Open main menu

The year 1990 in American television involved some significant events. Below is a list of American television-related events during 1990.


Notable eventsEdit

Date Event
January 2 All My Children broadcasts its 20th anniversary special on ABC. Joe and Ruth Martin sit down with Erica Kane, her mother Mona, and Phoebe Wallingford as they go through scrapbook pictures which segue into memorable clips from the series's past twenty years.
January 8 Deborah Norville makes her debut as co-anchor on NBC's Today (succeeding Jane Pauley) alongside Bryant Gumbel.
January 10 Time Warner was formed
January 14 On Fox, The Simpsons airs their first regular episode, Bart the Genius.
January 15 Square One TV returns for its third season on PBS.
January 21 MTV Unplugged premieres on MTV with Squeeze as its debut guests.
NBC broadcasts the National Hockey League All-Star Game from Pittsburgh. This was the first NHL game of any kind to be televised on American network television since Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals on CBS.
February 17 On NBC, Aerosmith appear in Wayne's World, a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, where they perform the Wayne's World theme song.
March 4 On SportsCenter, ESPN broadcasts the graphic footage of Loyola Marymount University basketball player Hank Gathers' collapse and subsequent death from a heart condition[1] during a West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament game. The network was at the game recording advance footage for the championship game it was scheduled to televise the next night. The tournament final was ultimately canceled in wake of Gathers' death and LMU was given the league's automatic bid to that year's NCAA tournament by virtue of its regular-season league championship.
March 13 All My Children actress Debbi Morgan quits the role of Angie Baxter Hubbard.
April 1 CBS dismisses prominent sportscaster Brent Musburger one day before his final assignment for the network, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Later that year, Musburger signs with ABC Sports.
Viacom debuts the comedy TV network Ha!.
In what is dubbed "The Ultimate Challenge", The Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania VI from Toronto's SkyDome. The pay-per-view event marks the first time that WrestleMania was held outside of the United States.
April 14 CBS officially assumes the role as Major League Baseball's network broadcast partner (succeeding both ABC and NBC under a four-year deal through the end of the 1993 season) with coverage of the Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh[2] and Los Angeles at Houston.[3][4][5]
April 15 Sunday Night Baseball debuts on ESPN.
April 21 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, a special program warning children about the danger of drugs and featuring characters from several Saturday morning children's shows, is simultaneously simulcast by ABC, BET, CBS, Fox, NBC, USA Network, and Nickelodeon.
April 22 The Earth Day Special, a two-hour commercial-free special event, premieres on ABC.
April 30 The long-lost pilot show for I Love Lucy is broadcast by CBS as a special.
May 4 Muppets creator Jim Henson makes what turns out to be his final public appearance when he appears as a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show. Henson would die less than two weeks later.
May 21 CBS broadcasts the series finale of Newhart, in which it is revealed that the entire series was really just a dream of Bob Newhart's character of Dr. Bob Hartley from The Bob Newhart Show.
May 25 CBS begins broadcasting its daytime lineup in stereo sound, becoming the last of the three major networks to do so.
June 7 The Cruise of Deception storyline is broadcast on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives.
June 14 CBS concludes their 17-year run with the NBA, as the league was moving to NBC after the 1990 NBA Finals. In their goodbye montage, CBS used Marvin Gaye's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" from the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.
June 18 Season 3 of Star Trek: The Next Generation ends on a cliffhanger involving Captain Picard being captured and assimilated by the Borg.
June 27 Genie Francis, in an attempt to shed her image as Laura Spencer on ABC's soap opera General Hospital, starts playing Irishwoman Ceara Connor on All My Children (which also airs on ABC).
July 10 CBS broadcasts the first of four consecutive Major League Baseball All-Star Games. Unfortunately, the 1990 edition from Chicago's Wrigley Field, is interrupted by a rain delay in the top of tenth inning. During the delay, CBS airs Rescue 911.
July 16 Radio DJ personality Rick Dees debuts an ABC late-night talk show, Into the Night, Starring Rick Dees.
July 30 MovieTime was rebranded as E!.
August 10 The American Wrestling Association holds its final television taping.
September 2 The Fox cartoon-comedy The Simpsons begins broadcasting in the UK on Sky One as televises the episode "Call of the Simpsons".
September 8 Fox Kids, a children's programming block, debuts on Fox.
September 9 CBS debuts a brand new look for The NFL Today, front-lined by Greg Gumbel and Terry Bradshaw. Gumbel and Bradshaw replaced Brent Musburger and Irv Cross respectively. The two would remain on The NFL Today until CBS lost their NFL rights to Fox at the end of the 1993 season.
TNT broadcasts their first Sunday night NFL game.
September 10 The Disney Afternoon debuts as a syndicated children's block.
September 15 CBN renames itself The Family Channel.
October 1 TBS drops the "SuperStation" sub-title. It would return 6 years later.
October 13 WLAJ in Jackson, Michigan signs-on the air, giving the Lansing market its first full-time ABC affiliate.
November 3 The NBA on NBC debuts on NBC, with its first game being the Los Angeles Lakers visiting the San Antonio Spurs.
November 10 Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and Julia Sweeney join the cast of Saturday Night Live.
December 3 ABC attracts a great deal of controversy when it airs Madonna's infamous music video for her single "Justify My Love" on its late-night news program Nightline, as part of an interview with the singer on the video's explicit sexual content. The broadcast follows across-the-board bans of the video by MTV and other networks around the world.[6][7]



