Originally a UHF independent station made to broadcast Minnesota Twins home games, KTMA became somewhat noted and known for their locally produced comedy series. Production manager Jim Mallon sought the help of local talent, such as cameraman Kevin Murphy, to create unique content for the channel. One of his other contacts was moderately well-known comedian Joel Hodgson, who had the basic concept for MST3K already in mind. Pounding out the concept with Mallon and other local comics, including Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, and Josh Weinstein, a rough pilot of the show was produced. After some additional tweaking and a thirteen-episode contract, the first episode was shot. Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted on KTMA on November 24, 1988, Thanksgiving Day. Twenty-one episodes eventually aired before the show was canceled due to poor ratings; however, these episodes provided enough material for a pitch tape to send to the Comedy Channel, as well as allowing the show to rapidly establish a fanbase.
After declaring bankruptcy in 1989, KTMA was bought out by a Christian broadcaster, Lakeland Group Television in 1991, and was redubbed as KLGT. KLGT became a WB affliate in 1995, was changed to call sign KMWB in 1998, and made one more change when the WB became part of the CW Television Network, and the call sign again changed to WUCW. The station is known today The CW 23.