MediaLog MediaBrief: TV Land to Revamp Website, Program Schedule

"We All Live in TV Land, Don't We?" Dept.-A recent news release announced TV Land's relaunch of TVLand.com, the network's companion website. The move is designed to improve and expand the site, turning it into more of a portal that will appeal to the boomer generation that constitutes one of TV Land's key audiences. According to the release, the new site will be an "entertainment resource" and "will give viewers access to a library of timeless TV shows and offbeat content sure to please passionate TV fans."

Features of the new website include TV Land's own video player on which surfers will be able to view clips from that library, such as complete episodes of selected vintage programs (including, reportedly, the original "Star Trek"), episodes and clips from TV Land original shows like "I Pity the Fool" and "Sit Down Comedy," some of TV Land's popular "Retromercial" vintage TV commercials, celebrity interviews, and, of course, plenty of TV Land promos. This will be a welcome change, since TV Land's website generally sucks right now.

In addition to the relaunch of the website, TV Land will soon debut a revamped program schedule. A few new old shows previously absent from the network will be added, such as "The Jeffersons" and "The Cosby Show." Otherwise, the roster is depressingly familiar, including weekly 24 hours of "Gunsmoke," 24 hours of "Bonanza," 18 hours of "Three's Company," 12-1/2 hours of "The Andy Griffith Show," and 14-1/2 hours of "Good Times." Out of the 168 hours in a week, that's 93 hours filled with just five different shows! Unless you're a fanatic for Marshal Dillon, the Ponderosa Ranch, Chrissy Snow, Mayberry, or the Chicago projects, that's way more than most people are going to care for.

This homogenization of the TV Land schedule is not new, but it has become more prevalent in the last several years. There used to be a little more variety on the network, especially in certain time blocks in which they programmed one-shot episodes of pretty obscure shows from the 1970s or 1980s. I have on tape an episode of the little-known legal drama called "The Associates" from the early-1980s (featuring an early-career Martin Short) that was played in one of these slots.

There are still a few shows on TV Land's new schedule that are not 1960s westerns or 1980s sitcoms. "The A-Team" will air for an hour every weekday, "The Flip Wilson Show" has a slot each Saturday and Sunday morning, and on Sunday mornings there's a single, solitary weekly episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

The new program schedule starts this Saturday, August 12, and the new TVLand.com is scheduled to launch on August 24.

(Image source: www.tvland.com)

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