Did you remember that Brotherly Love, a wholesome and charming show about three brothers named Joe, Matt and Andy, played by real brothers Joey, Matthew and Andy Lawrence, respectively, aired on The WB? If not, that's OK, because the first season aired on NBC. But we hope you'll eventually come to remember just how delightful this young adult-oriented show often was, even if the brothers themselves were often just stereotypical archetypes.
The Parent 'Hood is far from being one of the more definitive WB shows, but it sure was charming. Following an upper middle-class black family in Harlem, The Parent 'Hood explored how Robert (co-creator Robert Townsend) and Jerri Peterson (Suzanne Douglas) balanced their academic careers with raising their four children. In addition to the typical sitcom antics, The Parent 'Hood also made it its mission to tackle issues of race and class through a family-friendly, comedic perspective.
Jamie Foxx may have an Oscar and a Golden Globe under his belt now, but back in the day he was a WB star headlining his own family sitcom. Running for five seasons, The Jamie Foxx Show helped launch Foxx's acting career as he played an aspiring musician who had to work in his family's hotel. The show was charming and fun, and the chemistry between Foxx and his onscreen love interest Garcelle Beauvais was impossible to deny.
Not to be confused with the movie Grosse Pointe Blank, this criminally underappreciated Darren Star comedy was a spot-on spoof of teen shows and the people who make them (it was largely inspired by Star's experiences producing Beverly Hills, 90210). Adding to the fun was the fact that several teen stars appeared in the series, including Jason Priestley and Elizabeth Berkley. However, not everyone was so fond of Grosse Pointe's meta sense of humor. Reportedly, 90210 producer Aaron Spelling once called The WB to complain about the comedy because Lindsay Sloane's character in the pilot was such an obvious parody of his daughter Tori Spelling.
Running for five seasons on The WB and getting a second life in syndication, The Wayans Bros.' success wasn't due to any particularly sharp writing. But what the sitcom did have going for it was the immensely engaging charm of its leading men, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who played two go-getter brothers living in Harlem. Shawn and Marlon's energy consistently elevated the material and left viewers wishing that they were part of the Wayans family too, both onscreen and off.
Smart Guy was just solid TV. Starring Tahj Mowry as a child genius who went from fourth grade to tenth grade alongside his older siblings (Essence Atkins and Jason Weaver), Smart Guy was silly, sure, but it was darn funny too. Throughout its three-season run, the family comedy gave off major TGIF vibes and would have been right at home alongside Boy Meets World and Family Matters on ABC's iconic Friday lineup. It was heartfelt, family-friendly and a whole lot of fun -- especially any scene featuring Mo (Omar Gooding). Mo was just the best.
It's hard to talk about 7th Heaven now without the knowledge of star Stephen Collins' admitted sexual abuse of a minor influencing things, but there was a time when the long-running WB drama was the pinnacle of family-friendly drama. Following the lives of the Camden family, led by the Protestant minister patriarch (Collins) and his wife Annie (Catherine Hicks), 7th Heaven was a Christian show that was actively trying to get across Christian messages of morality, authority and family. But by rarely veering into heavy-handed territory, the drama managed to appeal to many outside the Christian faith, helping lead to its successful 11-season run.
After Clarissa Explains It All ended in 1994, Melissa Joan Hart's streak of success continued when she landed the starring role on the endearing Sabrina, in which she played a teen who discovered she has magical powers on her 16th birthday. Her 500-year-old aunts Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick) -- along with the human-turned-cat Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay) -- counseled Sabrina on magic while she struggled to maintain a (somewhat normal) high school social life. The show was loopy in a lovable way that was reminiscent of Bewitched, so it's basically the exact opposite of what Netflix's take on Sabrina is, which is probably for the best.
Although the series originally aired on Fox, Grounded for Life was canceled two episodes into its third season. But fortunately, The WB picked it up and eventually ordered an additional two seasons. The series followed a blue-collar Irish Catholic family on Staten Island, and since parents Sean (Donal Logue) and Claudia (Megyn Price) had their first child when they were only 18, they weren't quite done with their own carefree, partying years -- despite the fact that their eldest was a teenager herself. In the vein of Married... With Children, Grounded for Life balanced a look at a loving family with the less wholesome aspects of the realities of raising a family. The series also switched up the typical family sitcom format by often starting each episode at the end or in the middle of the story and then filling in the gaps using flashbacks.
ABC's loss was The WB's gain. Once the TGIF show was canceled after two seasons, the fledgling WB added it to its lineup where it ran for another four seasons. Sister, Sister starred Tia and Tamera Mowry as twins who were separated at birth but reunited under one roof with their adoptive parents 14 years later. There's currently a potential revival of the high-energy sitcom in the works and you know what? We're not too mad about it. If the revival's half as good as the original, it won't be too bad. But Roger (Marques Houston) better return too. That's our only demand.
