More classic-era TV series coming to Starz/Encore channels

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Peter M Fitzgerald, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

    Mar 21, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Peter Fitzgerald
    Channel-surfing a bit this morning, I caught the end of a film on Encore-Action, and the subsequent between-film promo filler. It was here that Encore-Action announced that the 1960s GREEN HORNET series (starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee, by the folks who gave us the 1960s BATMAN show) will begin airing in October. Also announced was the return of the 1960s WWII action/drama series, COMBAT! (starring Vic Morrow & Rick Jason; several episodes were directed by Robert Altman), which got some steady play on Encore-Action a few years ago.

    This info sent me online in search of more, via Starz/Encore's website, their press release section, and schedules provided for some of the Encore specialty channels (Encore-Action, Encore-Mystery, Encore-Westerns). Apparently, Starz/Encore just inked a new deal with Fox, focusing mainly on Fox's film library, though also including the rights to three of Fox's 1960s TV series: THE GREEN HORNET, Irwin Allen's TIME TUNNEL, and THE BIG VALLEY.

    THE GREEN HORNET will begin airing as back-to-back dual-episode blocks on Saturday mornings, at 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM (Eastern Time), as of October 4th.

    No sign yet of THE BIG VALLEY (which will naturally go to Encore-Westerns) or TIME TUNNEL (likely Encore-Action). I suspect that since the half-hour GREEN HORNET and hour-long TIME TUNNEL were both short-lived series, Encore-Action will possibly alternate the two shows every few months, in that Saturday morning time slot.

    The great thing about all this is that Starz/Encore is the only outfit in the North American cable/satellite world that runs classic series commercial-free and uncut (proviso: unless STARZ/Encore is given time-compressed source material... COMBAT! (not a Fox series) used to run that way on Encore-Action, if memory serves; hopefully that flaw will be corrected this time around).

    As for the classic shows that have been already running on Encore-Westerns and Encore-Mystery: THE GENE AUTRY SHOW continues, as do the hour-long black-and-white GUNSMOKE episodes. THE AVENGERS disappear from Encore-Mystery in October (currently unclear whether this is temporary or permanent), but NIGHT GALLERY remains, moving to 11 AM (Eastern) weekday airings. If only Encore-Mystery would pick up Universal's TV series THRILLER (1961-62), M-SQUAD (1957-60) and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (1955-62)...

    Anyway, a heads-up to those interested in these things.
  2. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 5, 2003
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    Thanks Peter for the heads up.

    The Encore channels do contain some really good programming. With the Fox alliance announced one can hope that Encore Mystery will pick up the Charlie Chan series that Fox Movie Channel dropped.

    Seeing "The Green Hornet" again will be good. I caught a few episodes (cut and with commericials) on FX several years ago. Perhaps they can lure Van Williams out of retirement to do some promos.

    I second your motion about "Thriller" et al. I also wish they'd pick up "Perry Mason".

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