Shakeup at RTN


My good friend Rick Brooks over at Cultureshark reports that changes are underway at the Retro Television Network, and he does not speak with forked tongue. RTN’s contract with Paramount ended in July, so they’ve signed with NBC/Universal to provide the bulk of their programming. (RTN still imports a few shows from other sources, namely Sony’s The Monkees and The Partridge Family, and some of the oeuvre of Stephen J. Cannell—The Greatest American HeroHunter and Renegade.) Rick announces in this post that WJLA-TV in Washington, DC has added a digital subchannel and will begin RTN operations on July 28.

Rick lists a few of the shows his RTN affiliate will be carrying, and if it seems as if I’m not hiding my envy very well it’s because I’m not that good an actor. Some of the goodies he’ll be getting include Quincy, M.E.IronsideSwitch and The Kraft Suspense Theatre. (I’d give up my first born to see Quincy reruns…if I had a first born, that is.) Naturally, I was curious to see what WSB-RTN would be offering up, and so I painstakingly put together their new schedule:

10:00a Jack Benny
10:30a Jack Benny
11:00a Bachelor Father
11:30a McHale’s Navy
12:00n Leave It to Beaver
12:30p Leave It to Beaver
01:00p Marcus Welby, MD
02:00p Emergency!
03:00p The Bold Ones
04:00p Kojak
05:00p Adam-12
05:30p Dragnet
06:00p That’s Incredible!
06:30p That’s Incredible!
07:00p The Incredible Hulk
08:00p Knight Rider
09:00p Magnum, P.I.
10:00p The Rockford Files
11:00p The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
12:00m Night Gallery
12:30a Alfred Hitchcock Presents

10:00a Leave It to Beaver
10:30a Leave It to Beaver
11:00a Wagon Train
12:00n Wagon Train
01:00p Alias Smith and Jones
02:00p Laredo
03:00p It Takes a Thief
04:00p Run for Your Life
05:00p Mystery Movie (McCloud, McMillan & Wife)
07:00p Airwolf
08:00p Airwolf
09:00p Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer
10:00p Black Sheep Squadron
11:00p Offbeat Cinema

10:00a Operation Petticoat
10:30a Operation Petticoat
11:00a Wagon Train
12:00n Wagon Train
01:00p Alias Smith and Jones
02:00p Laredo
03:00p It Takes a Thief
04:00p Run for Your Life
05:00p Harry and the Hendersons
05:30p Harry and the Hendersons
06:00p The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
06:30p The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
07:00p The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
08:00p Voyagers!
09:00p Battlestar Galactica
10:00p Black Sheep Squadron
11:00p RTN Mystery Theater

bachelorfatherNow, about 80% of the shows on this list is crap that I wouldn’t watch when it was originally on, so one good thing about the new schedule is that it won’t keep me from any of my usual blogging or movie-obsessing activities. Still, there are a few nuggets among the dross: Bachelor Father (a show I haven’t seen since it was reran and reran and reran on CBN), The Bold Ones (one of Stacia’s favorites), Run for Your Life (I’ve always wanted to see this show) and if I may be permitted a guilty pleasure, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. (But only the first season, not that god-awful second act with Nell Carter.) Plus, there are old favorites like Alfred Hitchcock, McHale’s Navy and The Rockford Files—and since I love westerns, Wagon Train and Laredo. I am curious, however, as to how they’re going to schedule Jack Benny twice-a-day five days a week when to my knowledge there’s only 104 episodes in the syndication package (get set for a lot of reruns). (By the way, the appearance of Dragnet on this schedule—it’s not the original black-and-white shows, but you could have guessed that. My cable schedule on my CharredHer homepage classifies it as “documentary.”)

I’m hoping that this deal with NBC/Universal will open up a good many more oldies from the vaults similar to the DVD releases being put out by Timeless Media Group: it would be great to be able to kick back and watch M Squad or The Deputy instead of having to rev up the DVD player. (The RTN website says: “More programming coming soon!” so I’m interpreting that as a positive sign.) I have to admit, though, I will miss some of the stuff that used to be on: The FugitiveGet SmartRawhide and The Untouchables, to name a few. I was going to say something along the lines that since these shows are being released on DVD it probably won’t matter (but then I remembered The Fugitive was involved).

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