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A Fully Annotated Guide to the Classic WB "Oh What a Night" Promo

Jamie Foxx! Michelle Williams! The stars of Young Americans! The brightest lights of The WB gathered in 2000 for one unforgettable promo, and we've identified them all.
  • Jamie Foxx, Melissa Joan Hart, Shannen Doherty, David Boreanaz, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Nicholas Brendon, Katie Holmes (Images: The WB)
    Jamie Foxx, Melissa Joan Hart, Shannen Doherty, David Boreanaz, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Nicholas Brendon, Katie Holmes (Images: The WB)

    In the year 2000, few networks had carved out a more cohesive identity for themselves than the The WB. While the fledgling network, which launched in 1995, had a handful of popular comedies on its roster, the twin hits of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson's Creek established The WB as the TV destination for teen dramas. When paired with the post-Scream boom in teen-focused movies in the late '90s, The WB had become TV's best incubator of hot, young stars.

    To celebrate this bevy of ascendant hotties, The WB commissioned a promotional video set to a remix of the Four Seasons' 1975 hit "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)." The promo gathered actors from nearly all of The WB's hit shows into a swanky nightclub setting to dance and party and revel in their status as TV's new generation. The stars of Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Charmed, and more all mingled together in a celebration of a very specific moment in time.

    As the years have gone on, and the promo has resurfaced on social media, it's become a totem for a bygone era of TV and a cavalcade of near-forgotten teen dramas (remember Roswell?? Remember Popular??), and more importantly, teen-drama stars. With nearly 40 WB performers appearing in the promo, you could easily miss some of the fresh-faced stars of yesteryear, which is why we combed through the promo to identify every last one.

    In order of appearance:

    David Boreanaz (photo: The WB)

    David Boreanaz
    Boreanaz debuted as the vampire Angel on Buffy the Vampire in 1997 before leading his own spinoff Angel in 1999. This was only the beginning of a remarkable run of television longevity that continues to this day. Boreanaz went from Angel to starring on Fox's Bones for 12 seasons, and then immediately moved on to CBS's SEAL Team, which is now on its sixth season.

    Sarah Michelle Gellar
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer more or less launched the WB as the defining network for youth programming, so it's no surprise that the first two people we see in this promo are Buffy and Angel. Sarah Michelle Gellar would continue to play Buffy until the series ended in 2003. Currently, she can be seen on Paramount+ revisiting her supernatural-teen-drama roots in Wolf Pack.

    Holly Marie Combs
    Charmed debuted in 1998, with Holly Marie Combs playing Piper, the middle sister in the witchy Halliwell family.

    Nikki Cox
    The WB's sitcoms were never as popular as its teen dramas, but Unhappily Ever After, a Married… with Children knock-off in which Nikki Cox played the Christina Applegate analog, held the distinction of being one of the shows that launched with The WB in January of 1995.

    Carly Pope, Leslie Bibb (photo: The WB)

    Carly Pope and Leslie Bibb
    Ryan Murphy's first TV series was the oft-forgotten Popular, an edgy teen series whose campy sensibility was either ahead of its time or just plain doomed to cult status. Pope and Bibb played warring step-sisters on the show for its two-season run. Pope (definitionally a brunette) has most recently starred on Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, while Bibb (definitionally a blonde) has starred in TV comedies like The League and American Housewife. She'll soon be appearing in the Apple TV+ series Mrs. American Pie.

    Jamie Foxx
    There is only one Academy Award winner in this promo, and it's Jamie Foxx, who starred in his own sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show from 1996 until 2001. By that time, Foxx was already on his way to being a movie star, with breakout parts in Any Given Sunday and Ali. His role as Ray Charles in Ray came along in 2004, leading to the Oscar win. Most recently, he reprised his role as Electro in Spider-Man: No Way Home. He's also the host of Beat Shazam on Fox, making him the only Oscar winner to host a Name That Tune-style game show.

    Joshua Jackson
    Dawson's Creek premiered in January of 1998 and immediately became one of The WB's signature shows. By 2000, Joshua Jackson's Pacey was well on his way to becoming more popular than Dawson, so it makes sense that he’s the first Dawson’s Creek actor we see in this promo. Jackson went on to star in shows like Fringe and The Affair; he's now leading Paramount+'s Fatal Attraction remake, which premieres April 30.

