Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DVR alert!: Me-TV enters the Saturday Morning wars!

Me-TV,  Ivan Shreve's favorite channel of the moment, next to Encore Westerns (if you follow Ivan's blog, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, you'll understand), entered the Saturday morning wars earlier this month, but you'd have to either be an extremely early riser, or set your DVR's so you can catch up when you do wake up.

You see, Me-TV has programmed a 3-hour block from 5-8 am (ET), ahead of their Green Screen Adventures block, which, oh, by the way, has been trimmed from 3 hours down to 2 (now 8-10 am on Saturdays & Sundays), while they've added two more shows, the titles of which escape me at the moment, to fulfill the FCC E/I requirements. Here's the "dawn patrol" portion of the lineup, as of 4/7/12. All times Eastern:

5 am: Gumby. A full half hour, as opposed to the time-fillers airing on Retro in between programs.
5:30: The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo. Magoo (Jim Backus, Gilligan's Island) is cast as an actor starring in theatre productions of literary classics.
6: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe. Two back-to-back episodes of the original series.
7: She-Ra: Princess of Power. Ditto. Retro airs single episodes of She-Ra & He-Man---in that order, mind---from 10-11 (ET).

I get that Me-TV is unwilling to push back the start of their Western block, and they really have little choice as it relates to He-Man & She-Ra, to avoid competing directly with Retro. The FCC regulations further hamstring them, although it seems Retro doesn't have that problem, as the only E/I-eligible programs in their Saturday morning block happen to be their bookends: Fat Albert & Lassie. It isn't helping that Retro has edited out the moral messages at the end of most of the Filmation programs, but maybe Me-TV is leaving them intact in their prints of He-Man & She-Ra. I don't know for sure.

Classic Media, which holds the rights to the majority of the Filmation library, is reaping the benefits, as their product is also airing on Qubo (check local listings), which does have its own channel, as opposed to programming NBC's current lineup, although that's soon going to change from what I've read. Now, if they could just find a home for the Lone Ranger, we'll be all set.......!

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