TV Land is an American pay television channel that is owned by ViacomCBS through its domestic networks division. Originally a spinoff of Nick at Nite consisting exclusively of classic television shows, the channel now airs a combination of recent and classic television series (ranging from the 1960s to the 2010s), original scripted series, and limited theatrically released movies. The network is headquartered at One Astor Plaza in New York City.
|Launched||April 29, 1996|
|Owned by||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
|Dish Network||Channel 106 (SD)|
|Orby TV||Channel 230|
|DirecTV||Channel 304 (HD/SD)|
Channel 1304 (VOD)
|Available on most cable systems||Varies by cable provider|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 138 (East; SD)|
Channel 139 (West; SD)
Channel 1138 (East; HD)
Channel 1139 (West; HD)
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 241 (SD)|
Channel 741 (HD)
|Philo||Internet Protocol television|
|fuboTV||Internet Protocol television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
Launch and debut
TV Land launched at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 29, 1996, and was originally called Nick at Nite's TV Land to provide reassurance to new viewers of who was behind the channel. The first program to air on the network was Love, American Style, and the episode entitled "Love and the Happy Days", which had later been recycled as the pilot episode for the 1974-1984 ABC sitcom Happy Days. The phrase "TV Land" (and a variant, "television land") had been in popular parlance since at least the late 1950s to refer to the viewing audience; early examples of its use included on The Honeymooners and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and clips of the use of the phrase in both shows were used in the network's early promos. The phrase was then used by Nick at Nite in the 1980s as the name of the fictional place where the channel received its classic programming block, and was utilized in slogans such as "Nick at Nite: Hello Out There From TV Land!" for much of that decade. However, Nick at Nite quit using the term in its own branding campaigns in September 1997, seventeen months after the TV Land network launched, in order to prevent viewers from confusing the two separate channels.
The network's original lineup consisted of: Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, The Ed Sullivan Show, Gunsmoke, That Girl, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Honey West, The Addams Family, Love, American Style, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres; The Phil Silvers Show and Hogan's Heroes.
Although the channel launched during a time when retransmission consent was becoming more common amongst subscription networks and terrestrial television stations nationwide due to a provision in the 1992 Cable Act, MTV Networks chose to offer TV Land to subscription providers for free for its five years of operation, as long as they added the channel to their expanded basic tiers during the 1996 calendar year. Likewise, USSB, then one of two services that used the DirecTV satellite, offered TV Land as a free channel to USSB and DirecTV satellite users, without requiring a subscription, for its first years on air.
Shortly after TV Land's debut, MCA filed a lawsuit against Viacom. Because MCA's original agreement with Paramount Pictures to operate USA Network prohibited either partner from operating other pay-television networks outside the joint venture, Viacom had been in breach of contract ever since the company bought Paramount in 1994, because it had operated MTV Networks (whose holdings include Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1) since its founding in 1983, and Showtime Networks (owners of Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix, all of which are now owned by CBS Corporation) since it was founded in 1985. MCA claimed that the intention of TV Land was to compete directly with USA (this turned out to be true). Viacom claimed that the matter had already been settled when Sumner Redstone released Frank Biondi from his contract to let him work at MCA. The suit was eventually settled when Viacom agreed to sell its 50% stake in USA Networks to MCA (MCA later became Universal Studios, formerly just a subsidiary, which eventually merged with NBC and later, Comcast).
In 1997, TV Land partnered with TV Guide for a feature in the magazine and a special on the network, ranking the 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 1999, TV Land entered into a deal with Universal Television that allowed the channel to "cherry-pick" from a variety of series including Emergency!, Kojak, and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.
In February 1999, according to Nielsen ratings data, TV Land averaged a 1.0 share during primetime, tying ESPN for 10th place among all pay-television networks. Its siblings, MTV and VH1, respectively tied for 17th and 26th place. Columnist John Dempsey reported in Variety, "That February rating put TV Land into the top 10 for the first time since it began operating, and opened the eyes of the TV industry to the rich vein of golden-oldie TV shows that distributors are mining for an audience of nostalgia buffs and kids who are stumbling across the series for the first time."