The following is a list of shows that premiered in 1990.

Date Show Channel
January 1 The Baby-Sitters Club HBO
January 5 Max Monroe: Loose Cannon CBS
January 6 Zorro CBN Family Channel
January 26 Pirate TV MTV
January 28 Grand Slam CBS
January 29 City
February 6 Rodeo Drive Lifetime
February 9 The Bradys CBS
February 19 Nasty Boys NBC
February 25 A Family for Joe
March 1 Carol & Company
March 3 H.E.L.P. ABC
March 5 His & Hers CBS
March 21 Normal Life
March 25 The Outsiders Fox
March 27 Equal Justice ABC
March 30 Bagdad Café CBS
Sugar and Spice
April 1 On the Television Nick at Nite
April 4 The Marshall Chronicles ABC
April 8 Twin Peaks
April 9 Capital News
April 12 Down Home NBC
April 14 In Living Color Fox
April 19 Wings NBC
April 21 Sunset Beat ABC
May 1 Brewster Place
Clash! Ha!
June 1 Great Getaway Game The Travel Channel
June 16 Monopoly ABC
July 4 SK8-TV Nickelodeon
Wild & Crazy Kids
July 7 Dream On HBO
July 12 Northern Exposure CBS
July 16 Into the Night starring Rick Dees ABC
July 17 Real Life with Jane Pauley NBC
July 27 Swamp Thing USA Network
July 29 Tim Conway's Funny America ABC
August 13 Outta Here Nickelodeon
August 20 Parenthood NBC
August 22 Working It Out
August 23 Ferris Bueller
August 27 Guys Next Door
September 1 Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone Syndication
Haywire Fox
September 2 Parker Lewis Can't Lose
Big Brother Jake CBN Family Channel
Bob Vila's Home Again Syndication
September 3 The Challengers
Instant Recall
September 4 Barnyard Commandos Syndication
September 7 DEA Fox
American Chronicles
TaleSpin Syndication
September 8
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Fox Kids
Bobby's World
Peter Pan and the Pirates
Zazoo U
America's Funniest People ABC
New Kids on the Block
Little Rosey
The Wizard of Oz
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 NBC
The Fanelli Boys
Tom & Jerry Kids
Gravedale High
Kid 'n Play
September 10 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The New Adventures of He-Man USA Network
Quiz Kids Challenge Syndication
Trump Card
Lenny CBS
Uncle Buck
September 11 The Family Man
September 13 American Dreamer NBC
Law & Order
Babes Fox
September 14 Tiny Toon Adventures Syndication
September 15 The Adventures of the Black Stallion The Family Channel
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures CBS
Captain Planet and the Planeteers TBS
Piggsburg Pigs! Fox Kids
September 16 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda Syndication
E.A.R.T.H. Force CBS
September 17 The Trials of Rosie O'Neill
Preview: The Best of the New Syndication
Wake, Rattle & Roll
September 18 Married People ABC
September 20 American Dreamer NBC
The Flash CBS
Top Cops
September 21 Evening Shade
Going Places ABC
September 23 Against the Law Fox
Get a Life
Dream On HBO
September 24 Adam-12 Syndication
My Talk Show
September 26 Cop Rock ABC
September 29 Dracula: The Series Syndication
Widget the World Watcher
September 30 The Jesse Jackson Show
Good Grief Fox
October 1 America Tonight CBS
Video Power Syndication
October 4 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox
October 15 Screen Scene BET
October 24 WIOU CBS
October 27 NBA Inside Stuff NBC
November 2 Over My Dead Body CBS
November 3 NBA on NBC NBC

