Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We are gathered here today

I have to admit, I haven’t been keeping up on watching RTN as much as I first did when I discovered that it was on my CharredHer cable lineup on channel 126 (WSB-TV DT in Atlanta). There are a few shows I keep an eye on—Bachelor Father (as discussed in a previous post), Wagon Train, Run For Your Life, The Bold Ones—but for the most part the majority of the lineup doesn’t have a lot of interest for me, particularly series like Magnum, P.I., Airwolf or any other 1980s vehicle that I didn’t watch the first time around and am not that darn curious to watch in reruns.

I have, however, noticed that WSB has tweaked the lineup some—last night, I switched over to catch some of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and found an It Takes a Thief rerun in its place; I don’t know if this was just a glitch (with RTN, it’s sort of hard to tell sometimes) or a permanent change. Sometime ago they got rid of the That’s Incredible! block from 6-7pm each evening and replaced it with the 1986-91 Sherman Hemsley sitcom Amen. I like Amen, an old-fashioned comedy that presents characters in an all-too-rare situation of actually attending (and in many instances working for) church—it was a series not far removed from the some of the popular Britcoms that have featured an ecclesiastical background, like All Gas and Gaiters or Bless Me, Father. Sure, Hemsley recycled his George Jefferson persona for his portrayal of scheming Deacon Frye, but I thought Clifton Davis was extremely good as Reverend Reuben Gregory and of course, the veteran Jester Hairston stole practically every scene he was in as the curmudgeonly Rolly Forbes.

For those detractors out there, let me just say that anything is better in place of Incredible!, a show of such monumental drek that appeared during television’s “reality show” craze (Real People, Those Amazing Animals) and may such a time never occur…what? You mean there are still those kinds of shows on now? (Pause) On the left is the TDOY souvenir stand, where you’ll find discounts on…


Craig Zablo said...

I watch, er, dvr and then watch, a lot of RTN. I worked through all of the Night Gallery episodes, and have made my way through most of the Jack Benny Shows/Programs, and a good portion of the 30 minute Alfred Hitchcock shows. Sometimes the timing is off on their programing start/end times.

And why did they stop with the "Wild, Wild West"??

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

And why did they stop with the "Wild, Wild West"??

Wild Wild West is a CBS/Viacom property, and their contract with RTN expired last year in June or July. Most of the programs that air now on the channel are from Universal/NBC.

John said...

Does RTN offer its member stations a variety of programs to choose from? Our local RTN station has rarely aired anything older than the late 1960s, and absolutely nothing that's in black and white.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...


In answer to your question, yes.

Here's RTN's website:

Click "Enter Here" and then "RTN Shows" and you'll be guided to a page that reveals all the shows available.

Considering many stations' reluctance to air B&W programming, I have to say that our affiliate, WSB-DT in Atlanta, is pretty progressive in that regard. Shows like The Jack Benny Program, Bachelor Father, McHale's Navy, Leave it to Beaver, Mike Hammer, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Wagon Train are all part of their lineup--I've seen what's available on other affiliate stations and it's mostly a lot of 80s drek.

The Vintage Reader said...

I haven't seen it since it was on originally, but I liked Amen. To this day I'm the only person I ever watch TV with who regularly says "Hey, look, it's Anna Maria Horsford!"