OF FIVE, primetime serials for teens and young adults, oftentimes commended for their handling of social issues. IN LIVING COLOR, which revitalized sketch comedy and launched the careers of Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and several others, and THE X-FILES, which garnered critical acclaim and redefined the boundaries for science fiction television.
In December 1993, the NFL awarded FOX the rights to broadcast NFC contests for four years, including the rights to Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997. In November I 995, FOX reached an agreement with Major League Baseball on a five-year broadcasting pact that revived the traditional "game-of-the-week" and included exclusive live coverage of the 1996, 1998 and 2000 World Series and the 1997 and 1999 All-Star Games.
Along with its aggressive acquisition of sports programming, FOX continued its dynamic growth with unprecedented affiliation agreement between FOX and New World Communication Group Inc. in February 1994, that resulted in the largest affiliation switch in broadcast television history. As a result, many of the markets originally broadcasting FOX an a UHF signal now broadcast on the much stronger VHF platform, allowing for better channel position and larger audience reach. This agreement enabled FOX to establish a dominant position in many major US markets. Not only have several stations that were previously secondary affiliates joined the network as primary affiliates, but FOX also has established affiliations in markets that did not previously have a FOX presence.
In July 1998 News Corporation announced its intention to buy New World outright, and its Fox Television Stations, Inc. completed the transaction in January 1997, becoming the largest owned and operated group of television stations in the US.
In addition, to developing a stronger distribution system over that time, FOX also made substantial competitive gains.
FOX established itself during the 1998-99 television season as the most popular network among Adults 18-34 and Teenagers for the first time, while also finishing its closest second ever among the ultimate FOX target audience of Adults 18-49.
In fall 1999, FOX began rebuilding its primetime series slate refocusing its efforts toward creating more entertainment franchises that support the core FOX brand for innovation and irreverence. Former President of Fox Entertainment and President of Twentieth Century Fox Television Sandy Grushow in November lent his own considerable executive expertise, assuming responsibility over both the Twentieth Century Fox Television studio and FOX programming and marketing operations to further integrate both entities toward that same strategic end.
In May 2000, Mr. Grushow named Gail Berman, formerly president of the highly successful new primetime television studio Regency Television, to the post of President, Entertainment of FOX. Her responsibility includes all FOX program development and scheduling, as well as marketing and promotions, starting with the new 2000-2001 season primetime schedules.
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN FOX HISTORY
April 1985 News Corporation buys 50 percent interest in Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation for $260 million.
December 1985 News Corporation buys the remaining 50 percent interest in Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation for $325 million.
March 1986 News Corporation buys the six Metromedia, Inc. television stations in New York, Las Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Washington, DC for $1.9 billion and forms the Fox Television Stations Group.
May 1986 With the Fox Television Stations Group as its anchor, the formation of the nation's fourth major broadcast network FOX Broadcasting Company is announced.
October 1986 FOX premieres with the new late-night series THE LATE SHOW STARRING JOAN RIVERS.
April l987 FOX primetime schedule premieres with the debut of its Sunday line-up.
July 1987 FOX Saturday primetime schedule premieres.
September 1989 FOX Monday primetime schedule premieres.
August 1990 FOX Thursday primetime premieres.
September 1990 FOX Friday primetime premieres,
September 1990 Fox Children's Network (currently Fox Kids Network) premieres.
June 1991 FOXNet supplementary cable service premieres.
July 1992 FOX Wednesday primetime schedule premieres.
January 1993 FOX Tuesday primetime schedule premieres.
February 1994 Fox Television Stations buys 20 percent of New World Communications for $500 million, and all 12 major markets New World broadcast stations switch their affiliations to FOX.
June 1994 FOX general entertainment programming service FX premieres.
August 1994 NFL on FOX premieres.
October 1994 Fox film programming service Fox Movie Channel premieres. April 2, 1995 NHL on FOX premieres.
August 1995 FOX's World Wide Website FOXWORLD (currently FOX.COM)
October 1995 FOX's Saturday night late-night series 'MAD TV' premieres.
November 1995 FOX Broadcasting Company and Saban Entertainment partner on new global children's programming service Fox Kids Worldwide to Include Fox Kids Network broadcast entity.