Although it was canceled after just one season, Jack & Bobby -- playing off the famed Kennedys in title only -- was a wonderful little show about two teenage brothers (Matt Long and Logan Lerman), one of whom would go on to become president of the United States, being raised by a single mother. Co-created by a total nobody named Greg Berlanti, the series was intelligent and endearing, using flash-forward interviews to the future to interesting effect. And although it wasn't completely perfect, it was good enough that it's a shame it didn't last beyond that single season.
What I Like About You had a great theme song -- a Lillix cover of The Romantic's song of the same name -- but that was far from the only reason to love the Amanda Bynes-led show. Headlining The WB's Friday night comedy lineup, the series starred Bynes as the impulsive teenager Holly and Jennie Garth as her older sister Valerie. The two sisters were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but watching them grow -- and grow together -- to overcome the familiar ups and downs of young adulthood was a treat.
You might think that a show that ran for 10 seasons across both The WB and The CW would be even higher on this list, but the truth is, there were a lot of great programs on The WB, and some were simply stronger than others. Smallville was obviously successful -- it even helped pave the way for The CW's current superhero slate -- but the shows ahead of the Tom Welling-led series also had consistently strong writing, award-worthy performances, and a number of other strengths that pushed them ahead in the rankings. They didn't, you know, give their leading ladies head trauma week after week after week after week in order to prolong a narrative. And although the recent revelations about Allison Mack's alleged involvement in a sex trafficking cult has no real bearing on the quality of Smallville itself, it's difficult to look at the series in the same light.
One Tree Hill ran for a total of nine seasons, but only the first three aired on The WB. So even though the young-skewing program is best known for being the only show in existence to feature a stoned dog eating a dying man's transplant heart while the man's estranged son looks on and squints, it doesn't affect its placement in this ranking. Neither does Crazy Nanny Carrie or Julian Baker or James Van Der Beek's guest appearance. But maybe all of that is for the best, because One Tree Hill's first three seasons had just the right amount of teenaged melodrama to hook viewers. There were emotional love triangles (though they often made Chad Michael Murray's Lucas Scott look like a terrible person, which he kind of was) meshed with high school sports drama that was then wrapped up in an intriguing story about two half-brothers growing up and learning to grow together. Basically, One Tree Hill showed a lot of promise in its first three seasons, and even if it would eventually take a one-way train to Crazytown, we're glad to have it.
There's a reason The CW was keen on rebooting Roswell -- the original was great! It was also pretty absurd and even idiotic at times, but boy was this show fun. Starring Shiri Appleby as a wide-eyed high schooler who fell in with a gang of sexy teen aliens (Katherine Heigl, Jason Behr and Brendan Fehr), Roswell had it all: teen romance, government conspiracy theories and murder all smothered in a boatload of Tabasco and Snapple. Roswell was never going to win any Emmys, but its offbeat sense of humor and willingness to just go there made for three excellent seasons of television. Minus Tess (Emilie de Ravin), of course. To this day, Tess remains the absolute worst.
Reba McEntire just has that je ne sais quoi that makes her undeniably watchable. And for her six-season WB comedy, McEntire gathered an ensemble that couldn't possibly match her charms, but came pretty darn close! Joanna Garcia Swisher, Steve Howey and Melissa Peterman, in particular, made sure that this was a true family comedy, and not just a country superstar carrying the entire show alone. Over the years, we loved watching Reba and Barbra Jean (Peterman) develop a real friendship, and Cheyenne (Garcia Swisher) and Van (Howey) learning to be parents -- all with Reba's biting sense of humor making jokes along the way. Reba was a show with a lot of heart, and a pretty killer theme song we still can't get out of our heads.
Ryan Murphy may now be an A-list Hollywood super-producer, but back in 1999 his career was just getting started with this teen dramedy about two polar opposite teenage girls (Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope) whose parents met on a cruise ship and got engaged. The two-season series became a cult hit thanks to its absurdist sense of humor that Murphy would later draw from in his next teen series, Glee. Popular also gave Leslie Grossman the role of a lifetime as Mary Cherry, the spoiled cheerleader with mommy issues and apparent psychopathic tendencies.
The bulk of Supernatural's 14 seasons didn't air on The WB, and while the show would eventually reach much higher highs (and far lower lows), the single season that aired on The WB was just pretty good and not too great. It featured a lot of standalone episodes as it introduced us to the family business while building its mythology. We got to know Sam (Jared Padalecki), Dean (Jensen Ackles) and the man (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who sealed their fates as hunters long before we realized the roles they'd come to play in the battle between Michael and Lucifer (and everything that came after). And even though Season 1 was home to one of the show's best episodes in "The Benders," we also can't ignore the fact it's also the season that gave us "Bugs." That's right, we still remember "Bugs."