Entering syndication this yearEdit

Changes of network affiliationEdit

The following shows aired new episodes on a different network than previous first-run episodes:

Show Moved from Moved to
Night Flight USA Network Syndication
TaleSpin The Disney Channel
21 Jump Street Fox
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears ABC
Supermarket Sweep Lifetime
The Hogan Family NBC CBS
The Major League Baseball Game of the Week
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Syndication
Let's Make a Deal NBC
To Tell the Truth
Match Game ABC
Father Dowling Mysteries NBC
Fun House Syndication Fox

Returning this yearEdit

Show Last aired Previous network New network Returning
Supermarket Sweep 1967 ABC Lifetime February 5
Match Game 1982 Syndication ABC July 16
Let's Make a Deal 1986 NBC
To Tell The Truth 1981 September 3
The Joker's Wild 1986 Same September 10

Ending this yearEdit

Date Show Debut
January 14 Free Spirit 1989
January 21 Fantastic Max 1988
January 25 Miami Vice 1985
February 24 Mission: Impossible 1988
March 9 The Bradys 1990
March 12 Mama's Family 1983
Freddy's Nightmares 1988
March 23 Scrabble (returned in 1993) 1984
March 24 ALF 1986
April 6 Baywatch (returned in 1991) 1989
April 13 The Pat Sajak Show
April 14 H.E.L.P. 1990
April 24 Mancuso, F.B.I. 1989
April 28 Tour of Duty 1987
April 30 My Two Dads
May 4 Just the Ten of Us 1988
May 6 227 1985
Booker 1989
May 7 Alien Nation
May 12 The Famous Teddy Z
May 14 War of the Worlds 1988
May 17 Falcon Crest 1981
May 21 Newhart 1982
May 25 You Can't Do That on Television 1981
May 26 The Tracey Ullman Show 1987
June 14 NBA on CBS 1973
June 21 Seinfeld (returned in 1991) 1989
June 28 Wolf
June 29 Hardball
July 6 Snoops
Pinwheel 1977
July 8 Mr. Belvedere 1985
July 21 Open House 1989
July 30 Sister Kate
August 4 Beauty and the Beast 1987
August 19 Ann Jillian 1989
August 25 Kissyfur 1986
August 31 Rodeo Drive 1990
September 1 Monopoly
September 2 Tim Conway's Funny America
September 29 E.A.R.T.H. Force 1990
November 10 Charles in Charge 1984
November 17 Pee-wee's Playhouse 1986
November 19 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers 1989
November 20 It 1990
November 28 DuckTales (original series) (returned in 2017) 1987
December 1 Alvin and the Chipmunks 1983
The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 1990
Gravedale High
December 8 Wiseguy 1987
December 12 Working It Out 1990
December 13 Remote Control 1987
December 26 Cop Rock 1990
December 28 Quiz Kids Challenge
The Wizard of Oz
December 30 Hull High

Made-for-TV moviesEdit

Title Network Date of airing
Murder in Mississippi NBC February 5
The Death of the Incredible Hulk February 18
The Incident CBS March 4
A Killing in a Small Town May 22
It ABC November 18 & 20


