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Barry Levinson urges TV to take back Saturday night

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2009 10:00AM
Barry_Levinson_PBSFor the longest time, I've kvetched about the fact that the television industry has stopped programming for Saturday night. For years, Saturday was a great night of television. I remember M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, not to mention guilty pleasures like The Facts of Life and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Even NBC's thrillogy, The Pretender and Profiler were fun. All those shows were Saturday night hits (some bigger than others).

Well, I'm not alone in missing Saturday TV; Oscar-winner Barry Levinson feels the same. Levinson is also a TV producer -- he did Homicide: Life on the Street and The Philanthropist -- and he thinks the networks are making a big mistake by not seizing on Saturday primetime. He knows the business pretty well and he's confused by the networks' strategy.

"I don't think the answer is to retreat," he told the New York Daily News. "When you give up Saturday night, you open the door for people to go somewhere else. Basically, they're shrinking their own audience."

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