TV Land is an American pay television channel
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.
TV Land is available to about 90 million households in the United States as of January 2016.
Launch and debut
The network launched at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 29, 1996, as Nick at Nite's TV Land. Following a 7-minute short film introducing the network, the first program it aired was a syndicated edit of ''The Best of The Ed Sullivan Show
'' featuring The Beatles
' American debut along with routines by Joan Rivers
, Richard Pryor
and Señor Wences
. The show led off a launch-day lineup that rebroadcast numerous series premiere
s, pilot episodes
and television firsts.
The network's original lineup consisted of: ''Hill Street Blues
'', ''St. Elsewhere
'', ''The Ed Sullivan Show
'', ''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
["Nick-at-Nite's TV Land joins U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Lineup"; ''Business Wire'', April 30, 1996.]
Although the channel launched during a time when retransmission consent
was becoming more common amongst subscription networks and terrestrial television station
s 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.) 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 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."
Original programming efforts and shift to Generation X
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''.
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''.
The network began a programming transition in March 2015, when the new Sutton Foster series ''Younger'' was launched without either traditional network branding or advertising. After Memorial Day and the series finale of ''Hot in Cleveland'', a new logo was unveiled as part of a larger re brand that saw TV Land shift its focus to Generation X viewers who grew into the network's demographic. New original series ''Impastor'' and ''The Jim Gaffigan Show'' were unveiled as 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.
In July 2015, TV Land dropped reruns of ''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).
2016 saw the debut of the single-camera sitcom ''Teachers.
Since 2017, 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.
TV Land's programming originally focused on television series from the 1950s to the early 1980s. Such programming continues to air during the daytime hours, while the network's primetime lineup focuses on both recent and contemporary sitcoms originating from the late 1990s. TV Land's sole original series is ''Younger'', which premiered in 2015 and has since become the network's longest running program. The network previously held their own annual award show, the ''TV Land Awards'' from 2003 to 2016.
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.
The channel would later be shut down on September 1, 2019 after its broadcast license was sold to Wow Unlimited Media.
* Antenna TV
– an American digital broadcast network owned by the Nexstar Media Group
, focusing on classic television series and movies from the 1950s to 1990s.
* Retro Television Network
– an American digital broadcast network owned by Luken Communications
, focusing on classic television series from the 1950s to 1980s.
– an American digital broadcast network owned by Weigel Broadcasting
, focusing on classic television series from the 1950s to 1980s.
* Cozi TV
– an American digital broadcast network owned by NBCUniversal
airing classic television programs from the NBCU library, along with programming from forerunner network NBC NonStop.
Category:Classic television networks
Category:ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks
Category:Television channels and stations established in 1996
Category:English-language television stations in the United States
Category:Television networks in the United States
Category:Nostalgia television in the United States