April 1 996 News Corporation and Tele-Communications Inc--owned Liberty Media create FOX Liberty Networks cable and satellite programming venture.
April 1996 FOX moves into news programming as 'Fox News Sunday" premieres/
June 1906 Major League Baseball on FOX premieres.
October 1996 FOX news programming service Fox News Channel premieres.
October 1996 FOX sports programming service Fox Sports Net premieres, linking 18 of the nation's largest and most popular regional sports network into national reach.
January 1997 News Corporation and Fox Television Stations complete acquisition of New World Communications Group for $2.3 billion, making Fox the largest and most powerful station operator with 22 stations covering more than 40 percent of the nation.
June 1997 Rainbow Media Holdings aligns its major market regional sports networks with the Fox Sports Net, creating a national consortium of regional services reaching more than 70 million homes.
September 1997 Fox Kids Worldwide acquires International Family Entertainment for $1.9 billion and begins operations of the Fox Family Channel.
May 1998 FOX Broadcasting Company sister studio 20th Century Fox Television becomes the industry's leading supplier of primetime programming,
June 1998 News Corporation announces the formation of the Fox Entertainment Group to include all filmed entertainment, television programming and distribution and sports teams assets in the United States, with plans to then offer up to 20 percent equity in the Fox Entertainment Group for sale in an initial public stock offering.
November 1998 Parent News Corporation's Initial Public Offering of Fox Entertainment Group stock is well-received by Wall Street, raising more than $2.8 billion in revenue for future operations and potential acquisitions.
November I 998 FOX finishes its first-over November sweeps as the most popular network among its target audience of Adults 18-49 in head-to-head competition. Including all network hours, FOX finishes a c4ose second behind perennial winner NBC, while defeating both ABC and CBS among it core audience group. FOX also finishes the November sweeps as the most popular network among both teenagers and Adults aged 18-34.
April 1909 News Corporation and Fox Entertainment Group acquire full ownership over the former Fox Liberty Networks joint-venture with TCI programming entity Liberty Media. The $1.4 billion deal provides control over the 62 million-home Fox Sports Not, 39- million home FX general entertainment network, outright ownership of 12 major regional sports networks and major equity stakes in 15 others.
May 1999 FOX finishes its first-ever broadcast season as the most popular network among Adults aged 18-34 and Teenagers, while also
nking second among its target audience of Adults 18-49 by the smallest margin in network histciry.
May 1999 FOX Broadcasting Company sister division Twentieth Century Fox Television solidifies its position as the dominant supplier of primetime programming, landing a record 22 series on the broadcast network primetime schedules. In only its second year of Existence, the Fox Television Studios (with equity positions in The Greenblaft-Janollad Studio and Regency Television, among others) accounts for another five primetime shows,
June 1999 FOX and its local broadcast station affiliates overhaul the fundamental economic structure to their relationship, increasing the network’s ability to provide more original programming and other future investments.
November 1999 Sandy Grushow, President of Twentieth Century Fox Television and, prior to that, President of the Fox Entertainment Group, is named Chairman, Fox Television Entertainment Group. He assumes responsibility over both Twentieth Century Fox Television programming, scheduling and marketing operations of the FOX Broadcasting Company.
April 2000 News Corp. reorganizes its burgeoning cable networks into a major operating entity of its own, Fox Cable Networks. The now entity contains FX, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Sports Not and partnerships such as Fox Family Channel, among other programming services.
May 2000 Twentieth Century Fox Television again ranks as the leading supplier of primetime programming for its third year in a row, landing 19 series on the broadcast network primetime schedules. Fox Television Studios lands another two new shows, while renewing three more series.
May 2000 FOX finishes the broadcast season as the most popular network among Adults aged 18-34 (tied with ABC), as well as teenagers, its second Consecutive year.
May 2000 Gall Berman, the first-ever president of Regency Television, in which Fox holds 50 percent interest, is named President, entertainment, FOX Broadcasting Company. Working with longtime studio partner Sandy Grushow, she assumes day-to-day responsibility for all FOX program development and scheduling, as well as marketing and promotion. She is the first ever creative producer to hold the tap FOX programming post.
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