TV

Looking Back Fondly At The USA Network’s Racy ’90s Programming

I was a fan of the WWF back in the ’90s, so the USA Network — which aired the WWF’s flagship program — was a staple in my TV-watching diet. As a default, many of the TV shows on USA would also find their way into my schedule, but it didn’t hurt that the shows were filled with boobs, B to A-grade horror, salacious dancing, and even more boobs. So, grab your mugs — *clink* — and toast to the yesteryear programs of USA’s formative days with a look back at eight shows that helped raise you.

Farmclub

Aired: 1999-2000

Although it only aired for one season, Farmclub was cool enough to warrant a placement on this list. The show featured live and in-studio performances by a who’s who of pop culture, and it even aired a reunion of N.W.A. with Snoop Dogg filling in for Eazy-E.

Up All Night

Aired: 1989-1998

It was the glue that held together the USA Network during its early years. Rhonda Shear, who was actually the second host, was joined by Gilbert Gottfried in this variety-type program that usually showcased a cult or horror film. Kind of like a sexier version of Elvira.

Silk Stalkings

Aired: 1991-1999

Before there was Law & Order: SVU, this ’90s USA show usually centered around a sex-related crime and almost always started off with a soft-core sex scene.

Strip Poker

Aired: 1999-2001

This saucy version of strip poker — no, they didn’t get fully nude — probably gave many prepubescent boys their first taste of cable TV salaciousness.


Duckman

Aired: 1994-1997

Created by Everett Peck from the Dark Horse comic of the same name, Duckman was a private detective voiced by Jason Alexander. The guest stars alone — Ice-T, Jim Belushi, Phil Hartman, among others — made the show worth watching.

Swamp Thing

Aired: 1990-1993

Dick Durock, who played Swamp Thing in the two previous films, reprised his role for this series, infamously wearing his 80-pound suit six days a weeks, 12 hours a day for 50-straight episodes without a break. That’s called dedication. You can still catch this ’90s cult gem online and on Chiller.

Weird Science

Aired: 1994-1998

The cult ’80s flick Weird Science was popular enough to convince USA’s executives to create an original show based on the film. Vanessa Angel took over Kelly LeBrock’s role as the computer generated vixen with the magical genie powers.

La Femme Nikita

Aired: 1997-2001

Based on Luc Besson’s film of the same name, Nikita would spawn two TV series, as well as an American remake, but this late ’90s USA original saw Peta Wilson in the titular role as the badass heroine contracted by a sect of assassins to do the lord’s work. Lay ’em down, and let him sort ’em out.

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