|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 (HD/SD)
1304 On Demand
|Dish Network||Channel 106 (SD only)|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - Channel 215 (Until Oct. 12, 2011)|
|Available on most cable providers||Check local listings for channels|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 1138 (HD)
Channel 138 (SD)
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 741 (HD)
Channel 244 (SD)
TV Land (stylized as TVland and originally known as "Nick at Nite's TV Land") is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the MTV Networks Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. Originally consisting exclusively of classic television shows, the channel now airs a combination of recent and classic television series, original scripted and reality series, and theatrically released movies.
As of August 2013, approximately 96,282,000 American households (84.31% of households with television) receive TV Land.
Building on the success and popularity of Nick at Nite, TV Land launched on April 29, 1996, initially featuring a mix of a classic and short-lived television series from the 1950s through the 1980s, often those from the Paramount library – including situation comedies, drama and variety series – 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!"; a soundbite of Bullwinkle's phrase was occasionally used in TV Land promotions. The "TV Land" 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 it appeared in such slogans 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 slogans once the TV Land network was launched, in order to prevent viewers from confusing the two separate channels.
Its inaugural year featured programs such as Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, The Ed Sullivan Show, Gunsmoke and The Honeymooners. Detective series were featured every Saturday, with programs including Honey West, Dog and Cat, Burke's Law, Nero Wolfe (1981) and Ace Crawford, Private Eye. The channel ran a block of westerns called "TV Land Goes West", which featured shows such as Shane, Barbary Coast, Have Gun, Will Travel and Best of the West. It also aired two comedy blocks: "Hooterville Saturday" featuring episodes of Petticoat Junction and Green Acres; and "Sunday in the Barracks", featuring military-themed sitcoms The Phil Silvers Show and Hogan's Heroes.
Although the channel launched during a time when retransmission consent was becoming more common amongst cable networks and broadcast television stations nationwide due to a provision in the 1992 Cable Act, MTV Networks chose to offer TV Land to cable television providers free for five years, as long as they added the channel to their expanded basic tiers during 1996.
Shortly after the cable network'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 cable networks outside the joint venture, Viacom had been in breach of contract ever since the company bought Paramount Pictures 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 its half stake in USA Network 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 to rank the 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time, as part of a feature in the magazine and a special on the network. In 1999, TV Land entered into a deal with Universal 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, 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."
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. 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 the "TV" and the sans serif type to the "LAND" in the logo. TV Land celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 29, 2006. Also in 2006, TV Land began to be operated separately from Nick at Nite, though Viacom continued to operate the channel as part of its MTV Networks division (which was renamed Viacom Media Networks in 2011).
The network's original continuity announcer was DJ Dan Ingram. Harry Shearer served as the regular announcer for the network's promos during the 2000s (Shearer no longer does promotions for TV Land as of 2010). In 2008, TV Land added three hours of infomercials to its 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 division 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.
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. A completely new logo was introduced on May 8, 2012, which not only changes the design and font (though retaining the double-trapezoidal outline, which was now placed on the top left side), but moves the "Land" part of the name to the right, next to the "TV" moniker.
TVLand's programming in the early years consisted of all eras of television consisting anywhere from black and white sitcoms to dramas to variety shows to westerns. Currently TVLand's main focus is original programming like Hot In Cleveland, The Exes, and Kirstie. TVLand's original Happily Divorced still airs on TVLand yet the series was cancelled in 2013. TVLand also airs more recent programming such as The Nanny,That 70's Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boston Legal, The King Of Queens, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Other more recent shows include Roseanne, The Golden Girls, The Cosby Show. TVLand continues to air the timeless classics as well such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show and The Brady Bunch.
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. In the past, TV Land often aired marathon each weekend 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 certain holidays.
For several years, the channel broadcast classic advertisements, called "TV Land Retromercials". Examples of advertisements aired are Alka-Seltzer's "Mamma mia, that's a spicy meatball!" commercial and the "In Soviet Georgia" ad from Dannon yogurt, as well as the animated Tootsie Pop owl commercial. Some of these "retromercials" 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 altogether by the early 2000s. 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 channel broadcast original shorts called "Sixty Second Sitcoms". These were 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" 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 cutting 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 alternatingly with the retromercials.
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).
Recent programming direction
Starting in 2007, the network began airing post-1970s and 1980s shows in an effort to attract adults in the 18 to 49 age demographic favored by advertisers (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 introduced a new weeknight late primetime programming block airing from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET, 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, Mad About You, Murphy Brown, Wings, NewsRadio, 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 replaced by TV Land's standard logo in November 2009; some programs featured in the block that aired in timeslots outside the block have used the TV Land Prime logo bug. The "TV Land Prime" block was later dropped in 2011.
TV Land added more recent shows from 2009 to 2013, with Roseanne, Everybody Loves Raymond, Will and Grace, Home Improvement, The Nanny, The King of Queens, That '70s Show, The Golden Girls, Friends, 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 performed well for the network viewership-wise. 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 a record audience for the channel of 4.75 million viewers. Retired at 35, starring George Segal, Johnathan McClain and Jessica Walter later made its debut 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. The Kirstie Alley sitcom Kirstie (which reunites Alley with former Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman) premiered on December 4, 2013.
TV Land Awards
TV Land has been the broadcast home for the TV Land Awards since the show's inception in 2003. The awards telecast celebrates past classic television shows and television stars. The TV Land Awards previously broadcast simultaneously on Nick at Nite until 2007.
TV Land HD
TV Land HD is a 1080i high definition simulcast feed of TV Land, which launched in November 2011. It is currently available on cable and IPTV providers such as AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision and Charter Communications in select areas and nationally on satellite provider DirecTV.
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
- "Take Me to TV Land" (1996–1998)
- "We're Crazy About Television" (1998–2001)
- "TV Satisfaction. Guaranteed." (2001–2006)
- "Here for the TV Generation" (2006–2007)
- "Look Again" (2011)
- "Laugh More" (2011–present)
On, 2001, Craig Media launched a Category 2 digital cable and satellite specialty channel called TV Land Canada, through a brand licensing agreement with Viacom (which later acquired a minority ownership stake months following 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 through 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 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 ceased operations in 2000.
- Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- Bianculli, David, "Oldies Net Loaded with Goodies"; New York Daily News, March 19, 1996
- TV Land archives on Freewebs (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
- Nellie Andreeva TV Land finds cast for George Segal pilot; Hollywood Reporter, January 3, 2010
- 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.