    Keri Russell
    Felicity was wrapping up its second season in early 2000, a season that garnered quite a bit of press attention for Keri Russell chopping off her hair, of all things. The show lasted for two more seasons, after which time Russell starred in some movies and short-lived TV shows before her next big role on The Americans. She's currently starring in Netflix's The Diplomat.

    Katie Holmes (photo: The WB)

    Katie Holmes
    Speaking of Dawson's Creek, the show's first breakout was Katie Holmes. By 2000, she'd already starred in Disturbing Behavior, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Go, and Wonder Boys. Her career has gone through its ups and downs since then, including the rollercoaster that was her marriage to Tom Cruise, but she's appeared in films like Thank You for Smoking and Logan Lucky.

    Bryce Johnson
    Johnson played well-intentioned himbo Josh Ford on Popular and probably should have transitioned into a brief career arc in teen horror movies but for whatever reason didn't. Most recently, he showed up in Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, playing Neil Armstrong in the show's Double Feature season.

    Garcelle Beauvais
    There's only one Real Housewife in this promo, and that's Garcelle Beauvais. The model turned actress was playing hotel employee Fancy Monroe on The Jamie Foxx Show back in 2000. She's now been one of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for three seasons.

    Ivan Sergei
    Blink and you'll miss the shot of Ivan Sergei, who was starring in the romantic sitcom Jack & Jill back in 2000. Ironically, his more-famous co-stars on that show, like Amanda Peet, Sarah Paulson, Jaime Pressly, and Justin Kirk, are nowhere to be found in this promo.

    Katherine Heigl (photo: The WB)

    Katherine Heigl
    In 2000, Heigl was starring as one of the many angsty alien teens on Roswell. Obviously her biggest role came later, as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy, and with that an Emmy Award, a brief career as a film actress, notorious quotes in the press, and big-time backlash. She'll soon be back with the second season of the Netflix drama Firefly Lane.

    Alyssa Milano
    Milano played Phoebe, the youngest of the Halliwell witch sisters on Charmed. After that show completed its run, she starred on the short-lived series Mistresses and also stepped in as the host of Project Runway: All-Stars. She also tweets a lot.

    Kerr Smith
    Smith joined the cast of Dawson's Creek as Capeside newcomer Jack McPhee, who promptly broke up Joey and Dawson and then came out of the closet shortly thereafter. Jack was a landmark character for The WB and teen dramas in general — he was part of the first romantic kiss between two men to air on network television. Most recently, Smith has appeared as Principal Holden Honey on Riverdale.

    Nicholas Brendon
    Back in 2000, Brendon was in the midst of his run playing long-suffering sidekick Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Curiously, he's the only Buffy cast member besides Sarah Michelle Gellar to appear in this promo. Recently, Brendon has dealt with substance abuse and personal problems, including pleading guilty to domestic battery in 2020.

    Scott Foley (photo: The WB)

    Scott Foley
    Foley played Noel Crane, one-third of the central love triangle on Felicity, throughout that show's four seasons. His TV career has flourished in the years since (including a major role on Scandal), and he'll soon have a recurring role on the HBO Max political drama The Girls on the Bus.

    Amy Jo Johnson
    Famous for being "the Pink Ranger" on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, Amy Jo Johnson played Felicity Porter's friend/romantic rival Julie on Felicity.

    Meredith Monroe
    Monroe joined the Dawson's Creek cast in Season 2 along with Kerr Smith; she played Jack's sister Andie McPhee, who had a relationship with Pacey for a while. Unlike Smith, Monroe left the series after Season 4, and most recently she played a mom to one of the many troubled teens on 13 Reasons Why.

    James Van Der Beek
    The essential irony of James Van Der Beek's career is that he played the title character on one of the signature shows of the WB era, Dawson's Creek, and he ended up being eclipsed by all three of his major co-stars. He continues to pop up here and there, including a 5th place finish on Dancing with the Stars in 2019 and hosting the game show 25 Words or Less in 2020.

    Michelle Williams (photo: The WB)

    Michelle Williams
    One of these days, Jamie Foxx won't be the only Oscar winner in this promo. Michelle Williams parlayed her performance as Jen Lindley on Dawson's Creek into a career as one of our most acclaimed film actresses. She's been nominated for five Academy Awards, most recently for playing a version of Steven Spielberg's mom in The Fabelmans.

