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)
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)
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)
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)
Three shows joined Cozi TV last month: Frasier (on September 12th), Little House on the Prairie (on September 19th), and
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?