The following is a list of events affecting American television during 1995. Events listed include television show debuts, finales, cancellations, and channel initiations, closures and rebrandings, as well as information about controversies and disputes.
All My Children celebrates its 25th anniversary and broadcasts a prime-time special on ABC.
In an interview with Kathleen Gingrich, mother of Republican politician Newt Gingrich, on CBS' Eye to Eye, Mrs. Gingrich said she could not say what her son thought about First LadyHillary Clinton on the air. Connie Chung asked Mrs. Gingrich to "just whisper it to me, just between you and me," and Mrs. Gingrich's microphone volume was turned up as she replied "He thinks she's a bitch." Many people interpreted Chung's suggestion that if Mrs. Gingrich would whisper this statement it would be promised that the statement would be off the record. Bill Carter for The New York Times reported, "Ms. Chung had become the object of some of the most ferocious criticism, justified or not, ever directed at any network anchor as a result of her now infamous interview with Speaker Newt Gingrich's mother, Kathleen." The interview was also parodied on Saturday Night Live.
The WB, a joint venture between Warner Bros. Television and Tribune Broadcasting in conjunction with original network CEO Jamie Kellner, launches. Among the programs offered are four situation comedies (two family-oriented, one family-focused but adult-targeted and one adult-oriented soap opera-inspired satire): The Wayans Bros. (starring former In Living Color DJ/cast member Shawn Wayans and his younger brother, Marlon Wayans), The Parent 'Hood (starring Robert Townsend), Unhappily Ever After and Muscle. While the former three series wound up lasting five seasons, Muscle fails to survive its first season. In addition to being available on around 70 affiliates, The WB is also initially distributed directly to cable and satellite providers via the superstation feed of Chicago charter affiliate WGN-TV (owned by Tribune) to serve markets where the lack of available independent stations or stations that passed over the network in favor of fellow fledgling network UPN prevented The WB from maintaining an exclusive affiliation at launch. (This ended in August 1999, as a result of The WB gaining full-time affiliates in some underserved mid-sized markets and a small-market cable feed being launched to serve smaller markets.)
The United Paramount Network (UPN) launches, with a two-hour premiere of Star Trek: Voyager. This results in an affiliation change in San Antonio between Fox affiliate KRRT (now KMYS) and independent station KABB, as KRRT leaves Fox for the new network (due to its then-ownership by Paramount Pictures, UPN's part-owner) and KABB assumes the Fox affiliation.
The 1994–96 United States broadcast TV realignment continues in the Flint/Tri-Cities, Michigan market, as NBC affiliate WNEM-TV in Bay City and CBS affiliate WEYI-TV in Saginaw swap affiliations. The move is deemed necessary by CBS to restore coverage in areas underserved by its then-new affiliate WGPR in adjacent Detroit, since WNEM-TV's signal is stronger than that of WEYI-TV.
Above Suspicion starring Christopher Reeve premieres on HBO. In it, Reeve plays a paralyzed cop who plots to murder his wife. Six days after Above Suspicion first airs, Reeve is seriously injured in a fall while riding on horseback, resulting in him becoming a quadriplegic for the remainder of his life.
ABC announces that an episode of the soap opera All My Children was deleted from broadcasting due to the then-recent Oklahoma City bombing; in the story, villainess Janet Green was supposed to explode the church in which her ex Trevor Dillon was to marry her rival Laurel Banning.
After being purchased by New World Communications from Argyle Television, three additional stations switch to Fox as part of the 1994–96 United States broadcast TV realignment: KDFW (channel 4) in Dallas-Ft. Worth, KTBC (channel 7) in Austin, Texas and KTVI (channel 2) in St. Louis. KDFW and KTBC both defect from CBS, while KTVI leaves ABC. Independent station KTVT (channel 11) in Dallas takes the CBS affiliation in that area through an affiliation deal between the network and Gaylord Broadcasting (owners of KTVT); in Austin, former Fox affiliate KBVO (channel 42) swaps affiliations with KTBC and changes its calls to KEYE; and in St. Louis, KDNL (channel 30) swaps its Fox affiliation with KTVI and joins ABC. Former Fox-owned station KDAF-TV (channel 33) joins The WB, taking that affiliation from KXTX-TV (channel 39) due to a temporary arrangement in which KXTX would carry WB programming, until such time Fox was cleared to move to channel 4. KXTX-TV then becomes an independent station. Fox Kids, Fox's children programming block, doesn't follow the rest of the network's programming to KTBC and KTVI because of their commitments to news, and instead air on independent stations K13VC and KNLC. As a result of a dispute between Fox and KNLC, however, Fox Kids is moved to KTVI the following year.
