|Launched||April 29, 1996|
|Owned by||Viacom Media Networks (Viacom)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Headquarters||One Astor Plaza
New York City, New York
|Sister channel(s)||MTV, VH1, CMT, Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nick Jr., Nicktoons|
|DirecTV||Channel 304 (SD/HD)
1304 On Demand
|Dish Network||Channel 106|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - Channel 215 (Until Oct. 12, 2011)|
|Available on most cable systems||Check local listings for channels|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 138 (SD)
Channel 1138 (HD)
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 244|
TV Land (stylized as TVland and was originally Nick at Nite's TV Land) is an American cable television network launched on April 29, 1996. It is owned by Viacom Media Networks, a division of Viacom, which also owns Paramount Pictures, and networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon. Originally consisting exclusively of classic television shows, the network now airs a combination of classic television shows, newer shows, originals and movies.
Building on the success and popularity of Nick at Nite, TV Land premiered on April 29, 1996, delivering classic situation comedies, dramas, variety shows and memorable TV programming 24 hours a day. The phrase "TV Land" was originally coined by The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in the 1960s, in which Bullwinkle often introduced his "Bullwinkle's Corner" segments with the greeting, "Hello out there in TV Land!" Occasionally a soundbite of Bullwinkle's phrase is used in TV Land promotions.
Shortly after the cable network's debut, MCA sued Viacom. Because MCA's original agreement with Paramount Pictures on the USA Network prohibited either partner from operating cable networks outside the joint venture, Viacom had been in breach of contract ever since they bought Paramount in 1994, thanks to MTV Networks. 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. It was eventually settled when Viacom agreed to sell MCA their half of USA (MCA later became Universal Studios, formerly just a subsidiary, which eventually merged with NBC and later, Comcast).
In 1997, TV Land teamed up with TV Guide to rank the 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
The phrase "TV Land" was then used by Nick at Nite in the 1980s as the name of the fictional place whence the channel received its classic programming block, and it appeared in such slogans as "Nick at Nite: Hello Out There From TV Land!" for much of the 1980s. However, once the TV Land network spun-off, Nick at Nite quit using the term in its own slogans in order to prevent viewers from confusing the two separate channels. The new network featured a variety of television programming from the 1950s through the 1990s. Its inaugural season featured the Emmy-Award-winning Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and The Ed Sullivan Show, and series Gunsmoke and The Honeymooners. Great detectives were featured every Saturday, with programs including Honey West, Dog and Cat, Burke's Law, Nero Wolfe (1981) and Ace Crawford, Private Eye. "TV Land Goes West" presented Shane, Barbary Coast, Have Gun, Will Travel and Best of the West. "Hooterville Saturday" featured Petticoat Junction and Green Acres; and "Sunday in the Barracks" laughed with the military in The Phil Silvers Show and Hogan's Heroes.
The network initially was a mix of classic TV and short-lived series, often from the Paramount library. In 1999, a deal with Universal provided the programmers the ability to "cherry-pick" from a variety of series including Emergency!, Kojak and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Although the channel launched during a time when retransmission consent was becoming more common amongst cable networks and broadcast stations nationwide due to a provision in the 1992 Cable Act, MTV Networks chose to offer TV Land to cable system operators free for five years, as long as they added the channel to their expanded basic tiers during 1996.
In February 1999, TV Land's primetime averaged a 1.0 in cable homes, tying ESPN for 10th place among all cable networks. Its siblings, MTV and VH1, tied for 17th and 26th place, respectively. "That February rating put TV Land into the top 10 for the first time since it began operating", John Dempsey reported in Variety, "and opened the eyes of the cable 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."
A TV Land channel in Arabia was created in 1996. However, it mostly focused more on sports and action than classic shows. TV Land Arabia shared the 24-hour channel with Paramount Arabia on the Gulf DTH cable service. Both TV Land Arabia and Paramount Arabia closed in 2000.
On January 1, 2001, the network introduced a streamlined logo, which traded the uneven-ness of the original for a more rigid form, and restricted the wedge serif type to "TV" and the sans serif type to "LAND". TV Land celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 29, 2006. Also in 2006, TV Land and Nick at Nite stopped operating jointly together, making TV Land a channel in its own right. TV Land often airs marathon weekends devoted to a single program. In the early 2000s, TV Land aired special programming blocks on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (beginning on December 31, 2001): the final day of the year revolved around final episodes of classic television series, and the first day of the new year aired exclusively pilot episodes.
Harry Shearer was the regular announcer for the network promos in the 2000s, though as of 2010 no longer does promotions for TV Land. The original announcer was DJ Dan Ingram. 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.
In 2008, TV Land added three hours of infomercials to the morning lineup, airing Monday through Friday from 6–9 a.m. ET. As such, TV Land became only the third cable channel operated by Viacom and its MTV Networks subsidiary to air infomercials (the only others being CMT, Comedy Central, and Spike); in May 2010, TV Land removed one hour of the infomercial block, reducing it to 6-8 a.m. ET, and added reruns to the 8-9 a.m. ET weekday timeslot.
Currently, TV Land's programming focus consists of original programming such as Hot In Cleveland, Happily Divorced, The Exes, and The Soul Man. The rest of TV Land's primetime programming consists of block episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens. TV Land airs other Shows in Marathon blocks as well such as,The Cosby Show and The Golden Girls.
During the early years of the channel's existence, variety shows and dramas were more prominent in the channel lineup. However, charter shows such as The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Ed Sullivan Show were gone from the lineup by the late 1990s, though The Flip Wilson Show lasted until 2004. In addition to this, many of the sitcoms were from the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those in the Filmways catalog from prior to the rural purge.
