6/16/08

Finding a Rerun in a Haystack


So, you're tired of "Dancing with the Stars" and "CSI:El Paso" and you want to check some good TV from yesteryear... where do you turn? Nick at Nite used to provide a healthy supply of classic TV, but now it's mostly "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", "The George Lopez Show" and "Home Improvement". TBS and WGN used to be our main source for "Gilligan's Island", "I Dream of Jeannie", "The Brady Bunch", and "Family Affair", but these shows have vanished in favor of "The Family Guy" and "Everybody Loves Raymond". Where to look?


1. The Retro Television Network is available in most decent sized cities. Their lineup is in the hands of the local stations (RTN is a digital sub-channel of a network station). So, they may cram it full of "Matlock", but you'll still probably find a good helping of "Happy Days", "Love American Style", "Buck Rogers", "Battlestar Galactica", "Hawaii 5-0", and "Ironside".


2. The American Life Network shows some great 1960s classics that haven't been available for a while such as "Land of the Giants", "Batman", "That Girl" and "Lost in Space".


3. WGN has started playing the classics again (I knew they'd come around). Sure, it still airs stuff like "Scrubs", but it's a start. A few classics like "WKRP in Cincinnatti" and "Newhart" have come back.


4. TV Land is a good source, although the channel has upset me with some of their idiotic programming. They are actually showing reality shows about home makeovers and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with the theme of the channel. However, they still play "The Brady Bunch" (set your TiVo because they play it around midnight!) and "Hogan's Heroes".


5. Unfortunately, the best place in today's world to watch these shows is on DVD. In other words, if you have a hankering for shows like "The Bob Newhart Show" and "The Fall Guy", the best thing to do is buy 'em on DVD or sign up for Netflix. Of course, not everything is available yet - I'm still waiting on the TV shows "James at 15" and "Logan's Run" to come out.

1 comment:

  1. I am always amazed at the entertainment industry.

    The big studios, who should have embraced television as an outlet for their past work, fought it like a old rabid, dog, baring its actors from doing TV work.

    When Video came about, the entertainment industry over charged for new releases and classic favorites (Gone With the Wind went for $100) fueling piracy and retaliatory lawsuits.

    The music industry, who could have cleaned up by embracing NAPSTER like systems, fought them, had nothing to replaced it, and then charged premium prices for substandard artists. Then went broke (which they deserved).

    With DVDs it looks like the industry has hired some people with actual intelligence. However, like you, I am amazed at what has come on DVD, and what has not. Most of it due to the original owners of the rights to the programs who forget that the popularity window of their holdings closes fast. Soon, the people who remember these older shows, will pass the age where they care to buy such things.

    I mean, how many copies of "December Bride" do you think they would sell at $39.95 each?

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