MGM launches classic TV service to roar like the Fonz
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
In one of its first moves after emerging from bankruptcy proceedings, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios is creating a national television programming service -- stocked with episodes of such classic sitcoms as ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Laverne & Shirley’ -- to sell to television stations across the country.
The joint venture, called Me-TV, is an expansion of MGM’s collaboration with Chicago-based TV station owner Weigel Broadcasting. (Me-TV stands for ‘memorable entertainment television.’) Two years ago, the two companies formed ThisTV -- a programming service that featured B-level movies that had otherwise been sitting in MGM’s vault.
ThisTV was offered to TV stations looking for low-cost programming to fill their digital spectrum. The network is now available in about 85% of homes with televisions in the U.S. Me-TV is similarly positioned to be sold to TV stations. Weigel will schedule the network’s programming, and MGM will handle distribution sales.
ThisTV offers a mix of movies and TV shows, but Me-TV is designed to showcase nostalgic TV programs, including ‘Cheers,’ ‘MASH,’ ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ and the ‘Green Hornet.’ Weigel is currently broadcasting Me-TV on its stations in Chicago and Milwaukee, which television aficionados know as the home of basement dwellers ‘Laverne & Shirley.’
‘One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!’
-- Meg James