In the early 2000s, TV Land aired special program blocks on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (beginning on December 31, 2001): the final day of the year revolved around series finales of classic television series, and the first day of the new year exclusively featured pilot episodes. On January 1, 2001, the network introduced a streamlined logo, which traded the uneven-ness of the original design for a more rigid form, and restricted the wedge serif type to the "TV" and the sans serif type to the "LAND" in the logo. TV Land celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 29, 2006. On December 17, 2006, MTV Networks (which was renamed Viacom Media Networks in 2011) began operating TV Land as part of its Kids & Family Group unit, with Nickelodeon taking over operational duties for Nick at Nite, which in turn had previously maintained oversight of TV Land since its launch.
The network's original continuity announcer was DJ Dan Ingram; Ingram was replaced by Harry Shearer, who served as the primary announcer for the network's promotions from 2001 to 2010. In 2008, TV Land added a three-hour block of infomercials to its morning lineup, airing Monday through Fridays from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. As such, TV Land became only the fourth pay channel operated by Viacom and its MTV Networks division to air infomercials (the only others being CMT, Comedy Central and Spike); TV Land removed one hour of the infomercial block in May 2010, reducing it from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m., with reruns filling the 8:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) hour.
Original programming efforts
In 2007, the network began adding series from the latter part of the 1980s and on in an effort to attract viewers in the 18 to 49 age demographic favored by advertisers (by rerunning shows familiar to younger audiences). As such, TV Land no longer labels itself as a "Classic TV" network (this role has since been filled by over-the-air rivals Retro Television Network, Cozi TV, Antenna TV, and, most notably, MeTV, all of which have carried programs that have aired on TV Land in previous years). The network began airing its first original programs in 2008 with the reality series High School Reunion (a revival of the former WB series, which features reunions of older ex-classmates than the original series – usually those between 40 and 50 years old, compared the original series' focus on classmates that were between 25 and 30 years old at the time of filming) and She's Got the Look (a modeling competition for women over 40). Accompanying this strategy was a refresh of the network's graphic identity, which was designed and conceived by Trollback + Company, who also developed its 2000 to 2008 graphical identity.
From October 2008 to 2011, the network ran a late-evening block that aired weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, called "TV Land Prime", which depending on the night featured the network's original series, movies or newer archive programming that TV Land was airing at the time. The block utilized drastically different brand imaging than that otherwise featured the network; the "dot" logo accompanying the "Prime" logo was replaced by TV Land's standard logo in November 2009; some programs featured in the block incorporated the "TV Land Prime" bug when aired in other timeslots.
On November 23, 2009, the network changed its logo to a more simplified form, keeping the double-trapezoidal outline, but removing the outlines around each letter and simplifying the fonts. An overhauled logo was introduced on May 8, 2012, which not only features a revised design and different typeface (although it retained the double-trapezoidal outline, which was now placed on the top left side), but also sets the "Land" part of the name to the adjacent right of the "TV" moniker.
Since 2009, TV Land has also added more recent series from the 1990s and 2000s, such as those already or formerly aired on Nick at Nite (from which TV Land has acquired several of its programs since its inception) like The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Who's the Boss?, The Nanny, and Friends, and shows that had not aired its former parent network like Murphy Brown, The Golden Girls, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The King of Queens. However, the network continues to air series from older decades throughout its schedule, mainly during the daytime and overnight hours. The network's scheduling is often not bound to the strictness of half-hour timeslots outside of primetime, with programming airing in expanded timeslots to allow more advertising to be sold, though in most cases, the series on TV Land continue to use the 'syndication cut' rather than the original network airing cut of an episode.
