Let me preface this with a confession: I caught most of The WB's iconic shows near the end of the network's life. By then, Gilmore Girls reruns were airing on ABC Family, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was getting afternoon play on FX, and Dawson's Creek was a summer staple on TBS. These giants of The WB's awesomeness were the TV equivalent of gateway drugs, though: Once I started watching all of the love triangles, vampire slaying, and witty banter these shows had to offer, I wanted more. Luckily, The WB amassed quite the extensive library of television shows before it was absorbed, along with UPN, into The CW — however, sadly, some of the network's most interesting shows have all but been forgotten thanks to limited availability or short runs.
Even though the nine shows I chose to spotlight on this list are long gone, I hope they will spark some WB nostalgia in your heart, just like they do in mine. With one glaring exception, I tried to stick with shows that are truly hidden gems — so don't expect to see Popular or Roswell on here, because who doesn't remember how awesome they were? (Before we dive in, I suggest you go ahead and queue up Sarah McLachlan on your throwback playlist and pretend you're having a sad montage of cool TV shows past.)
1. Everwood (2002-2006)
This one is just for me. I know Everwood is not as far off the radar as the rest of these shows, but it is quickly fading from our collective memories. Everwood was a perfect example of a small town show: It had heart, quirky townsfolk, and high quality family drama. It also had the actual best cast ever assembled in one place — Chris Pratt, Emily Van Camp, Paul Wesley, Gregory Smith, and the vastly underrated Tom Amandes all starred, and it was spectacular. Four seasons was so not enough.
2. Jack & Bobby (2004-2005)
Jack & Bobby's cancellation was a heartbreaker. The show, which followed two brothers played by Matt Long and Logan Lerman, was supposed to chronicle the childhood of the future president of the United States. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after one, perfect season. At least that gave creator Greg Berlanti (yes, of Arrow and The Flash) enough time to let the boys' mom, played by Christine Lahti, strike up a steamy affair with her grad student (a young Bradley Cooper).
3. Grosse Pointe (2000-2001)
Sex and the City creator Darren Star went meta for Grosse Pointe, a WB show about the behind the scenes antics of the cast of a WB show. Over the course of one hilarious season, Star managed to attract a number of actors from real WB shows to play versions of themselves on Grosse Pointe (including Sarah Michelle Gellar). Ultimately and unfortunately, though, a show that cracked a joke about the infamous Felicity haircut drama in its premiere was too Hollywood insider-y to last.
4. Young Americans (2000)
Before Ian Somerhalder was Boone on Lost or Damon on The Vampire Diaries, he was Hamilton on Young Americans. I honestly cannot remember if this Dawson's Creek spin off was good or if I just loved it because of the exquisite romance between Hamilton and Jake. Either way, boarding school settings make for the best stories, so I was always going to fall for Young Americans.
5. Do Over (2002)
Young Penn Badgley alert! Before he stole hearts on Gossip Girl, Badgley went all reverse 13 Going on 30 in Do Over. The concept revolved around Badgley's adult self going back in time to his teen years with all of his knowledge of the future in order to make his family's life less awful. Surprisingly, the convoluted story worked...just not well enough to earn the series a second season.
6. The Bedford Diaries (2006)
All of the buzz surrounding The Bedford Diaries before it premiered was about how racy it was going to be. The show followed a group of college-aged characters who were all taking the same sexuality seminar. Although tame by today's standards, the show was daring for The WB at the time. It is also worth checking out to see Badgley (yes, he was always a WB kid) and Milo Ventimiglia on the same show.
7. Birds of Prey (2002)
Given how into DC Comics-based shows The CW is, it would be awesome to see them reboot Birds of Prey. The show was a little camptastic, but it deserves major kudos for being a show all about female superheroes. Huntress, Oracle, Harley Quinn — it was a great show to geek out to, and in the right hands it could have been truly amazing.
8. Modern Men (2006)
Hey, remember when The WB had half-hour sitcoms? Modern Men was nowhere near the best of the bunch (in fact, if memory served it was pretty misogynistic). The reason it is worth remembering has nothing to do with its content and everything to do with its cast. The show brought together Jane Seymour, Max Greenfield, Eric Lively, and Marla Sokoloff. Honestly, anything Greenfield does is worth checking out. The man is never not funny.
9. Pepper Dennis (2006)
A victim of The WB/UPN merger, Pepper Dennis left us way too soon. It was basically the Grey's Anatomy of the evening news world. Chicago news reporter Pepper (Rebecca Romijn) unknowingly hooks up with the new anchor (Josh Hopkins) the night before he starts his job, and hilarity ensues. My favorite part of Pepper Dennis will always be Rider Strong as the pining cameraman, Chick. Pepper Dennis was one of the last trademark quirky The WB shows to ever make it on air, and honestly, television has not been the same since.