On the series finale of Yo! MTV Raps, numerous high-profile names in the world of hip-hop close the show out with a freestyle rap session.
The Tribune Company acquired a 12.5% limited partnership interest in The WB for $12 million; the deal gave Tribune an option to increase its stake in the network up to a 25% interest; Tribune would eventually increase its ownership share in the WB to 22.5% on March 31, 1997.
As a result of the 1994–96 United States broadcast TV realignment, longtime NBC affiliate WLUK-TV in Green Bay becomes the first of four "Big three" affiliates that SF Broadcasting (a joint venture of Savoy Communications and Fox Broadcasting) has purchased from Burnham Broadcasting to switch its affiliation to Fox. NBC eventually aligns with former Fox affiliate WGBA-TV. Two more NBC-affiliated stations (WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama, and KHON-TV in Honolulu), along with ABC affiliate WVUE in New Orleans switch their affiliations to Fox on January 1, 1996. NBC again swaps affiliations with the former Fox affiliates in Mobile and Honolulu (WPMI and KHNL respectively), while ABC joins WB affiliate WGNO and former Fox affiliate WNOL joins The WB.
The 1994–96 United States broadcast TV realignment continues when longtime ABC affiliate WGHP-TV (channel 8) in High Point, North Carolina is sold directly to Fox (acquired via New World Communications from Citicasters, along with WBRC-TV in Birmingham, Alabama due to ownership conflicts) and as a result, becomes a Fox-owned station. Former Fox affiliates WNRW-TV (channel 45)/WGGT-TV (channel 48, now MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYV-TV) assume the ABC affiliation, and WNRW-TV changes its callsign to WXLV-TV to reflect the new affiliation. Both stations retain a secondary UPN affiliation until WGGT-TV leaves its WXLV-TV simulcast to become a full-time UPN affiliate the next year.
A major compensation deal between NBC and CBS after the Westinghouse-Group W/CBS deal as a result of the 1994–96 United States broadcast TV realignment becomes effective: two NBC O&O's (KCNC-TV in Denver and KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City) and the network's Philadelphia affiliate KYW-TV become CBS-affiliated stations (and quickly after that CBS-owned stations after Westinghouse merged with CBS), while former CBS affiliate KSL-TV in Salt Lake City joins NBC and CBS O&O WCAU in Philadelphia becomes an NBC-owned station. Meanwhile, in Miami, CBS-owned WCIX (channel 6) and NBC-owned WTVJ (channel 4) swap channel positions, with WCIX becoming WFOR-TV as a result of the change. Two related swaps also occur in Denver, as former ABC affiliate KUSA-TV joins NBC, and former CBS affiliate KMGH-TV switches to ABC as a result of an affiliation deal between the network and McGraw-Hill, KMGH's owners.
In the Michiana region of Indiana, Elkhart-based ABC affiliate WSJV swaps affiliations with South Bend-based Fox affiliate W58BT (which will become WBND-LP by the end of the year). The rush for W58BT to switch to ABC (at the insistence of network executives, who didn't want to wait for W58BT to sign-on a new transmitter) causes a partial transmitter failure, which is fixed within a few days.
On NBC, The Today Show becomes the highest-rated morning news program (and would remain so until 2012).
WLYH-TV in Lancaster ends its affiliation with CBS following a local marketing agreement with WHP-TV, and as a result, WLYH-TV became a primary UPN affiliate, cutting back the programming hours within the programming schedule.
^KTVK only aired ABC's daytime and primetime programming at the point of disaffiliation; the piecemeal dropping of ABC shows from the station throughout the latter half of 1994 resulted in KNXV-TV carrying all ABC News programming from December 1994 onward.
^Temporarily carried The WB during part of 1995 before transferring the affiliation to KASW upon that station's sign-on.
^Known as WRNW-TV prior to the affiliation switch.