For several years the station broadcast classic advertisements, called "TV Land Retromercials". Examples of advertisements aired are the "Mamma mia, that's a spicy meatball!" from Alka-Seltzer and "In Soviet Georgia" from Dannon yogurt, as well as the animated Tootsie Pop owl. Some retromercials have included future stars like Judd Hirsch, Rene Russo, Roy Scheider and Jodie Foster. Interspersed with the classic commercials were fictional retro-style commercials for various substances, almost always brand named "Twip". These were dropped in recent years altogether. In early years, current commercials were not shown on TV Land. Also featured frequently during "commercial" breaks were CBS News' In the News segments from the 1970s and 1980s.
During its first three years, the station broadcast original programming called "Sixty Second Sitcoms". These were minute long parodies of sitcoms from various TV eras which also contained fake opening and end credits, and concluded with "This has been a TV Land Presentation" logo. The shows included "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), and "Spin & Cutter" (a parody of Perfect Strangers-style 1970s and 1980s buddy shows that featured characters saying things like "What could possibly be worse than this?" followed by the picture spinning and a cut to a scene featuring another added element and the other character saying "You had to ask, didn't you?"). Each of the series had several segments and ran alternating with the Retromercials.
Recent programming direction 
Starting in 2007, the network began airing post-1970s shows in an effort to maintain the standard 18-49 TV demographic (by rerunning shows familiar to younger audiences). The network no longer labels itself as a "Classic TV" network (over-the-air rivals Retro Television Network, Me-TV and Antenna TV now have that focus). The network acquired shows such as Murphy Brown, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Scrubs for 2008. The network began airing more original programming in 2008 with a revival of The WB's High School Reunion (which features reunions of older classes than the original series) and a modeling competition for women over 40 called She's Got the Look. Accompanying this strategy was a refresh of the network's graphic identity designed and conceived by Trollback + Company, who also created its earlier look in 2000.
In October 2008, the network began devoting its late primetime schedule to a new programming block airing from 9 pm-midnight Monday-Friday, called TV Land Prime, which featured the network's original programming efforts, movies, and newer archive programming at the time such as 3rd Rock from the Sun, Scrubs, Just Shoot Me!, and The Cosby Show with a branding campaign which was drastically different than TV Land's general imaging. The "dot" logo accompanying the "Prime" logo was dropped with the TV Land logo put in its place in November 2009; some programs featured in the block that air in timeslots outside the block have used the TV Land Prime logo bug. The block has since been dropped.
TV Land added more recent shows in 2009 and 2010, with Roseanne, and Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, The Nanny and Boston Legal. The syndicated fare acquired for TV Land has had mixed results, although programs such as The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond have been a success. Older series still air throughout the day.
The network also began its first foray into original scripted programming in 2010, beginning with two new sitcoms. Hot in Cleveland, starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, premiered in June 2010 to 4.75 million viewers, a TV Land record. Meanwhile, Retired at 35, starring George Segal, Johnathan McClain and Jessica Walter premiered on January 19, 2011. The network continued to have success in 2011 with original sitcoms, such as Happily Divorced starring Fran Drescher, which premiered on June 15, 2011, and The Exes, which premiered on November 30, 2011. The Soul Man, a spin-off of Hot in Cleveland, debuted on June 20, 2012. Currently, TV Land has three scripted pilots in development: I'm Not Dead Yet starring Ben Falcone, Giant Baby starring Kirstie Alley and Brothers-in-Law starring Josh Cooke.
When a program deemed particularly important is airing on another network, TV Land has aired nonsense programming (such as footage of staff members holding signs or wearing T-shirts) to encourage viewers to watch the network programming. Recent examples include the series finales of Friends (2004) and Everybody Loves Raymond (2005). The network went dark during the last episode of Seinfeld (1998).
TV Land original sitcoms 
- Hot in Cleveland (2010–present)
- Retired at 35 (2010–2012)
- Happily Divorced (2011–present)
- The Exes (2011–present)
- The Soul Man (2012–present)
- Kirstie's New Show (2013-present)
TV Land HD 
- Take Me to TV Land (1996–1999)
- We're Crazy About Television (1999–2001)
- TV Satisfaction. Guaranteed. (2001–2006)
- Here for the TV Generation (2006–2007)
- Look Again (2011)
- Laugh More (2011–present)
TV Land Awards 
TV Land has been the broadcast home for the TV Land Awards show since the show's inception in 2003. The TV Land Awards are celebration of past classic TV shows and TV stars. The TV Land Awards previously broadcast simultaneously on Nick at Nite until 2007.
TV Land statues of TV icons 
- The Bob Newhart Show — statue of Bob Newhart, Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show — statue of Mary Tyler Moore, 7th Street & Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- The Honeymooners — statue of Jackie Gleason, 40th Street & 8th Avenue, New York, New York
- The Andy Griffith Show — statues of Andy Griffith and Ron Howard, Pullen Park, Raleigh, North Carolina and at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
- Bewitched — statue of Elizabeth Montgomery, Salem, Massachusetts
- Aloha from Hawaii — statue of Elvis Presley, Neal Blaisdell Center Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Happy Days — statue of Henry Winkler as Fonzie (nicknamed the "Bronze Fonz"), Milwaukee Riverwalk, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Bianculli, David, "Oldies Net Loaded with Goodies"; New York Daily News, March 19, 1996
- "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
- "Nick-at-Nite's TV Land joins U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Lineup"; Business Wire, April 30, 1996
- TV Land archives on Freewebs (1996–2004)
- 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.
- 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
- Nellie Andreeva TV Land finds cast for George Segal pilot; Hollywood Reporter, January 3, 2010