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Aug 21 2007

WPXI slates ‘retro’ TV channel


More news from the digital wonderland … WPXI-TV (11) will roll out a retro TV channel on Oct. 15 on one of its digital auxiliary channels (11.3, for those of you playing along at home). People who can receive WPXI-DT over the air will be able to see it right away, according to Scott Tady of the Beaver County Times, but Comcast and Armstrong cable are expected to pick it up eventually.

WPXI is one of 19 outlets that’s offering or will soon offer the “Retro Television Network,” which will air shows like “I Love Lucy,” “Magnum: PI,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Happy Days.”

There are even thoughts of airing old tapes of local classics like “Chiller Theater” and Sam Nover’s sports interview show, “One on One.”

Mark Barash, WPXI director of programming, tells Tady, “I can’t tell you how often viewers call me asking us to bring classic programming back to modern television.” RTN’s lineup includes “Family Ties” and “Mission: Impossible,” which are currently carried on the low-powered WBGN network; presumably they’ll disappear from those stations.

RTN is a new venture by Little Rock, Ark., based Equity Broadcasting, which owns more than 30 TV stations and one FM radio station, though nothing in Pittsburgh or the neighboring markets.

We’re holding out hopes for “In Search Of…” with Leonard Nimoy and “The Million-Dollar Movie,” but that’s probably just us. Maybe classic Pirates games could be added, too … you know, from before they began their decline into perpetual crapitude.