Whose Line Is It Anyway? (abbreviated to Whose Line? or WLIIA) is a short-form improvisational comedy TV show. Originally a British radio programme, it moved to television in 1988 as a series made for the UK's Channel 4, for a ten-series run. Both the radio and television series were hosted by Clive Anderson.
Following the conclusion of the British run in 1998, ABC began airing an American version, which lasted for eight seasons in its initial run.
The show consists of a panel of four performers who create characters, scenes and songs on the spot, in the style of short-form improvisation games, many taken from theatresports. Examples for these are: Props, Film & Theatre Styles, Party Quirks etc. Topics for the games are based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host.
Both the British and the American shows ostensibly take the form of a game show with the host arbitrarily assigning points and likewise choosing a winner at the end of each episode. However, the show lacks the true stakes and competition of a game show (by design). The "game show" format is simply part of the comedy.