Tuesday, December 06, 2016

More Classic Shows Coming to Antenna TV

The following classic sitcoms are coming to the Antenna TV network in 2017.

Alice, aired from 1976-1985, starred Linda Lavin, Vic Tayback, Beth Howland.

Growing Pains, aired from 1985-1992, starred Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron.

227, aired from 1985-1990, starred Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry.

The Hogan Family, aired from 1986-1991, starred Sandy Duncan and Jason Bateman.

Head of the Class, aired from 1986-1991, starred Howard Hesseman and Robin Givens.

My Two Dads, aired from 1987-1990, starred Greg Evigan and Paul Reiser.

Becker, aired from 1998-2004, starred Ted Danson and Shawnee Smith.

Murphy Brown, aired from 1988-1998, starred Candice Bergen and Faith Ford.

What's Happening, aired from 1976-1979, starred Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Fred Berry.

This is a smart move. The network currently airs many classic shows such as Johnny Carson, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Family Ties, Wings and Newhart.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Here's Johnny, Seven Nights Per Week!

What a pleasure it is to have the late night master Johnny Carson on the air again. On January 1, 2016, the Antenna TV network started airing his shows. Monday through Friday the shows are 60 minutes, made between 1980 and 1992. On Saturday and Sunday, the shows are 90 minutes, aired from 1972 to 1980. It has been amazing to revisit these shows from Johnny. It makes one realize how good he was at his craft. He was a top notch stand up comedian of course, but he also shined as an interviewer and as a comic actor with his Mighty Carson Art Players segments. We have been able to see segments featuring his characters such as Carnac, Art Fern, Floyd R. Turbo and Aunt Blabby. At Johnny's side is the number one second banana, Ed McMahon. Doc and the band sound fantastic as usual. We have seen several episodes with David Letterman. For years, we figured that Letterman was the heir apparent to Carson. Unfortunately Jay Leno filled Carson's spot in 1992 when Johnny stepped down. But, Dave turned out ok, with a 33 year career in late night.

It has been a special treat to see some of the all time legends of show biz on the air again. Johnny's guest list read like a who's who of Hollywood with guests like George Burns, Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Benny, Rodney Dangerfield and many more.

I only have one complaint with these Carson episodes on Antenna TV. There have been very few musical guests and few performances by Doc and the band. People are speculating that the reason behind this is costs that have to do with music licensing. The royalties need to be paid through music agencies like BMI and ASACAP when these shows are re-aired. We have seen more musical performances in the second half of the year than in the first half, so hopefully that is a good sign. Antenna TV is probably doing well ratings-wise with the show, which would expand the budget for airing musical acts.

Antenna TV is tight-lipped regarding ratings numbers, but I have a hunch that they are pleased with the response to the show. Folks of all generations can experience the magic of Carson.

Carson fans will want to check out this Facebook fan page, dedicated to Johnny. At the beginning of 2016, it had 100 members. Now it has over 2700. No doubt the Antenna TV airings have increased the interest in the late night icon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It's Cavett vs. Carson Once Again

First it was Johnny Carson returning to late night TV at the beginning of this year on Antenna TV. Now it will be Dick Cavett airing on the Decades channel. They will both air at 11:00 pm eastern, going head-to-head just like they did between 1968 and 1974. During that period, Carson was on NBC and Cavett was on ABC, with both shows originating from New York City.

In 1966, Ed Sullivan announced stand-up comedian Dick Cavett as "A young collegian from Yale". He had worked as a comedy writer for Tonight Show hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. He also was a writer for the short-lived Jerry Lewis variety show in the 1960s. Writing for others was paying the bills, but Cavett wanted to try to be a late night host where he could perform his own jokes for a nationwide audience.

Cavett has hosted many shows in various time slots for various networks including ABC, CBS, PBS, USA, CNBC and TCM. These rebroadcasts will span the array of Cavett shows that aired between 1968 and 1996. He is a cerebral guy who is good friends with Woody Allen. The two of them share a similar comedic style. You could say that Dick Cavett is a "thinking person's" host.

The show begins airing on Decades on February 1. People already need to choose between Fallon, Kimmel and Colbert, and soon we will be able to add Carson and Cavett to the options. Find the Decades affiliate in your area here.

* Some information from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-cavett-carson-tv-0120-biz-20160119-story.html and

Friday, January 08, 2016

Johnny Carson Returns to Late Night

The past couple of years, we have witnessed many changes in the late night TV landscape. David Letterman, Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson stepped down after many years as television mainstays. Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Jimmy Fallon stepped into new roles.

On January 1st, the Antenna TV network started airing episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The program airs 7 nights per week. Monday through Friday are the 60 minute episodes made between 1980 and 1992. On Saturday and Sunday, the 90 minute shows will air, which were produced previous to 1980. Tune in weeknights at 11:00 pm eastern and 10:00 pm eastern on weekends. Johnny's show aired on NBC from 1962-1992. Most of the shows made for the first 10 years were not archived. It was the practice back then to record over shows once they aired.

It is truly a pleasure to see these classic shows on TV again. It is obvious that so much of what we see on late night TV today was influenced by Carson. Younger generations will get exposed to the genius of this show. It is staggering to think about the groundbreaking comedians who got their big break with Johnny. A good appearance on the show would send struggling careers into the stratosphere.

Johnny's success can be traced to a couple of factors. Unlike many of today's hosts, he really listened to his guests. He was not glued to his notes, obsessing about his next question. Also, he wanted his guests to shine. He did not need to hog the spotlight and get all of the laughs for himself. He knew that if he had top-notch guests, it was good for the show. Between the celebrities, the skits by "The Mighty Carson Art Players", the outstanding big band jazz NBC Orchestra and the personalities of Johnny, Ed and Doc, this show was something special.

Those who enjoyed the show can check out the Facebook Johnny Carson Fan Club here.