Date Name Notability
January 4 Michelle Mylett Canadian actress
Spencer Rothbell Voice actor (Clarence)
January 6 Natalie Palamides Actress (The Powerpuff Girls, Star vs. the Forces of Evil)
January 7 Liam Aiken Actor
Camryn Grimes Actress (The Young and the Restless)
January 13 Liam Hemsworth Australian actor (Neighbours, The Elephant Princess, The Hunger Games)
January 14 Grant Gustin Actor (Glee, The Flash)
January 15 Chris Warren Jr. Actor (High School Musical)
January 26 Christopher Massey Actor (Zoey 101)
January 29 MacKenzie Porter Canadian actress (Dinosapien, Hell on Wheels, Travelers)
Jessica D. Stone Voice actress (Stanley)
January 30 Jake Thomas Actor (Lizzie McGuire, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Cory in the House)
February 6 Dominic Sherwood English actor (Shadowhunters)
February 9 Camille Winbush Actress (The Bernie Mac Show)
February 14 Jake Weary Actor (As the World Turns, Fred: The Show, Animal Kingdom)
Brett Dier Canadian actor (Ravenswood, Jane the Virgin)
February 27 Lindsey Morgan Actress (General Hospital, The 100)
February 28 Georgina Leonidas English actress (Harry Potter)
March 4 Andrea Bowen Actress (Desperate Housewives)
March 7 Daniel Samonas Actor
March 13 Emory Cohen Actor (Smash)
Sebastian Jude Actor (Lizzie McGuire)
March 18 Luke Tarsitano Actor (Fudge)
March 24 Keisha Castle-Hughes Australian actress (Game of Thrones)
March 26 Carly Chaikin Actress (Suburgatory, Mr. Robot)
March 30 Cassie Scerbo Actress (Dance Revolution, Make It or Break It, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja)
Allie Gonino Actress (The Lying Game)
April 2 Sawyer Fulton Professional wrestler
April 3 Natasha Negovanlis Canadian actress (Carmilla) and singer
April 6 Charlie McDermott Actor (The Middle)
April 9 Kristen Stewart Actress (The Twilight Saga)
April 10 Alex Pettyfer English actor
April 12 Hannah Dunne Actress (Mozart in the Jungle)
April 14 Christian Alexander Actor (General Hospital, The Lying Game)
April 15 Emma Watson French-English actress (Harry Potter)
April 18 Britt Robertson Actress (Swingtown, Life UneXpected, The Secret Circle, Under the Dome)
April 19 Harry McEntire English actor
April 21 Bree Essrig YouTube personality and actress
April 23 Matthew Underwood Actor (Zoey 101)
May 1 Caitlin Stasey Actress (Neighbours)
May 2 Kay Panabaker Actress (Summerland, Phil of the Future, American Dragon: Jake Long, No Ordinary Family)
May 10 Lauren Potter Actress (Glee)
May 14 Sasha Spielberg Actress
May 16 Marc John Jefferies Voice actor (Fatherwood)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster English actor (Phineas and Ferb, Game of Thrones)
May 17 Ross Butler Actor (K.C. Undercover)
Leven Rambin Actress (All My Children, Scoundrels)
May 21 Scotty Leavenworth Actor
May 27 Chris Colfer Actor (Glee)
May 30 Dean Collins Actor (Jack & Bobby, The War at Home)
June 9 Lauren Socha English actress
June 10 Tristin Mays Actress (Gullah Gullah Island, Private)
June 13 Aaron Taylor-Johnson English actor and singer
June 15 Denzel Whitaker Actor (All That, Hannah Montana)
June 19 Ashly Burch Voice actress (Adventure Time, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes)
June 28 Jasmine Richards Canadian actress (Naturally, Sadie)
Nick Purcell Actor (The Troop)
July 2 Margot Robbie Australian actress (Pan Am)
July 6 Jeremy Suarez Actor (The Bernie Mac Show)
July 11 Connor Paolo Actor (Gossip Girl, Revenge)
Kelsey Sanders Actress (Private) and singer
July 16 James Maslow Actor (Big Time Rush) and singer
July 19 Steven Anthony Lawrence Actor (Even Stevens)
July 24 Daveigh Chase Actress (Oliver Beene, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Big Love)
Jay McGuiness British singer (The Wanted)
July 26 Bianca Santos Actress (The Fosters)
July 27 Indiana Evans Australian actress and singer (Snobs, Home and Away, H2O: Just Add Water, Crownies, Secrets and Lies)
July 29 Matt Prokop Actor
Munro Chambers Canadian actor (The Latest Buzz)
August 1 Jack O'Connell British actor (Skins)
August 9 Adelaide Kane Australian actress (Neighbours, Power Rangers RPM, Teen Wolf, Reign)
Bill Skarsgård Swedish actor (Hemlock Grove)
August 10 Lucas Till Actor
August 15 Jennifer Lawrence Actress (The Bill Engvall Show, The Hunger Games)
August 17 Rachel Hurd-Wood British actress (Home Fires)
August 28 Katie Findlay Canadian actress (The Killing, The Carrie Diaries, How to Get Away with Murder)
August 29 Laura Ashley Samuels Actress
Nicole Gale Anderson Actress (Jonas, Beauty & the Beast, Ravenswood)
September 2 Merritt Patterson Canadian actress (Ravenswood, The Royals)
September 8 Ella Rae Peck Actress (Gossip Girl, Welcome to the Family)
September 9 Haley Reinhart Musician (American Idol)
September 10 Eddy Martin Actor (Just Jordan)
Chandler Massey Actor (Days of Our Lives)
September 12 Wayne Dalglish Actor (The O.C., Kickin' It)
September 15 Matt Shively Actor (True Jackson, VP, The Troop)
September 21 Allison Scagliotti Actress (Drake & Josh, Warehouse 13, Stitchers)
Christian Serratos Actress (Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, The Walking Dead)
September 27 Lola Kirke English-American actress (Mozart in the Jungle)
September 28 Kirsten Prout Canadian actress (Kyle XY, The Lying Game)
September 29 Doug Brochu Actor (Sonny with a Chance, So Random!)
October 5 Myles Jeffrey Actor (Beverly Hills, 90210, Early Edition, Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?)
October 6 Scarlett Byrne Actress (Harry Potter, Falling Skies, The Vampire Diaries)
October 7 Ayla Kell Actress (Make It or Break It)
October 13 Bailey Noble Actress (First Day, True Blood)
October 19 Ciara Renée Actress (Legends of Tomorrow)
October 20 Galadriel Stineman Actress (The Middle)
October 22 Jonathan Lipnicki Actor (The Jeff Foxworthy Show)
October 24 Kirby Bliss Blanton Actress
LaMarcus Tinker Actor (Cougar Town)
October 28 Kianna Underwood Actress (Little Bill, All That)
October 29 Carlson Young Actress (As the Bell Rings)
October 31 Lil' JJ Actor (All That, Just Jordan)
November 2 Kendall Schmidt Actor (Big Time Rush) and singer
November 13 Kathleen Herles Voice actress (Dora on Dora the Explorer (2000–07))
November 17 Shanica Knowles Actress (Hannah Montana)
November 24 Sarah Hyland Actress (Modern Family)
November 29 Diego Boneta Mexican actor (Underemployed, Scream Queens) and singer
December 13 Emily Peachey Actress
December 15 Rachel Brosnahan Actress (House of Cards, Manhattan)
December 20 JoJo American singer
December 23 Anna Maria Perez de Tagle Actress (Hannah Montana, Cake)
December 28 David Archuleta Singer (American Idol) and actor


