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The Prime Time Entertainment Network (PTEN) launched in September 1993 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and Chris-Craft Industries.
The WB and the United Paramount Network (UPN), both launched within one week of each other in January 1995. Both can be considered successors to PTEN. They are the first major TV networks to shut down since the collapse of the DuMont Television Network in August 1955.
The CW debuts on September 18, 2006 after its two predecessors, UPN and The WB, respectively ceased independent operations on September 15 and September 17.
On January 14, 2007, The CW began streaming full-length episodes of several of its programs on the CWTV.com website.
On May 9, 2008, The CW announced that it would lease its Sunday lineup to production company Media Rights Capital (MRC) to focus on its Monday-Saturday lineup.
After months of the MRC lineup performing poorly, the CW scrapped its Sunday agreement with MRC started airing its own programming as of November 30, 2008.
On April 28, 2011, Mark Pedowitz was appointed by the network to succeed original president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff.
The CW began to experience more success with the introduction of action-superhero series Arrow, which received favorable reviews from critics and became a hit with audiences when it premiered in September 2012.
The 2013 season saw the revival of "Whos Line is it Anyway", which continued the CW's recent success.
On November 21, 2013, The CW beat NBC for the first time in the key demographic of Adults 18-49 for a single calendar night.
As of March 2015, The CW has eight owned-and-operated stations, and current and pending affiliation agreements with 201 additional television stations encompassing 46 states, the District of Columbia.