    Shannen Doherty
    Shannen Doherty spent the bulk of the "Oh What a Night" promo in some kind of overarching romantic storyline with David Boreanaz, despite the fact that everybody else is just partying. By this point, Doherty was a legacy in the realm of teen-drama stars, having been the lead actress and primary lightning rod for controversy on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the early '90s. In 2000, she was starring as the eldest Halliwell sister on Charmed. Doherty departed that show at the end of its third season in 2001, amid rumors of on-set tensions between her and Alyssa Milano. Since then, she's appeared sporadically on TV, though that has taken a back seat to her health issues in recent years, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

    Ian Somerhalder, Rodney Scott, Katherine Moennig, Mark Famiglietti, Kate Bosworth (photo: The WB)

    Rodney Scott, Mark Famiglietti, Katherine Moennig, Ian Somerhalder, Kate Bosworth
    Ah yes, the short moment in time that the Dawson's Creek summer-series spinoff Young Americans was potentially the next big thing. It didn't last long. For the promo, The WB seems to have seated all five stars of the fledgling show at the same booth, sequestered from everybody else. Scott and Famiglietti never did much after the series ended its eight-episode run in August of 2000. Moennig went on to far greater notoriety as Shane McCutcheon on The L Word, and has since reprised her role on The L Word: Generation Q. Kate Bosworth had a movie career for a while there, with roles in films like Blue Crush and Superman Returns. Ian Somerhalder enjoyed the biggest TV success, with one season (plus some guest appearances) on Lost followed by eight seasons and a rabid fan following for The Vampire Diaries.

    Melissa Joan Hart
    The WB picked up Sabrina the Teenage Witch from ABC ahead of its fifth season in 2000, so Melissa Joan Hart was one of its newest stars. Sabrina ended in 2003, and Hart went on to star on a bunch of ABC Family projects, including the series Melissa & Joey. She's competed on both Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer, and she won a million dollars for charity on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.

    Shiri Appleby and Majandra Delfino
    Appleby and Delfino played the human counterparts to the alien teens on Roswell, which ended its run in 2002. Appleby went on to appear briefly as Adam's ill-fated girlfriend on Girls and then got a buzzy lead role on Lifetime's UnREAL. Delfino worked on a music career after Roswell ended, had a guest appearance on an episode of BoJack Horseman, and is married to actor David Walton.

    Jason Behr
    Roswell's lead brooding teen alien, Jason Behr was one of the signature WB teen heartthrobs, having previously appeared on both Buffy and Dawson's Creek before landing the role of Max Evans on Jason Katims' sci-fi series. 

    Brendan Fehr
    Roswell's secondary brooding teen alien, Brendan Fehr is the last of the Roswell kids to show up in the promo. Fehr had a few years where he was highly castable in feature films, with roles in Final Destination, The Forsaken, and Biker Boyz.

    Christopher Gorham, Tamara Mello (photo: The WB)

    Tamara Mello and Christopher Gorham
    Mello and Gorham rounded out the Popular contingent, however briefly. Mello played activist teen Lily on the show. She hasn't acted much in recent years, with no new credits since 2017. Gorham got his own show on UPN, the sci-fi series Jake 2.0, though that was short-lived.

    David Gallagher
    The blondest of the kids from 7th Heaven was allowed into the WB nightclub just this once to film this promo. The series would end up running until 2007, after which Gallagher just started guest-starring on seemingly every CBS procedural imaginable, from Numb3rs to Criminal Minds to S.W.A.T.

    Tammy Lynn Michaels
    Michaels played the ferociously bitchy Nicole Julian on Popular, though she likely reached the apex of her notoriety when she married Melissa Etheridge shortly after Popular ended.

    Leslie Grossman
    Grossman played psychotic Southern belle Mary Cherry on Popular, her first of many performances within the Ryan Murphy universe. She joined the American Horror Story ensemble for Cult in 2017 and has starred in every season of the show since then.

    Beverly Mitchell
    Finally there was Beverly Mitchell, one of the young stars of 7th Heaven. She starred on all 11 seasons of that family-friendly series. After the show ended, she hopped to another Brenda Hampton show about family values, The Secret Life of the American Teenager (the show that launched Shailene Woodley). In 2017, Mitchell co-starred with Full House's Jodie Sweetin and Step by Step's Christine Lakin as versions of themselves on the comedy Hollywood Darlings.

    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.