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File:MyNetworkTV logo.jpg


Welcome to the Butt Monkey of American network television.

MyNetworkTV is a quick-fix "network" created by Fox in 2006 to fill soon-to-be emptied primetime slots on its UPN stations (WWOR in New York, KCOP in Los Angeles, etc.). It was created as a rash tantrum-esque response to The CW, a merger between The WB and UPN, due to the fact that FOX's owned-and-operated UPN stations were left out of said deal (though only in cities where Tribune and CBS respectively owned WB and UPN stations and had first dibs; had FOX cooperated, some of their stations without the former condition would've ended up easily top-choice CW affiliates) and in response, FOX petulantly decided to shun all mentions and advertising of UPN until its September 2006 demise. Most of the various WB and UPN affiliates that were left behind by the merger also signed-on with the network.

MNTV started off pretending to be a legit network (some stations even changed their callsigns to reflect their new affiliation), airing English-language versions of popular Latin American telenovelas five nights a week. Try as they might, nothing could get people to watch these shows — most American viewers saw them as trashy and poorly-made even by the low standards of American Soap Operas and worth watching only as Snark Bait, while English-speaking Latino viewers (the target audience for many of these shows) saw them as inferior versions of what they were already watching en español. In short, everyone thought it sucked. The only markets where the network was barely competitive were Los Angeles and Miami, but those viewers quickly went away. Only one program, the World Music Awards (which previously set negative ratings records for ABC and FOX), remains from the network's original schedule.

After a year, the telenovela block faded into the mists along with anything resembling a point, with early promises to program imported or adapted programming from Sky in the UK and Fox News thrown aside for such illustrious programming as IFL Battleground (a failed attempt to turn Mixed Martial Arts into a team sport that eventually got eaten up by UFC), the Ujena Bikini Jam, Hooters pageants, the Taurus World Stunt Awards, and Santa's Funniest Moments (really just an hour of home-video Santas being kicked in the chestnuts by kids). Thanks to them and Fox Reality, the nation also suffered through a second run of Paradise Hotel.

The network kept limping along, however. Its only major grab was WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, the rest of its lineup consisting of reality shows, stage magic (new episodes of Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed were among the network's better shows), and Under One Roof (a short-lived Sitcom starring Flavor Flav, which was infamous for shooting in Toronto while the 2008 writer's strike went on). In September 2009, MyNetworkTV officially stopped pretending and became a two-hour syndicated programming block, similar in concept to the short-lived PTEN. It discontinued all original non-syndicated programming that wasn't SmackDown! and replaced it with syndicated game shows, Thursday-night movies, and reruns of The Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. One of its original shows, Jail, got picked up by Spike TV.

In October 2010, SmackDown! moved to Syfy and MNTV became the Old Shame of FOX and the network's affiliates, airing repeats of game shows already in syndication (usually in very low-rated timeslots) and other dramas such as Burn Notice, Monk, and Criminal Minds, which act as Filler for independent stations scared of programming primetime. In 2011, even those pseudo-original games were ousted due to them not doing well at all in syndication, with Cold Case and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit rerun nights being added to fill out all five nights.

Many of the network's higher-rated stations have begun to shun MNTV and drop all mentions of it, airing the programming in post-Midnight death slots and instead carrying local programming (such as high school and major-league sports) and news in primetime, as they feel comfortable enough to compete without FOX's lack of help to them. However, most of the smaller markets do appreciate MNTV for what it is: a service offering reruns that attract a constant audience who are quite happy to tune in. It helps keeps the stations' lights on in primetime, because the other option's going back to airing movies...which may have worked in the 1990s when Netflix and Redbox didn't exist, but is now a textbook example of lazy programming. The network will continue at least until the 2014 season, though hopefully it might find a way to get a couple of original programs in here and there by then (and, if so, do well enough to avoid death).

During Cablevision and Dish Network's disputes over carriage of FOX, most of the pushes were pretty much mentioning everything but the kitchen sink for FOX, FX, and their sports networks...while not one contribution of MNTV was mentioned beyond that it exists (besides lack of research from writers who thought SmackDown! was still on it). This probably earned them a Stealth Insult when Cablevision announced they put the channels back on, by saying MyNetworkTV was a channel of "little or no interest" to viewers.

The network also has the indignity of being mostly on digital subchannels of big network affiliates in markets as large as Columbus, Ohio (where it is carried on a subchannel of ABC affiliate WSYX), meaning that it often gets left out of TV listings, won't be in HD in many markets, and isn't rated by Nielsen on a regular basis because of its all-repeat schedule, and may not even be carried by a provider because of lack of any good surrounding programming. In some markets where the other stations have bought off all the good programming, it airs on the same channel as lesser networks such as This TV, Antenna TV, RTV, Me-TV, and Jewelry Television, meaning the only thing leading into primetime is either an ancient sitcom rerun or a "Gem Extravaganza", thus assuring very low ratings.