Date Name Age Notability
January 2 Alan Hale 68 Actor (Skipper Jonas Grumby on Gilligan's Island)
January 9 Northern Calloway 41 Actor (David on Sesame Street)
January 18 Rusty Hamer 42 Former child actor (Make Room For Daddy)
January 20 Barbara Stanwyck 82 Actress (The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Big Valley)
March 24 Ray Goulding 68 Comedian, half of the comedy team Bob and Ray
May 10 Susan Oliver 58 Actress (Peyton Place)
May 14 Franklyn Seales 37 Actor (Dexter on Silver Spoons)
May 16 Jim Henson 53 Puppeteer (The Muppets creator)
Sammy Davis Jr. 64 Actor and singer
May 25 Vic Tayback 60 Actor (Mel Sharples on Alice)
June 4 Jack Gilford 82 Actor (Cracker Jack commercials)
July 7 Bill Cullen 70 Game show host (original host of The Price Is Right)
July 8 Howard Duff 76 Actor (Felony Squad)
July 30 Karl Weber 74 Actor (Arthur Tate in Search for Tomorrow)[8]
August 15 Viktor Tsoi 28 Soviet singer (Kino)
October 26 William S. Paley 89 Founder and longtime head of CBS
November 3 Mary Martin 76 Actress & singer (Peter Pan)
November 12 Eve Arden 82 Actress (Our Miss Brooks)
November 27 David White 74 Actor (Larry Tate on Bewitched)
December 2 Bob Cummings 80 Actor (The Bob Cummings Show)
December 28 Kiel Martin 46 Actor (Officer J.D. LaRue on Hill Street Blues)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stewart, Larry (March 6, 1990). "This Was a Story That Was Tough to Watch, and Difficult to Cover". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Eric Mink (April 29, 1990). "Buck Swings For The Fences". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 1C.
  3. ^ Jeff Brusnak (April 13, 1990). "ESPN Baseball More And Better". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
  4. ^ Steven Herbert (April 14, 1990). "Sports on Weekend TV". Los Angeles Times. p. 12.
  5. ^ Bill Plachke (April 14, 1990). "One From Heart, 6-1, for Dodgers". Los Angeles Times. p. 1.
  6. ^ Rich, Joshua (November 20, 1998). "Madonna Banned". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  7. ^ Interviewer: Forrest Sawyer (December 3, 1990). "Madonna speaks on Nightline". Nightline. ABC.
  8. ^ "Karl Weber; Longtime Radio Actor". Los Angeles Times. August 6, 1990. Retrieved 11 September 2016.