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All Columns Editorial

Bad television: the key to our cable future

Guest column by Allan Britnell

We’ve had new cable channels for a few months now. You remember all the stink when they first came out; negative option billing, a channel that excludes 48 per cent of the population, no MuchMusicII for Moses Znaimer. And what have we learned from these new channels? That the CRTC missed the boat! Does the world really need two country music stations (this should be rhetorical, but I’ll answer it anyway; no. No. NO. NO! NO!!!)? What we wanted, what we truly needed, was B-TV. That’s B for really Bad television. It would be a station that would air all the worst crap that the TV archives have to offer. Failed pilots, shows that made five or six episodes and got yanked, and stuff that stayed on TV for years but never should have. 

I know everybody already complains that TV sucks, but at least the really bad stuff is fun to watch. Can’t you just picture it, a channel that is will bring you such classics as Gilligan’s Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The A-Team 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

B-TV could have specialty nights. Instead of traditional Monday night movies, they could air all those two-hour series premieres that were cancelled before the first episode even ended. Every week would feature another series that bombed after three or four episodes.

If a TV exec decided the station needed to run Sunday night movies, they could do it. Hollywood has produced dozens of films that they borrowed from B-TV in the first place. There’s The Beverly Hillbillies, The Brady Bunch, The Addams Family, and Ginger’s Island. (The latter would probably have to air after midnight. Okay, maybe 3 a.m.).

It’s Friday night. You’re sitting around drinking a few beers, waiting for an acceptable hour to hit the bars. Forget watching COPS. B-TV’s got Cop Rock.

Soaps. B-TV’s got soaps (any soap opera would qualify, but nothing but the best for B-TV). Anyone remember The Edge of Night? This one featured vampires, zombies, and real witches.

The best part of the station would be Saturday mornings. Start at 6 a.m. with The Land of Oz cartoon, or Hilarious House of Frightenstein. A follow-up menu of Jem and the Holograms, Transformers, and Pac-man would do nicely. For lunchtime, Hammy Hamster. Not the new series (they actually made one) — the original glue-the-hammer-to-G.P.’s-paw episodes. How about some Polka Dot Door, Battle of the Planets, and The Care Bears to round out the morning? What 6-year-old or university student wouldn’t be glued to the set?

So Moses, next time you’re shopping around for ideas, forget YuppieMusic and go with B-TV. Give me a call. We’ll do lunch (the meal, not that horrible TV show).

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