The network first forayed into original scripted programming in 2010 with the debut of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland (starring established sitcom stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White), which premiered in June 2010 to 4.75 million viewers, a record audience for the channel. (The success of that series led to a spin-off called The Soul Man, which debuted in June 2012.) This was followed by the January 19, 2011 debut of Retired at 35. 2011 saw the expansion of its original sitcoms with the June 15 debut of the Fran Drescher comedy Happily Divorced and the November 30 debut of The Exes. 2013 and 2014 also saw the debuts of Kirstie (which reunited Kirstie Alley with former Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman and also stars former Seinfeld co-star Michael Richards) and Jennifer Falls starring Jaime Pressly. Both Kirstie and Jennifer Falls were canceled after their first seasons.
Shift of programming focus to Generation X audiences
The network began to transition away from the original double trapezoid imaging in March 2015, when the new Sutton Foster series Younger was launched without either traditional TV Land branding or advertising, choosing instead to go with a different imaging campaign to the point that "TV Land" was merely shown in regular text on-screen during the series to differentiate it from the rest of the network's schedule. After Memorial Day and the series finale of Hot in Cleveland, a new simple 'ribbon effect' network logo was unveiled to go with the campaigns for the network's new original series Impastor and The Jim Gaffigan Show and more of a focus on Generation X viewers who grew into the network's demographic, an implicit admission that its subchannel classic television competitors are more designed for the generation of viewers TV Land started with. The network officially announced the introduction of the rebranding on June 23, 2015. Completing the shift to edgier, single-camera programming, TV Land announced on July 28 that the upcoming fifth season of the multi-camera sitcom The Soul Man would be its last. Less than two weeks later, on August 10, TV Land's last remaining multi-camera sitcom The Exes was cancelled as its fourth season was still airing, with the announcement that the final episode would air September 16. 2016 saw the debut of the single-camera sitcom Teachers.
Currently though, the network's morning and afternoon blocks of classic television will continue under the "TV Land Classic" branding, creating a setup equivalent to FXM, where that network's older movie content under its former branding of Fox Movie Channel is branded under the "FXM Retro" banner.
Viacom has been in the process of reorganizing its media businesses around six flagship brands, including Paramount Pictures, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and MTV. Network president Keith Cox was reassigned to the newly-rebranded Paramount Network (the former Spike), and two series originally slated for TV Land—American Woman and Heathers—were reassigned to the channel. The former was canceled after its first season, while the latter eventually aired in a heavily edited and redacted form. Younger was also supposed to move to Paramount Network for its sixth season, but the move was reversed before the newest season launched.
On August 20, 2019, two TV Land-branded channels, "TV Land Drama" and "TV Land Sitcoms", were launched on Pluto TV, a free streaming service acquired by Viacom in March 2019. The latter channel was a rebrand of the former "Pluto TV Sitcoms" channel, which was similar to TV Land's original retro TV rerun format.
TV Land's programming originally focused on series (both filmed in black and white and color) from the 1950s to the early 1980s. During its early years, the channel's lineup prominently featured variety series and dramas. Many of its charter shows such as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Ed Sullivan Show were dropped from the lineup by the late 1990s (one early series that aired in reruns on the network, The Flip Wilson Show, however ran on TV Land until 2006). It also ran many sitcoms from the 1960s and 1970s, particularly series from Filmways that were produced prior to the rural purge of the late 1960s. Early on, TV Land would often air weekend marathons that were devoted to a single program (the channel continues to air marathons, occasionally in the form of catch-up marathons of its original series, as well as on marathons of certain series on certain holidays). Since the network's inception, westerns (such as Gunsmoke and Bonanza among others) have also been a prominent part of the lineup.
The channel also aired classic commercials during its breaks for several years, under the banner "TV Land Retromercials" (incidentally during its early years, TV Land did not air recent advertisements for products in existence at that point). Among those featured were Alka-Seltzer's "Mamma mia, that's a spicy meatball!", Dannon's "In Soviet Georgia", and the animated Tootsie Pop ad (in which a young boy asks "how many licks" it takes to get to the center of one; incidentally, that commercial was at the time, and still is, being used for regular advertising of the Tootsie Pop). Some of these "retromercials" included early roles of celebrities such as Judd Hirsch, Rene Russo, Roy Scheider and Jodie Foster. Interspersed with the classic commercials were fictional retro-style commercials for various substances, almost always using the brand "Twip," and mockumentary segments purporting to describe great moments in television history (such an interview with the purported inventor of the blank cartridge, which saved countless lives in the production of Westerns). These, along with the classic commercials, were dropped by 2004. The network also ran segments of CBS News' In the News from the 1970s and 1980s during breaks.
