Next Monday, the Chicago-based cable station known as Me-TV—or as my bosom high school chum The Duchess refers to it, “Shreve TV”—makes several major changes to its lineup…but the interesting thing is that while there are only two shows in the schedule that are being given what the outlet calls “a rest”—The Streets of San Francisco and The Honeymooners (and Gleason and Company will still be seen on Me-TV’s sibling, Me Too)—Me-TV is adding a bumper crop of vintage boob tube reruns that, as you may have suspected, make us tingly all over here at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear. Among the new additions and changes:
Love, American Style and Family Affair – Both shows premiere in the weekday time slot (that’s EST)…though Family Affair has been running on Me-TV for a while on Sunday afternoons. To make room for these shows, Gomer Pyle, USMC and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis move to 5 and 5:30am respectively…and The Beverly Hillbillies is scaled back to a half-hour, which means Petticoat Junction moves to 7:30, followed by My Three Sons (8am) and I Love Lucy, which is also pared back at 8:30am.
Daniel Boone – This RTV staple premieres in a timeslot on weekdays.
Kojak – Premieres at weekdays, replacing Rawhide…which moves to a slot on weekdays, with reruns also at and on Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings at .
Files – Premieres at weekdays, replacing Hawaii Five-O (see above). Rockford
The Rifleman – Premieres at 6pm weekdays, replacing reruns of Hogan’s Heroes—which have been pared back to an hour a week on Saturdays (at 6pm). An hour of Rifleman reruns will also be shown on Saturdays at .
Currently, the Me-TV evening lineup beginning at 8pm EST kicks off with Mary Tyler Moore, followed by The Dick Van Dyke Show (8:30pm), The Bob Newhart Show (9pm), Cheers (9:30pm), M*A*S*H (10pm—also an hour at 7pm, which will stay put) and The Honeymooners at 10:30. With The Honeymooners gone, Me-TV loses the extra M*A*S*H repeat at 10 and replaces it with Cheers…The Odd Couple moves in Cheers’ old slot at 9:30pm, and Taxi rounds out primetime at 10:30pm. (Both Couple and Taxi were previously on the schedule Saturday and Sunday nights, with Felix and Oscar at Saturdays and Sundays and the Sunshine Cab folks on for an hour at on Sundays.)
I hope you guys got all that…because there will be a test. Now…here’s the thing. Our Me-TV affiliate, WSB-DT in
, doesn’t show Cheers at …they run in its place another Dick Van Dyke Show episode. (I’m speculating that this is so because several stations in the Atlanta area have Cheers on their schedule already.) Now, I checked with Locate TV on next week’s schedule…and apparently they’re going to keep things in place, except that since Cheers is moving to 10 that means The Odd Couple reruns won’t be seen in this area. (I’m hoping this is an error on Locate TV’s part.) Atlanta
The rest of the schedule remains unchanged with the exception of the Gunsmoke half-hours that ran in the slot, which they’ve surgically removed to make room for the new additions of Love, American Style and Daniel Boone. Gunsmoke—or Marshal Dillon, since the reruns have the old syndicated titles, also airs Saturdays at 6am (for one hour) and 11am (also one hour).
The Wild Wild West – Moves up an hour to on Saturdays, replacing Rawhide and making room for The Rifleman at 5.
The Saturday night lineup gets a major revamp, beginning at 7pm with the acquisition of Batman…followed by Lost in Space at 8pm and the original Star Trek at 9pm. Then it’s two hours with my new best bud, Svengoolie (aka Rich Koz), who unspools old Universal horror films while yukking it up with comedy in between breaks. I like Svengoolie (I think Mike Doran was asking me what my opinion was of him), who’s been around forever in Chicago…though I don’t know if good Universal horror flicks like The Incredible Shrinking Man and The Mummy should be fodder for his antics (though I have to confess, Sven did a funny musical number about Karloff’s Mummy character, Ardeth Bey, to the tune of Bobby Bloom’s Montego Bay). After the movie, it’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea continuing the cheesefest…which means Get Smart moves up an hour to , and that’s followed by Car 54, Where are You? at 2. Honey West reruns get a workout at , and then The Rogues—the sitcom starring David Niven, Charles Boyer, Gig Young…and later Larry Hagman—premieres at . (Something tells me we’ll need to get this “rogue” cable box fixed before next Saturday.)
Me-TV starts its Sunday schedule with an extra half-hour of Car 54—so the cable box will definitely have to be in peak condition, ‘cause I’ll need to tape them for ClassicBecky—and this will be followed by (drum roll) a full hour of The Phil Silvers Show! But aye, here’s the rub: WSB-DT cuts away from Me-TV at 6am to run a few hours of infomercials (well, something’s got to pay for all this classic TV) so my initial joy at having a full hour of Bilko each week caught a chill after the cold water was thrown on it. This also means that I will not be able to watch the Laurel & Hardy shorts that will be shown by the channel from to . (I’m a little upset about this, too.)
The only new acquisition to Me-TV’s schedule that I find disappointing is Bosom Buddies, which will air for an hour from on Sundays…but that will be followed by an hour of The Dick Van Dyke Show, so I’m sure I can deal with it. Sunday nights imitate Saturdays with a major revamping—Me-TV schedules Columbo from 8-10pm, then follows that with Boris Karloff’s Thriller at 10pm, an hour of The Twilight Zone at 11 and (love it) The Fugitive at midnight. Then an embarrassment of riches follows that’s sure to lighten the heart of any insomniac or night auditor—
(), Peter Gunn (), and Route 66 (). Naked City
If you’re curious as to why you’ll be seeing a lot of former RTV staples on Me-TV (like Kojak and Rockford), this press release trumpets the acquisition of a lot of properties from the NBC-Universal library…and the channel promises more goodies to come in Leave it to Beaver, Dragnet, Adam-12, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Wagon Train (both the hour and ninety-minute versions). Emergency! and Ironside are also slated to appear on Me-TV within the next few years as well.
I’ve alluded on the blog that the ‘rents are becoming most displeased with the level of service being offered by our current cable company, CharredHer, and there’s serious talk that we may cut them loose and watch them drift out to sea while we give a hearty handclasp to AT&T Uverse…which has recently become available in our area. I was saddened at first because I thought that the long romantic relationship between the great classic TV cable channel would come to an end…until I learned Me-TV is available in our Uverse package, too. (All we need is a slow motion shot of the two of us running toward one another in a field of daisies, and we’re good to go.)