[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MyNetworkTV_logo.jpg]]

->''"To be honest, [[BitingTheHandHumor I didn't even know I had a network!]]"''
-->--'''Wrestling/JohnCena''', ''Wrestling/{{WWE}} [[Wrestling/WWESmackDown Friday Night SmackDown!]]''

Welcome to the ButtMonkey of American network television.

[=MyNetworkTV=] is a quick-fix "network" created by {{Fox}} in 2006 to fill soon-to-be emptied primetime slots on their TV stations that were affiliated with {{UPN}}. As UPN and TheWB were merging to form TheCW, it transpired that many UPN-affiliated stations owned by Fox would not get the chance to become affiliated with the new network (though only in locations with WB stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting, which had first dibs under the terms of the merger[[note]]as compensation for not getting a stake in TheCW, because Tribune had been part-owners of TheWB[[/note]]; had Fox cooperated, some of their other stations could've easily ended up top-choice CW affiliates). In response, Fox decided to [[StartMyOwn make their own network]] out of ''all'' of their UPN-affiliated stations, and furthermore [[TantrumThrowing petulantly]] shunned all mentions and advertising of UPN on those stations until the network's September 2006 demise. Most of the various WB and UPN affiliates that were left behind by the merger also signed-on with [=MyNetworkTV=].

MNTV started off pretending to be a legit network (some stations even changed their callsigns to reflect their new affiliation), airing [[ForeignRemake English-language versions]] of popular Latin American ''[[SoapOpera telenovelas]]'' [[PrimeTimeSoap 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 Opera}}s and worth watching only as SnarkBait, 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, [[DarthWiki/SoBadItsHorrible everyone thought it sucked]]. The only markets where the network was barely competitive were UsefulNotes/LosAngeles 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), remained from the network's original schedule, though the music industry's own woes have caused that show to not take place for the last few years; when it did take place again in 2014, the show had major technical and behind-the-scenes difficulties which resulted in NBC not receiving the finished product).

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 Creator/{{Fox News|Channel}} thrown aside for such [[SarcasmMode illustrious programming]] as ''IFL Battleground'' (a failed attempt to turn UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts into a team sport that eventually got eaten up by UFC), [[LowestCommonDenominator the Ujena Bikini Jam, Hooters pageants]], the Taurus World Stunt Awards, and ''Santa's Funniest Moments'' (really just an hour of home-video Santas [[GroinAttack being kicked in the chestnuts by kids]]). Thanks to them and the Fox Reality channel, the nation also suffered through a second run of ''Paradise Hotel''.

The network kept limping along, however. Its only major grab was ''Wrestling/{{WWE}} [[WWESmackDown Friday Night SmackDown!]]'', the rest of its lineup consisting of {{reality show}}s, 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 [[PublicEnemy Flavor Flav]], which was shot in Toronto while the [[TVStrikes 2008 writer's strike]] went on, so it was unaffected). In September 2009, [=MyNetworkTV=] officially stopped pretending and became a two-hour {{syndicat|ion}}ed programming block, similar in concept to the short-lived Creator/{{PTEN}}. It discontinued all original non-syndicated programming that wasn't ''[=SmackDown!=]'' and replaced it with syndicated {{game show}}s, Thursday-night movies, and reruns of ''Series/TheUnit'' and ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. One of its original shows, ''Jail'', got picked up by SpikeTV.

In October 2010, ''[=SmackDown!=]'' moved to [[Creator/SciFiChannel Syfy]] and MNTV became the OldShame 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 ''Series/BurnNotice'', ''Series/{{Monk}}'', and ''Series/WithoutATrace'', which act as {{filler}} for independent stations scared of programming primetime. In 2011, even those pseudo-original game shows were ousted due to them not doing well at all in syndication, with ''Series/ColdCase'' and ''LawAndOrderSVU'' rerun nights being added to fill out all five nights.

Many of the network's higher-rated stations (that aren't owned by Fox itself, that is; those stations get a living {{Mascot}} in the shape of the network logo named [[AlliterativeName C. More TV]]) have begun to shun MNTV and drop all mentions of it, airing the programming in post-Midnight [[FridayNightDeathSlot 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[[note]]Tribune has done the same with many of its CW stations[[/note]]. 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, and especially in the months where The CW is in rerun hell, can beat that network. 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 {{Creator/Netflix}} and Redbox and subchannel movie networks like This TV, Movies!, and GetTV didn't exist, is now a textbook example of lazy programming. The network is expected continue at least until the 2015-16 season.

The network may still have a bit of life in it though; the rerun rights for {{Creator/AMC}}'s ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' were bought by the network beginning in the 2014-15 season, a move that was lauded as one of the network's smartest decisions. It's EditedForSyndication, but that might be a good thing depending on how you feel about gore. Not shockingly, its first night airing the show gave the network its best ratings for an evening since the last night ''Smackdown'' aired.

During Cablevision and Dish Network's 2010 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 StealthInsult when Cablevision announced they put the channels back on, by saying [=MyNetworkTV=] was a channel of "little or no interest" to viewers. A dispute with Time Warner Cable in 2013 involving some Journal Broadcasting stations that were MNTV affiliates had that provider happy to point out that all the network's shows were also on Creator/USANetwork, Creator/IonTelevision and {{Creator/Netflix}}.

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's on a subchannel of Creator/{{ABC}} affiliate WSYX)[[note]]Although the same is the case for TheCW in nearby, and similarly-sized, Cincinnati[[/note]], 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, or there's no other stations to carry it, it airs on the same channel as lesser networks such as This TV, Antenna TV, RTV, and MeTV, meaning the only thing leading into primetime is either an ancient sitcom rerun or a old movie, thus assuring very low ratings. It can even air out of primetime, with some lesser Fox affiliates in smaller markets and independent stations using is as an alternative to program their late night schedule rather than having to buy sitcoms off syndication; in some cases it's the only place it can air due to lack of stations in a market.
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