Friday, June 26, 2009

“Bigger. Better. Faster. Cheaper.”

This article (“Neality TV”) mentioned over at RGJ’s Television Obscurities piqued my interest this week—it talks about broadcasting impresario Neal Sabin, the mastermind behind Me-TV and Me, Too…which many individuals lucky to receive the two channels have either e-mailed or commented to me that it’s everything the once-proud TV Land used to be. Sabin describes his childhood fascination with television, which sounds eerily like a young kid who later grew up to write a blog about the same subject:

Regarding that passion, his five-foot eight-inch frame was quite possibly hard-wired with coaxial cable at birth. A common occurrence throughout his childhood: “I broke the tuner on my parents’ old Motorola furniture television so many times, switching between all of the channels and shows I wanted to watch, that it got to the point where the repairmen took the set out of the house because they wanted to try to better understand what I kept doing to it.” And: “My father was a corporate attorney who traveled a lot for business. I would ask him to bring back TV guides from the cities he went to so I could see the lineups that other cities had. Then I would write them all down and make up my own lineups. I even made up some of my own shows—a talk show or whatever. This was when I was ten years old.”

Positively scary. (My father wasn’t an attorney, but the rest of it is dead-on accurate.)

According to the article, Me-TV and Me, Too (Me stands for “Memorable Entertainment”) are available to Bombast Comcast and RCN subscribers, while only Dish and DirecTV carry Me. Sabin’s newest channel, This, is also briefly mentioned in the article—it showcases films from the MGM library, and runs a few classic TV shows as well: Mister Ed, Patty Duke, Bat Masterson and The Outer Limits. The interesting thing about This is that I was not aware that I got the channel (via CharredHer) until today, when I went hunting for something to look at during lunch and found that Scream Blacula Scream (1973) was showing on WNEG, an independent Toccoa, GA television station that was sold to the University of Georgia Research Foundation last year and will be used as a training facility for students in UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. (The WNEG studios will be moved to UGA sometime this year, and plans are being made to add local programming to the This/America One lineup.)

I’m always pumped to see classic television represented on TV stations in any form possible—particularly since the crack staff at TV Land (and I call them that because they’re on crack) seem heckbent on destroying their own network with crap like Reality High School. I just wish some of the reruns were on a bit earlier during This’ daylight hours; the way they’re scheduled now even insomniacs are starting to get drowsy and night auditors are ready to call it a day.


Toby O'B said...

When friends are going overseas, I always ask them to bring me back whatever passes for a TV Guide in those countries. I just don't have the excuse of being ten years old....

Matt ( said...

Thanks for sharing that article. This comes at a good time since I was just looking for alternatives to the dreaded TV Land on my DirecTV setup.

I actually found a religious channel that has Patty Duke, The Rifleman and Bat Masterson in the daytime. Strange.

Pardon the rambling, but I also found that our area has an independent station that supposedly carries Retro TV programming. Unfortunately they only show the local feed with George Lopez and Cribs repeats on my satellite setup. Guess it's back to DVD rentals for me.

Linda said...

Goodness, I used to create my own TV lineups, too, and collect TV GUIDES from the different parts of the country when we traveled. I still have them in a box in the closet.

Dish carries this "Me" channel? I guess I'll have to go look.