Much like fan-favorite series Roswell, there's a good reason The CW rebooted Charmed, and it's because the original WB series, which ran for eight seasons, was a ton of fun. Focusing on three sisters (played by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty, who eventually left the series and was replaced by Rose McGowan beginning in Season 4) who discover they're powerful witches, the series fit nicely alongside the similarly supernatural-themed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and offered up depictions of yet more powerful, world-saving women for young viewers to look up to. Sure, the special effects haven't aged well and we're still not quite sure about those rhyming spells, but Charmed was a series that ultimately focused on the power of family, specifically sisterhood, and for that it deserves a prominent place in our hearts as well as WB history.
We know it doesn't seem like it, but there was more to Felicity than just the never-ending Ben (Scott Speedman) vs. Noel (Scott Foley) debate. For instance, there was also Felicity's (Keri Russell) iconic hair and subsequent Season 2 haircut! OK, we're just kidding. Felicity was an honest, if sometimes hilariously dumb, coming-of-age story that captured one of the most confusing times in one's life: those painful college years when you're still trying to figure out who you are but you're also expected to be a self-sufficient adult. As Felicity attempted to find herself and find what she wanted from her life, viewers were treated to an endearing and frequently funny, if sometimes unintentionally so, story about one woman's journey that managed to feel universal, even if none of us actually got to make out with Ben.
Gilmore Girls' fast-talking, pop culture-referencing brand of humor wasn't for everyone, but the show's influence is pretty undeniable. Anyone who grew up watching the three generations of Gilmore women -- Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) -- trying to find their way in the world and as a family likely found themselves at some point wishing their own mother was just like Lorelei or that they'd one day have the biting wit of Emily or the love life of Rory. And though the show never shied away from showing the women make mistakes (and sometimes pretty major ones), there was always an aspirational charm about the show that made you believe everything would always be all right because the Gilmores had each other. But the show would also be nowhere without its extraordinary supporting cast of quirky characters who populated the idyllic and eccentric Stars Hollow, from Kirk (Sean Gunn) and Miss Patty (Liz Torres) to even poor Cinnamon (RIP).
Shows like Everwood seem to be a thing of the past, and it's a shame. Emotional family dramas like this one about a skilled surgeon but absent father (Treat Williams) who packs up his two children (Gregory Smith and Vivien Cardone) and moves to a small town in Colorado following the sudden death of his wife still scratches an itch, especially after years of dark antiheroes crowding the small screen. Tackling everything from grief and young love to all the hallmarks of memorable coming-of-age shows, Everwood told thoughtful, emotionally resonant stories that tugged at your heartstrings in ways very few shows have done since.
If you're asking yourself how a show as iconic and beloved as Dawson's Creek could possibly be at No. 3, might we remind you of that time Pacey (Joshua Jackson) grew a goatee and became a stockbroker? Or that time Joey (Katie Holmes) was dating [insert every single person who basically wasn't Pacey or Dawson]? For as good as the show was at times, Dawson's Creek definitely had a number of sore spots over its six seasons. Sure, it gave us a thoughtful story about mental health, what might be the greatest gif of all time, featured TV's first gay kiss in prime time, and introduced the world to one of the greatest TV love stories ever told, but it also stumbled every once in a while. Never forget that Dawson Leery's (James Van Der Beek) legacy is as one of the worst lead characters of all time.
You can make a good case for putting Angel at the top of this list -- and we nearly did -- but the influence of the series that landed at No. 1 is just too undeniable. Still, this spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an incredibly strong drama, especially once it established itself and no longer relied on cases of the week each episode. The series, which continued Angel's (David Boreanaz) search for redemption, offered a darker, more adult tone than the rest of The WB. With its supernatural-noir vibe, Angel and his ragtag team of rogue demon hunters, brilliant scientists, and general world-saving heroes not only helped the helpless, but they also stopped apocalypse after apocalypse. Perhaps the show's legacy isn't just the fact it finally gave us the Angel/Spike (James Marsters) relationship we all craved or featured one of the greatest finales of all time, but that it nearly upstaged its parent series along the way. Now, let's all continue pretending Connor didn't exist.
The cultural influence and lasting impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can still be felt today, more than 20 years after it first premiered on The WB and helped to launch the network's slate of popular teen programming. The Sarah Michelle Gellar-fronted series flipped the horror script and took the tiny blonde girl at its center, all too often a victim in similar projects, and turned her into a powerful and relatable force for good without losing any of the character's wit and personality, instantly creating an iconic heroine in the process. By tackling universal stories through unique perspectives that played out via narratives based in metaphor, Buffy stood out from other programs featuring high school-aged protagonists. Literal demons stood in for the horrible people encountered as a young adult, and when it came time for Buffy to lose her virginity, the show used Angel losing his soul and becoming a monster to comment on relationship dynamics and social stigmas. There's a reason Buffy has managed to endure for all these years, and there's a reason so many shows continue to try to recreate the magic that propelled Buffy Summers and the Scooby Gang through five seasons on The WB (and two on UPN). And let me tell you, it's not because of the fashion choices; the series is timeless -- special effects excluded -- and it won't be surprising if it continues to inspire an entirely new generation again soon.