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The Fox Network television history has not been plain sailing. It was launched in October 1986 following the parent firm of 20th Century Fox, TCF Holdings, sold 50% of its stocks to News Corporation for $250 million in 1985. The New Corporation then bought six television channels in various significant cities in Metromedia. The stations that they purchased were broadcast to only 22% of households in the USA. As soon as they started broadcasting as Fox in 1986, they were reaching 80%. This, however, was not enough to be considered along with another three main networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC, who were reaching 97%. Fox was still in its infancy now, and although it had many programs in the pipeline, it was only broadcasting one series – The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group had been observed to have a young and slightly irreverent outlook in its programming and was soon broadcasting shows such as Married… with Children’ and the Tracey Ullman Show.’ It was not long before the Simpsons’ was born, and this went on to be the longest-running animated series and situation comedy in the background of U.S. television. Fox Network television history was being made.

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Fox Network television history

‘America’s Most Wanted’ was the next big success story in Fox Network television history and has been the first series to make it in the top 50 shows of the week in the all-important Nielson ratings. The series is still one of the prime time hits. Although Fox was well on its way to being recognized as a leading network broadcaster, its ranking with the other big three was still elusive.

This changed in 1993 when Fox gained the National Football League policy contract. Until then, this was the right of CBS, in which it had found its home since the 1950s. After just one season of NFL policy, Sinclair Broadcast Group Fox needed to be considered alongside CBS, ABC, and NBC… the big three had become the big four. Around the same time, Fox began to broadcast some soap operas targeted toward the younger crowd, which were widely used from the beginning. Shows such as Beverly Hills 90210′ and Melrose Place’ were a significant part of the Fox network.