Other than the "Big Three" television networks, there were also some independent TV station networks within the United States since the late 1940s and 1950s. If a program premiered on any of these networks, they were considered first-run syndication programs, and reruns of any shows on these independent stations were broadcast on off-network syndication.

Children's programming

Children's programming has usually aired during daytime hours since the 1970s, especially on independent TV stations. One example was one of DiC Entertainment's first animated TV series, Inspector Gadget, which debuted on first-run syndication in 1983.

Game shows

In 1983, Merv Griffin Enterprises and KingWorld Productions produced a daily syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune, and the show premiered in different stations across the United States since then. One year later, in 1984, Jeopardy! premiered on those same networks, with Alex Trebek as host until 2020, when he died.

Dissolution of independent stations

In 1986, some independent stations in the United States relaunched as the Fox Network. In January 1995, more independent stations in every U.S. state relaunched either as the WB Network or UPN.

Today's independent stations

Today, there are not that many still-independent television stations across the United States, as most of them are now affiliated with other networks like the CW Network, MyNetworkTV and Ion Television. KCAL-TV from Los Angeles is one example of the independent stations that are currently not affiliated with any major television broadcasting network (although it is owned by CBS Studios), and that TV station launched on August 25, 1948.


Title Premiere date
(first known)
(or last aired)
Wheel of Fortune September 19, 1983 present
My Little Pony April 9, 1984 March 7 ,1986
Jeopardy! September 10, 1984 present
My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina March 24, 1985 March 1, 1986
My Little Pony 'n Friends September 15, 1986 August 25, 1989
The Kidsongs TV Show September 19, 1987 September 2, 1989
Super Mario Bros. Super Show September 4, 1989 September 11, 1991
Full House​​​​​​ September 23, 1991 September 17, 1999
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog September 6, 1993 November 10, 1996
The Goonies November 21, 1993 November 13, 1994
The Cat in the Hat December 4, 1994 December 23, 1995
The Hoober-Bloob Highway December 4, 1994 December 23, 1995
The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat December 4, 1994 December 23, 1995
Pontoffel Pock and His Magic Piano December 4, 1994
Dr. Seuss on the Loose December 18, 1994 December 23, 1995
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope May 6, 1997 November 14, 1998
Mary Poppins May 18, 1997 February 11, 2001
Sonic the Hedgehog September 1997 September 4, 1998
Pokémon September 7, 1998 January 1999
Sonic Underground August 30, 1999 August 27, 2000
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Special Edition) February 11, 2001 February 1, 2003
Home Alone May 19, 2001
Sonic Christmas Blast December 19, 2004

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