From 1996 to 2004, the channel ran a series of original shorts called "Sixty Second Sitcoms", minute-long parodies of sitcoms from various eras which also contained fake opening and end credits, and concluded with a "This has been a TV Land Presentation" vanity card. Among the parodies included in the shorts were The Gaveltons (a black and white segment based on Father Knows Best-type comedies, concerning a family that uses the law to solve typical sitcom problems), Spin & Cutter (a parody of Perfect Strangers-style 1970s and 1980s buddy comedies that featured characters saying lines such as "What could possibly be worse than this?", followed by a spin wipe that cuts to a scene featuring another added element and the other character saying "You had to ask, didn't you?") and All's Well (a parody of the Donna Reed show). Each of the series had several segments and alternated with the retromercials.
Senior Talent Producer for Nick at Nite and TV Land from 1994-2012 was Barry M. Greenberg.
When a program deemed particularly important was airing on another network – such as the series finales of Friends in 2004 and Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005, TV Land aired filler programming that was nonsensical in nature (such as footage of staff members holding signs or wearing T-shirts) to encourage viewers to watch the network program. Similarly, the network went dark during the 1998 series finale of Seinfeld.
In November 2014, amid growing allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, the network announced that it was removing reruns of The Cosby Show from its lineup, and deleted all references of the series from its website; a marathon of episodes from the series that had been scheduled for Thanksgiving was also cancelled. In its place was episodes from the Steve Harvey run of Family Feud.
In July 2015, TV Land stopped carrying The Dukes of Hazzard after the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House (the flag was displayed atop of the show's car, the General Lee). The move attracted minor criticism from the Parents Television Council.
TV Land Awards
The TV Land Awards is a two-hour event that has been held annually since its inception in 2003 that in past years was broadcast live on the network to the Eastern and Central Time Zones (with a three-hour delayed broadcast on its Pacific Time Zone feed), but is currently taped a week in advance. The awards telecast celebrates past classic television series and television stars. From the inaugural show in 2003 until 2007, the TV Land Awards were also simulcast on Nick at Nite. There were no "TV Land Awards" shows for both 2013 and 2014, but the "TV Land Awards" show returned in style in 2015. The show was renamed the "TV Land Icon Awards" for its 2016 edition. Senior Talent Producer, 2003–2012, Barry M. Greenberg Producer, 2003–2012, Gary Tellalian Executive Producer, 2003–2012, Michael Levitt
A high definition simulcast feed of TV Land was launched in November 2011, broadcasting in 1080i. It is currently available most on subscription providers, along with DirecTV. Classic programming which does not use prints remastered for high definition widescreen presentation are presented on the HD feed in their original 4:3 aspect ratio.
TV Land statues of TV icons
Since the early 2000s, TV Land has honored iconic actors and television characters from classic television series with statues in various tourist attractions across the United States:
|The Bob Newhart Show||Bob Newhart as Dr. Robert Hartley||Navy Pier, Chicago|
|The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards||7th Street and Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|The Honeymooners||Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden||Port Authority Bus Terminal, 40th Street and 8th Avenue, New York City|
|The Andy Griffith Show||Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as Opie Taylor||Pullen Park, Raleigh, North Carolina|
Andy Griffith Playhouse, Mount Airy, North Carolina
|Bewitched||Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens||Lappin Park, Salem, Massachusetts|
|Aloha from Hawaii||Elvis Presley||Neal Blaisdell Center Arena, Honolulu|
|Happy Days||Henry Winkler as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (nicknamed the "Bronze Fonz")||Milwaukee Riverwalk, Milwaukee|
In 2001, Craig Media launched a Category 2 pay-television specialty channel called TV Land Canada, through a brand licensing agreement with Viacom (which later acquired a minority ownership stake in the channel months after its launch). On August 2, 2010, TV Land was rebranded as Comedy Gold, reformatting the channel as an offshoot of The Comedy Network. The rebranded channel focuses primarily on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s to the 1990s. Viacom sold back its stake in the channel to CTVglobemedia (which would later be acquired outright by minority shareholder BCE, Inc. on September 10 of that year to form Bell Media) following the rebrand.
