The State of Classic TV on TV: October 2016

When I published my first overview of the state of classic TV on TV back in January, I fully intended to revisit the topic in July. But time got away from me. I started working on another overview last month but again couldn’t find the time to get it finished. Now it’s October. A lot has happened since January. Below you’ll find information about the latest changes affecting diginets Retro TV, MeTV, Antenna TV, Cozi TV, getTV, Heroes & Icons, and Decades.

Not included in this overview are diginets This TV, Laff, Escape, The Works, Buzzr, Grit, or Comet. These networks feature mostly movies, game shows, or primarily TV shows from the 1980s and 1990s. However, some of them do air limited classic TV programming. For example, This TV airs The Addams Family and Sea Hunt; Grit airs Laramie and Zane Grey Theater; and Comet airs Men into Space.

I’ve also decided not to cover The Family Channel (formerly My Family TV) as well because it airs so little classic TV.

Retro TV (Launched July 2005)

Read my overview of Retro TV

Last month, Retro TV unveiled its 4th Quarter 2016 schedule. I can’t find the 3rd Quarter schedule so I don’t know what changes were made. I do know the diginet added Harvey’s Festival of Fear to its schedule in July. The movie block airs from 4-6PM ET on Sundays following back-to-back episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

For the most part, it appears Retro TV continues to air the same mix of shows it did in January. I don’t see Movin’ On (NBC, 1974-1976) anywhere no the current schedule, however.

MeTV (Launched December 2010)

Read my overview of MeTV

MeTV apparently began offering a standard definition 16:9 widescreen feed in February. Unfortunately, rather than air programs in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, it seems some (but not all) shows are being cropped to a 16:9 aspect ratio to better fit widescreen TV sets.

The network’s most recent schedule debuted September 5th. Several new shows were added to the network and many others returned: Planet of the Apes, The Wild Wild West, Sledge Hammer!, Land of the Giants, Our Miss Brooks, and Mister Ed. Gone are The Rebel, Welcome Back, Kotter, Land of the Lost, and others.

Trackdown, Family Affair, Have Gun, Will Travel, The Little Rascals, and Daniel Boone join Saturday schedule beginning October 1st. Starting October 2nd, MeTV’s educational/informational block on Sunday mornings was overhauled with the addition of Beakman’s World and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Antenna TV (Launched January 2011)

Read my overview of Antenna TV

Antenna TV added Wings and The Addams Family when it launched its most recent schedule in September. Over the summer, the network also added Webster.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (under the name Johnny Carson) continues to air seven days a week. 90-minute episodes from the 1970s air on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-11:30PM ET while hour-long episodes from the 1980s and 1990s air weeknights from 11PM-12AM ET.

The network announced last month it will add nine sitcoms at some point in 2017, including Becker, Growing Pains, Alice, My Two Dads, and My Two Dads.

Cozi TV (Launched January 2013)

Read my overview of Cozi TV
Read my January 2013 review of Cozi TV

Three shows joined Cozi TV last month: Frasier (on September 12th), Little House on the Prairie (on September 19th), and Quincy, M.E. (also on September 19th). Someone more familiar with the Cozi TV schedule will have to chime in with any other changes.

getTV (Launched February 2014)

After a big push into classic TV in 2015, getTV added even more shows this past May. The diginet launched a weekday TV block and added 12 shows including The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Thin Man, The Jimmy Stewart Show, Airwolf, Hardcastle and McCormick, Tour of Duty, and The Restless Gun.

getTV added three TV shows featuring Sonny and/or Cher in September: The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (CBS, 1971-1974), Cher (CBS, 1976-1976), and The Sonny & Cher Show (CBS, 1976-1977).

Beginning October 11th, getTV will air a two-hour block of The Jeff Foxworthy Show and The Bill Engvall Show from 8-10PM ET (three episodes of each show).

Heroes & Icons (Launched September 2014)

Heroes & Icons introduced its latest schedule on September 5th. It includes a mix of classic TV shows (Wagon Train, The High Chaparral, The Rebel) and newer shows like The Commish, NYPD Blue, 21 Jump Street, and Hunter.

