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For New Yorkers (Inspired by the "CW In Trouble..." thread)... (1 Viewer)

John Kilduff

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With all this talk of the CW shutting down, this thought came to mind.

I would love for the CW affiliates to become syndicate networks again if the channel goes under.

Why? Well, for those of you in the New York area, do these 4 words ring a bell?

"New York's Movie Station!"

Yep, long before the CW, and before the WB, WPIX was New York's Movie Station. Movies every weeknight and double features on both Saturday and Sunday. Yes, the movies were edited, but I was introduced to a bunch of great titles anyway. I would love for those days to come back.

Yes, I know WPIX still airs movies on the weekends, but it's like it's a set group of movies from a set group of studios (Disney and its' subsidiaries, primarily). I want to return to the time when they aired movies every night.

I know that channels like Fuse have picked up the weeknight movie tradition, and channels like AMC are now in possession of broadcast rights to many titles that used to air on WPIX (like the Cannon titles, for example), but if whoever owns WPIX could get the rights to these titles back, then New York's Movie Station could once again thrive, just like in those glorious days before the WB.

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

Could it happen, or is this wishful thinking?
 

MatthewA

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I doubt it will happen. In the 1980s, home video was new and cable was still growing. There are just too many outlets today (not to mention uncut, OAR, and even HD movies) for it to be viable for local stations. Networks barely bother with movies anymore except for big-ticket ones.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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My favorite thing about the Derry, NH MyTV affiliate is that it basically became an unaffiliated network. That coupled with Channel 38 Boston made having no cable a lot more bearable. Loved the multiple daily syndicated runs of "That 70's Show" and "Two and a Half Men", and loved the daytime movies.
Syndicate networks might not make much sense in a 300 channel world, but when you're still using rabbit ears or a roof-mounted antenna they're absolute lifesavers.
 

Jason Seaver

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It's also worth mentioning that when the the networks shut down, it's not like a lot of orphaned stations went back to showing movies. WSBK in Boston, for instance, fills their prime-time schedule with second runs of Dr. Phil and Jeopardy! and a 9pm news broadcast; no return of "The Movie Loft" for them. Considering the other sources for movies, it appears the demand for cut, cropped, and censored movies isn't big enough for that to be appealing.

Meanwhile, all the sports have retreated to regional cable sports networks, in part because the teams often own a chunk of them and in part because Fox/UPN/WB/Pax ate up all the broadcast outlets available. It got to be kind of rough running one of those stations now.
 

Ray H

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I remember that! I saw so many great movies on that network. Didn't really know the whole WPIX/WB thing though. I just figured they started showing more shows and less and less movies.
 

Jesse Skeen

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In the mid-80s some stations aired movies uncut and uncensored. Most eventually stopped due to complaints, I don't know if the FCC ever got involved or not.

Back then I wanted to work for an independent TV station- I liked them better than network affiliates because they had a lot more freedom to take chances and program based on the areas they were in. Sadly Fox killed off most of these stations, while most of the rest went after UPN and WB started up. It also doesn't help that a handful of big companies own most TV stations now, so even the times without network programming there isn't as much individuality as there used to be.

Home video has certainly decreased the need for movies on TV, but if I ran a station right now I would try to show stuff that hasn't been commercially released or is out of print. One problem I've noticed with syndicated movies these days is that they all seem to be pre-packaged for TV with edits already made and commercial breaks placed with some included spots. Before, stations usually got the complete movie (what sort of format it was on I'm not sure, the old stuff was on 16mm but the newer stuff looked like whatever the premium cable channels use) and it was up to someone at the station to decide where the commercial breaks would go, or what if anything to cut out.

Some stuff from the late great KTXL TV-40 in Sacramento, before the Fox network ruined it:
 

Tony J Case

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I didnt have WPIX in my neck of the woods, but I did have KSTW - and they ran on saturday afternoons, as soon as the cartoons shut down, Sci-Fi theater. The opening credits was this purple oscilioscope with the Logan's Run heartbeat music, as the announcer (with a voice of doom) announced today's rock'em sock'em movie - This Island Earth, every Godzilla flick under the sun, Prince of Space, Planet of the Apes, Westworld, the list of bad and good flicks was without end.

Oh, sure they were dubbed, pan-and-scan and edited with commercial breaks every half hour, but that was part of the nostalga - like a kid friendly Grindhouse experiance. I weep that kids today dont have anything cool like that - or dialing for dollars, or the midnight movie - anymore.
 

Jason Seaver

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Yeah, now they can just see any movie they want at any time without compromise. Those poor, poor kids. :rolleyes
 

MatthewA

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I have no nostalgia for movies on broadcast TV. I wasn't around in the 1970s, but even as a child, I hated the fact that they were edited, and as soon as I learned about aspect ratios I hated pan-and-scanning too. Not to mention the commercials. Didn't the FCC also at one time mandate that on all broadcasts the TV screen must be filled at all times, ruling out the possibility of OAR widescreen movies on TV?

Sure the intros were cool, but they were 30 seconds long and you can find many of them on YouTube. I'm surprised someone doesn't try to sell them on a DVD.
 

Tony J Case

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Um, actually, yeah. They're missing out on a cultural thing that's just as important as the actual act of watching. I remember long discussions in the schoolyard monday morning about how cool that last Godzilla film was, or the lineup of this year's Saturday morning cartoons (another lost aspect of childhood). I remember all kinds of rumors about the lost third season of Star Blazers, whispered about in almost a mytical way. Kids dont get any of that these days.

So yeah, keep your rolling eyes to yourself - monster movies on TV are far more than just plugging a DVD in and going.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I saw plenty of movies on TV that I wouldn't have watched under any other circumstance: movies that didn't meet the rental threshold or just never stood out to me when I was browsing on my own. Movies on TV are a great way to kill an afternoon.
Sometimes too much choice can be a limitation too. I'd take 50 channel analog cable with movies regularly airing in themed marathons over 800 channel digital cable any day of the week.
Even now, I'll occasionally get sucked into watching a film I own in perfect quality on DVD chopped and cropped on TV. Even watching along, movies on TV are an interaction in a way that movies on DVD are not.
 

MatthewA

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That certainly puts things in a different perspective. Although the floodgates have been opened, and it's a little late to shut them.

But kids still talk about their favorite cartoons. They just have more cartoons and more places to talk, and they can do it any day of the week. Still, it's a little sad that Saturday morning TV is pretty much a nonentity (I haven't bothered with them since Garfield and Friends was cancelled), but they failed to be competitive with Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney. And of course there's that whole FCC educational mandate thing.

I can see what you mean by the whole communal aspect of it.
 

Jason Seaver

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That today's kids don't have the same movie/TV-watching experiences we did (and yours are likely different from mine) doesn't mean they don't have their own, which are just as rewarding to them as yours are to you. Your parents probably thought the Saturday afternoon movie on TV was a poor replacement for double features at the nickelodeon, and so on back to looking at cave paintings rather than listening to the tribe's storyteller.

Having a seemingly infinite amount of choices isn't better in every way - it is admittedly less likely for someone to stumble upon something they wind up liking outside their usual comfort zone - but the potential benefits of having more choices are obvious, and it's foolish to allow nostalgia to blind us to them.
 

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