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October 10, 2015

Where to Watch Classic TV (Besides TV Land)

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 16th 2011 2:30PM
TV LandWith its new slate of original programming, there's just not enough room in the schedule for TV Land to air many classic TV shows anymore.

At least that's the word from executive vice president Jaci Cohen. Or to quote her directly, "There are still only 24 hours in a day." TV Land viewers have been posting complaints/suggestions on the network's Facebook page, many irritated that classic sitcoms are being pushed aside in favor of reality shows like 'High School Reunion' and 'She's Got the Look.' While it's true that TV Land is investing in some original, old fashioned comedies -- like 'Hot in Cleveland' and 'Retired at 35' -- it's been moving away from the classics for some time now.

But there's still hope! We live in a world of 9,000 cable channels, and here are five places where you can get your classic TV fix.

RTVRTV (Retro TV Network)
I've talked about RTV here before, and it continues to be a great place to find classic dramas and sitcoms -- some you probably haven't seen in years. The quality of some of these shows isn't always the best -- sometimes I have to turn the volume way up on 'Run For Your Life' to understand what the heck Ben Gazzara is saying -- but they have a good selection of shows.

Shows you can find on RTV include the 1950s version of 'Mike Hammer' (with Darren McGavin), 'It Takes A Thief,' 'I Spy,' 'Peter Gunn,' Marcus Welby, M.D.,' 'Run For Your Life,' 'Emergency,' 'Dragnet,' 'Adam-12,' 'The Rockford Files,' 'Magnum, P.I.,' 'Knight Rider,' 'The A-Team,' 'Simon & Simon,' 'Kate & Allie,' and original late night shows like 'Offbeat Cinema' and 'Chiller Drive-In Theatre.'

The network isn't everywhere yet, but it's growing. Here's a map of where you can watch it in your area.

The Hub
Formerly Discovery Kids, this new network on the TV block is co-owned by Hasbro. It's mostly a channel for the youngins, but you can find some classic TV too.

Shows you can find on The Hub include 'Happy Days,' 'Family Ties,' 'Doogie Howser, M.D.,' 'The Wonder Years,' 'Laverne & Shirley,' 'Transformers Prime,' 'Fraggle Rock,' 'Batman Beyond.'

Hallmark ChannelHallmark Channel
Though this cable channel is known mostly for its Martha Stewart-centric programming, made-for-TV movies and frequent 'Golden Girls' marathons, believe it or not, it's actually got much more to offer.

You can find 'I Love Lucy,' 'Empty Nest,' 'Little House on the Prairie,' 'Who's the Boss' and 'Cheers.' 'Frasier' starts April 4.

Universal HD
Tune in here to catch an interesting mix of sitcoms and dramas, including 'Hogan's Heroes,' 'Monk,' Law & Order: Criminal Intent' and 'Becker.' There's also a block of Friday night programming called 'Rediscovered TV,' where you can catch short-lived shows like 'Out of Practice,' 'The Handler' and 'A Minute with Stan Hooper.'

Nick at Nite
Let's not forget TV Land's sister network, which still shows 'Home Improvement,' 'The Nanny,' 'The George Lopez Show' and 'My Wife and Kids,' though one could argue that those shows -- except for maybe 'Home Improvement' -- are more "recent" than "classic."

Of course, TV Land does still show some classic TV. Depending on the season, you can catch 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' 'All in the Family,' 'Bonanza,' 'Three's Company,' 'M*A*S*H,' 'I Dream of Jeannie' and 'Bewitched,' and soon they're adding 'Friends' and 'Yes, Dear' (cough).

But what TV Land fans like myself are looking for is more of these shows throughout the schedule, fewer repeats of the same episodes during marathons, less reliance on recent shows (they've even started showing reruns of 'CSI' -- ugh), and fewer reality shows in general.

Oh, and find a place for 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' again, will ya?

Do you watch any of these channels, and what classic shows would you like to see again?

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tv land suks now.i cancelled it on my sattelite system.it is supposed to be classic tv.i dont want to see hot in cleveland,retired at 35,everybody loves raymond or any of the other crap they are putting on now.i wont watch tv land anymore.stick the reality shows in a grave and bury them.

March 22 2011 at 9:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

are people really complaining about tvland not showing its retro stuff enough? these people do realize they only have about 5 series that they just play to death, right?

March 18 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Louis Sypher

There are other options if you look at the "over-the-top" devices such as the "AppleTV2", Roku (www.roku.com) and Boxee (www.boxee.tv). One company, FlickStream.com is the go to provider for this type of content. They dig up films that haven't seen airplay since first run.

March 16 2011 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I stopped watching TV Land for exactly the reasons Jaci Cohen mentioned. I could care less about their original programming save Hot In Cleveland, and I hate all reality show in general. TV Land is no place for them, nor is it a place for recent shows that weren't really even hits.

I miss watching Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Mary Tyler Moore, and all the great shows of before I was even born. I loved back in the day when on Saturdays TV Land would air the TV Land Box Set.

March 16 2011 at 5:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I watch Retro. It shows Black Sheep Squadron, which I loved and I'd love to see Promised Land with Gerald McRaney again.

March 16 2011 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't get retrotv, though I would dearly love to. I do get antenna tv, which isn't bad, but on Fri and Sat nites they run Three Stooges and Benny Hill reruns. Bleck!

March 16 2011 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I came across this station recently, when I was @ a conference in San Diego. Had some fun shows.

March 16 2011 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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