In the past six months, many cities across the United States have been getting a new network that shows nothing but classic television series from the 50s through the 80s – Me-TV! Me-TV, owned by Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, is a free, over-the-air network that airs in select markets on local channels and some cable systems in an area where there is an affiliate. Free television just got a whole lot better!
In most cities, Me-TV is carried on a subchannel of a local broadcast station. Subchannels are “built in” channels on a television station. With digital television, you can have two, three, or sometimes even more channels in one – such as 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4. All it takes to get Me-TV, if it is available in your area, is a digital television or digital converter box and an antenna.
What is Me-TV?
Me-TV stands for Memorable Entertainment television, a reference to classic television. Me-TV is extremely dedicated to classic television, and airs sitcoms and dramas from the 1950s through 1980s. It is very similar to the old format and style of Nick at Nite and TV Land. The network also uses creative promotional ads for its shows, such as “Confessions of a Redhead” (for I Love Lucy) or “Mary Mishaps” (for The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, combining clips of Mary Tyler Moore’s roles on both shows). Me-TV initially began as a classic television block on a local Chicago station in the early 2000s, and became so popular that it became a full time local channel. After expanding in to the Milwaukee, WI and South Bend, IN markets in the latter 2000s, Weigel Broadcasting began offering Me-TV to local channels nationwide in December 2010. Me-TV respects its shows, and only places a small logo in the bottom right corner of the screen. There are no large logos, pop-up ads, or banners across the screen while a program is airing. Me-TV is currently seen in many American cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, San Fransisco, and Atlanta. Me-TV is the sister network to another digital network, THIS TV, which airs primarily movies.
What’s on Me-TV?
Me-TV’s programming includes shows from CBS Television Distribution and 20th Century Fox. Me-TV’s current roster of shows during the week includes Petticoat Junction, I Love Lucy, Hogan’s Heroes, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, The Mary Tyer Moore Show, M*A*S*H, The Twilight Zone, Cheers, The Bob Newhart Show, and many more. On the weekends, the network airs some different shows, such as Taxi, The Odd Couple, The Brady Bunch, The Wild Wild West, and Happy Days. Some of the shows air in their original, un-edited form, while others have been edited and are not aired in full. Me-TV only airs one movie a week, and that is the Svengoolie horror movie of the week, which airs on Saturday nights. If an actor passes away, it is common for Me-TV to do a marathon of one of their shows, if possible. The network also has other marathons and special programming blocks from time to time. Most of the shows on Me-TV have been remastered and air in the highest quality possible.
Where can I find Me-TV?
You can find if Me-TV is in or coming to your area by visiting their website and entering your ZIP code. Then, you will be taken to a page that will list if the network is available in your area, and which station it is found on. If it is not currently on the air but coming soon, it may list it as coming soon and reference which station to look for it on. Don’t be discouraged if Me-TV is not on the air in or coming to your area; contact your local television stations and ask them to consider adding it! If Me-TV is on in your area, all you need is a digital television set or digital converter box and antenna. You may need to scan your digital television or box for the channel. In many cities, the local Me-TV affiliate is carried on the local digital cable system. It is currently not carried by satellite providers unless it is on a full-power affiliate, and not a subchannel.
Me-TV is a fantastic new network, and reminds me of what TV Land was until several years ago. There is something for everyone, and always something on. It is yet another addition to the ever-growing digital broadcast landscape, joining other digital broadcast networks that are offered over the air such as Antenna TV and THIS TV. I feel that subchannels and digital broadcasting are the future for classic television (outside of DVD’s), so this is a great network.