A TV Land channel was launched in Arabia in 1996, months after the launch of the U.S. service. However, it mostly focused more on sports and action than classic television series. TV Land Arabia shared channel space with Paramount Arabia on satellite provider Gulf DTH. Both TV Land Arabia and Paramount Arabia ceased operations in 2000.
A new version was relaunched on May 6, 2017 on OSN.
- "Cable Network Coverage Area Household Universe Estimates: January 2016".
- TV Land archives on Freewebs Archived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine (1996–2004)
- "Nick-at-Nite's TV Land joins U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Lineup"; Business Wire, April 30, 1996.
- Brown, Rich. "Nick at Nite becoming Nick at Nite-and-Day; MTV Networks Inc.'s launching of classic TV channel called TV Land", Broadcasting & Cable, October 30, 1995. Retrieved March 1, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
- "Mca, Viacom Sue Each Other"; Chicago Tribune, April 30, 1996
- "Sumner Red-faced Over 'Embarrassing' Papers"; New York Daily News, November 5, 1996
- "Mca, Viacom File Suits In Dispute Over Usa Network"; SunSentinel, April 30, 1996
- Dempsey, John, "It's Boom(er) Time for TV Land"; Variety, March 8–14, 1999.
- Betty White Lightning Strikes! "Hot In Cleveland" Draws Nearly 5 Million; Breaks Records TV by the Numbers, June 17, 2010
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 3, 2010). "TV Land finds cast for George Segal pilot". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Littleton, Cynthia (23 June 2015). "TV Land Unveils New Logo, Branding Campaign Aimed at Gen-Xers". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Nellie Andreeva. "'The Soul Man' Picked Up For Fifth & Final Season By TV Land". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 10, 2015). "'The Exes' Cancelled By TV Land After 4 Seasons, Last Multi-Cam Original Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2014). "TV Land Picks Up Impastor & Teachers To Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2017). "Spike President On Channel's Rebranding As The Paramount Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2017). "Spike To Change Name & Become The Paramount Network In Viacom Rebranding". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Lieberman, David (February 9, 2017). "Viacom CEO Supports Paramount And Non-Core Networks – But For How Long?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- "'Shannara Chronicles' Canceled as Paramount Network Passes on Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Wagmeister, Daniel; Holloway, Elizabeth (March 16, 2017). "TV Land's 'Heathers' Reboot and 'American Woman' Moving to Launch Paramount Network". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Swift, Andy (April 3, 2019). "Younger Season 6 Will Air on TV Land; Move to Paramount Network Cancelled". TVLine. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Viacom Announces Completion of Pluto TV Acquisition". www.businesswire.com. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- Bouma, Luke (2019-08-19). "Pluto TV is Adding 4 New Channels Tomorrow Including TV Land Drama, TV Land Sitcoms, & Comedy Central Roast". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- TV Land scraps The Cosby Show marathon set for Thanksgiving week. Variety (November 19, 2014). Retrieved November 19, 2014. "(E)pisodes have been pulled immediately for the foreseeable future…TV Land even removed references to The Cosby Show from its website on Wednesday afternoon as the scandal accelerated."
- "TV Land Pulls 'Dukes of Hazzard' Reruns". ABC News. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
- TV Land, MTV and Craig Broadcast Systems to Launch New Canadian Services in September; PR Newswire; 2001-08-21
- CTV tweaks TV Land Canada's focus, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 June 2010
- Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Archived October 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine