Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Former PAX TV Mines Warner Brothers 70s and 80s Titles

The network now known on-air as the "i" network has reached a pact with Warner Brothers Domestic Cable Distribution. ION Networks - the new name for the parent of "i" - has picked up the rights to a whole warehouse load of old Warner Brothers-produced and represented content. Locally, ION - formerly PAX TV - owns WVPX/23 Akron.

The list includes classic 1970's and 1980's TV shows like "Welcome Back, Kotter", "Growing Pains", "Perfect Strangers" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King"...and movies include a host of what appears to be mostly 70's and 80's big name titles ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "All the President's Men", "2001" and the like).

The new agreement kicks off July 1st with an especially timely movie - "Superman III", which airs just days after the opening of the theatrical release "Superman Returns". The original "Superman" is also included in the package. The rest of the Warner Brothers offerings start airing on the former PAX TV in August.

OK, so the catalog is growing a bit of dust on it...but you don't have to explain any of these shows and movies to someone, say, in their early 40's. The question the "i" folks will have to answer is - will people come back and revisit the titles?

The old sitcoms, in particular, have developed into something of a niche for outlets like Chicago's WWME-LP, a low-power outlet which calls itself "ME-TV". It's the sister of Weigel Broadcasting's full-power independent in that market, WCIU/26.

We're wondering how much ION/i paid for the rights. Warner Brothers, through its sister AOL service's website, has been offering some of these shows for free Internet viewing...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe that is why Warner wanted the shows on ITV in the first place to promote AOL in 2 TV and to sell DVD"s. BTW if my memory serves me correctly, didn't PAX in the begining have access to some of those same shows? I remeber the launch video in 1998 when Bud Paxon was talking about the shows Pax was going to air they inculded Alice, eight is enough, and the hogan family. Those shows had either appeared briefly or was going to appear but never did. In any event what is up with WVPX-DT? When will they be on the air and what is the coverage going to be like?

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back, Kotter,and Chico and the Man is airing on american life network (http://www.goodtv.com/programs.php). So one would have to wonder what ITV'S real movitives are. If they air these programs in prime time then there ratings are really going to stink but if they run them in the daytime then there goes there number one source of revune. Out of all of this, where is NBC? You would think now that Paxon is gone they would at least attempt to make a return investment by giving ITV some NBCUNI programs to air. With both CBS and FOX having 2 networks, what is the shot NBC keeps ION and have 2 english networks? If NBC relunchs ION, getting better programming and sell stations in markets where there is no over the air ITV station (like Pittsburgh) to carry it on their sub-channel, ITV would have a shot of being a winner. Or possibly if NBC/Sony going in 50/50 in where Sony ones half the network and NBC owning the other, and NBC owns the top 20 markets and selling off all the other markets to station groups who already owns NBC stations, and with markets where there is no OTA signal place it on a digital sub channel you would be all set.

djl said...

Should we expect to see this programming in other markets across the state?

It would be nice to more and different programming on WSFJ (Columbus)...there's only so much Cosby Show and Little House On The Prairie a person can watch.

Anonymous said...

WFSJ is not owned by ION so it depends on the owner of the station. I now it is owned by a christian broadcaster for what it is worth airs the a-team, cavs basketball, Gerardo's FOX news show. I would assume if it is placed in prime time then there is a shot, but in this case you never really know what they are doing based on ownership and programming choices. By they are on sky angel satellite so there's a good chance. here is their website: http://www.gtn51.com/

Dustin from Akron said...

Way to go Paxson! First Paxson kills our only local TV news (again I might add) to change the direction of his stations, and now since "i" did not work he is going back to the old programming. I thing it is time the FCC pulls Paxson's license and give the station to someone who will run it in the interest of the Akron/Canton Metro Area, not as another Cleveland station. And maybe someone would watch the station if they had Akron/Canton 23 news again.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Columbus...don't complain about Little House on the Prairie. I'd LOVE it if WPAX (or whatever Ch. 23 is now) would air it. Man, Mrs. Oleson and Nellie--talk about some funny stuff. Some of the shows mentioned by OMW in this article are very, very lame. I recall when Ch. 67 in Canton aired the most recent "Newhart" series...now THAT was great. Alas, they're all-paid, all-the-time...and WPAX and WUAB have virtually followed suit. Guess that leaves bigger slices of pie for the real broadcasters, huh?