In February, Heroes & Icons added Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. joined in July.

The Star Trek franchise made its debut on Heroes & Icons on July 24th. Episodes of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enteprise airing six nights a week. Star Trek: The Animated Series joined the diginet on September 4th.

A superhero block debuted on September 10th, consisting of Batman, The Adventures of Superman, The Green Hornet, and The Greatest American Hero.

Decades (Launched October 2014)

I had a hard time trying to figure out of Decades has actually added any new shows since January. The Dick Cavett Show made its debut on Decades in February.

The diginet has a unique schedule: a daily six-hour block of programming related to a single theme. The block features a mix of movies, documentaries, and classic TV shows and is repeated four times each day. Interstitial material examines that day’s theme, as does an original series called Through the Decades (hosted by Bill Kurtis) that features archival CBS News footage.

For example, Decades commemorated Dark Shadows on June 27th, the Moon Landing on July 20th, and The Three Stooges from August 29th-September 1st.

Decades continues to offer weekend “binges” of TV shows like The Millionaire, Police Woman, F Troop, Car 54, Where Are You?, Burke’s Law, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..


If I’ve left out any big changes or additions to any of the above diginets, please let me know. Hit the comments with your thoughts on the State of Classic TV on TV as of October 2016. Are you happy with the TV shows being aired? Are too many newer shows being added?


7 Comments

  • Klaus Gebhard says:

    Here in the Denver metro area we apparently get all these channels though I have yet to find Cozi and Retro because of the lack of reception where I live IN the metro area. I have a Leaf antenna which is by far the best antenna that I have ever owned. Dropped Direct TV seven? years ago and haven’t missed it too much.Still, it is fantastic to have so many choices with the retro channels. I really have no interest in watching the other big broadcast stations when I have all these other choices! Thanks for this article.I hope all of these channels succeed. So far, so good! Are their any retro channels that have failed? Not really considering cable channels like TVLand and Nick at Nite. I don’t even know if those are still around or relevant to us lover of retro TV. Would like to see more obscurities but I really can’t complain! Thanks again for this article and wonderful site!

    • Patrick McNamara says:

      Placement of the antenna is important. Typically the best reception is outdoors and up fairly high. TVFool is a good site to tell where to aim the antenna.

      • Klaus Gebhard says:

        Thanks for the advise. I should probably get an antenna for the outdoors. Just found out last Saturday night that we get Retro TV. I was flipping thru channels and came across One Step Beyond! Sweet!

  • Lori says:

    Very disappointed in GetTV adding Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Those shows are only rare to viewers who have never seen cable TV, although, wasn’t Jeff Foxworthy on FOX?

    One surprise is that I did not expect GetTV to begin running episodes of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour just this week. Now that is a treat!

    There is a cable network called FamilyNet that looks similar to Antenna TV, recently they added Silver Spoons and Facts of Life to their lineup.

    DISH Network has these digital networks available to most subscribers:
    GRIT (added last week to Hopper channel 217), GetTV (Hopper channel 373), Laff (Hopper channel 73), and COZI (running part-time on Hopper channel 82). FamilyNet is considered a cable network and is on DISH Hopper channel 232 on some of their packages)

  • Susan Clark says:

    I just wish that Ironside would reappear in the schedule for either ME-TV or Heroes and Icons. After all, the 50th anniversary is coming in 2017, and I seem to be getting more interest in the series from people who are joining my Facebook group. I have written, begged, posted on Facebook, anything within reason to have the series returned, but I guess that these two networks don’t think there is an audience for the series.

  • Mike says:

    It looks like Decades has abandoned the “6-hour block repeated 4 times daily” model. It now has a more normal rotation, with “mini-binges” of shows that take up most of daytime and evening. And they’ve added “Laugh-In” on weeknites beginning Monday Dec 5th starting from the first episode and airing in order. Looking forward to that.

  • Mike says:

    Directv sucks… can’t watch a one channel. Have to use antenna which goes in and out. If Dish network can show these channels what’s Directv story! They have the most satellites in the sky!

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