FCC chairman Reef Blunt enacts new government legislation that requires three hours of educational content on every station in America. Soccer moms jump for joy; TV producers weep.

"Channel Umptee-3," Kids WB's first educational TV series, debuts on Saturdays but is quickly buried in a weekday morning timeslot faster than you can say "What happened to Brats of the Lost Nebula?"

LATE 1997
Tiny Toons and Animaniacs executive producer Tom Ruegger proposes a new series in the spirit of the previous, Spielberg-produced programs designed to teach world history and pacify the E/I monster for another season.

The series has not been announced yet, but if viewers look closely, a clip of Big Fat Baby appears in an ad featuring a montage of Kids WB shows. (I don't have the video of this, but I swear I saw it.)

Promotions for Histeria! begin appearing, advertised as "the show grownups are afraid you'll see!" and carrying an emphasis on potty gags. Subway starts packing H!-themed toys into its kids meals, the only known Histeria merch ever created. A proposed Big Fat Baby doll for girls that really poops and spits up, called "Baby Way Too Alive," is rejected.

Histeria (exclamation point) officially begins airing on Kids WB as a full 65-episode, weekday-stripped program -- the last time Warner Bros. would debut a series this ambitiously. The first episode shown is a "preview" episode consisting of unrelated sketches from throughout the upcoming season (this is never aired again, but it didn't need to be). The first sketch ever broadcast is a parody of the Godzilla trailer, obviously done before anyone could know how uninterested America would be with that remake.

As with most shows that are clearly educational no matter how hard they pretend not to be, initial ratings are less than envious. To make matters worse, the series goes behind schedule and over budget, and WB high-ups don't see themselves making back much of the money they've invested now. The order of 65 episodes is slashed to 52. Meanwhile, due to the delays, Histeria! has already gone into reruns with new episodes appearing sparsely.

The series gets into a bit of controversy with its "Convert or Die" sketch, about the Spanish Inquisition. A Catholic Vocal Rights League Thing is offended by the sketch, believing it paints Catholicism as evil, and loudly vocalizes their disgust. In response, WB pulls the episode it appeared in after one airing and animates a new segment to put in its place. There are now two different versions of the episode "Megalomaniacs," one with "Convert or Die" and one with an alternate sketch involving Custer and several pies. AOL's In2TV currently has the original version on its website.

Though new episodes continue to air until 2000 and the series stays on Kids WB for three years, Histeria! goes into "cancelled" mode at this point. It's still promoted by the network during this time, but is moved to weekday mornings in the summer of 1999, where it stays until it disappears.

Unlike most of Kids WB's early shows, Histeria! never reappears on a cable network. Cartoon Network elects instead to run Captain Planet to fill its E/I requirement.