you were right! Although I couldn't set height to "fill_parent" b/c I just wanted it to fill a certain height. I just set it to the dip I needed and all is good.
Here is my philosophy on what was going on. In debug mode, everything took a little longer to load so the webview had time to load the data. Since I had it set to "wrap_content" initially, the data wasn't loaded so there was virtually no content to wrap the size around.
thanks for your help!