Hitting the BUZZR through Decades

The era of digital subchannels, those stations that add a .2 or .3 to what you are watching is still going strong and two new channels are coming on as the time to not watch TV increases.

One of the new channels being launched is done so with a soft launch.  A kind of preview.  That channel is Decades.  It’s like TV Land or MeTV meets the History Channel.  The venture between CBS and Weigel Broadcasting.  For the Tiffany Network it’s their first venture into multi-casting.  And CBS does have quite the library of shows from its many divisions including Paramount distribution and Viacom to air.  The network debuted last October on only three markets, including WCBS 2.2 in New York (Optimum customers can see the channel on 112).

So as to be more original than other retro TV channels like MeTV, CoziTV and Antenna TV the programs aired on each day’s schedule will be centered around a theme, with special segment filling breaks to highlight the theme. The themes will be topped off with an original production called Through the Decades, an hour-long program hosted by former WBBM-TV Chicago anchorman and CBS News reporter Bill Kurtis from Chicago.  Through The Deacdes will that explore the events and news from a particular day or period in history, using archival footage CBS owns through many services such as CBS News or Entertainment Tonight.

As of this wriing Decades is engaging in the new TV phenomenon binge watching where viewers see episode after episode of shows; in this case the David Jansen vehicle The Fugitive.  The big launch takes place on Memorial Day, May 25th.

Decades will be seen on many CBS owned stations

Also getting into classic TV; make that classic GAME SHOWS, is BUZZR (note a missing vowel here?) It’s a channel owned by Freemantle Media (former Goodson-Todman productions) and will, like the former Game Show Network did in the 1990’s, air classic game shows from a vast library of shows run by Freemantle.

The channel, set to launch June 1st, will be on WWOR-TV 9.3, which will send the urban-themed Bounce TV to WXTV 41.3 (yes English language programming on a Spanish language kingpin).

BUZZR began as a YouTube channel created and produced by digital content studio Tiny Riot, in late-2014. The Buzzr YouTube channel features classic clips, and short-form versions of its game show properties (like Family Feud and Password), with internet celebrities as contestants.  The audience of the shows are that bunch of clueless people called millennials.

Last January, Fremantle announced it would launch Buzzr TV, to serve as an extension of the brand.  BUZZR suits then teamed up with stations owned by Fox Television Stations (which My 9 is, co-owned with WNYW Fox 5)

Thom Beers, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, said starting this kind of channel was a “top priority” for Fremantle. Beers said the goal is to focus toward older adults, with Beers saying the “old-format game shows are really, really hard [for the younger viewership that the Buzzr YouTube channel targets] to watch.”  Count this 41-year-old as part of that format.  To me it’s a new way to introduce game shows to young people…and perhaps to stop their super short attention spans!

The network’s first lineup going from the 1950s to the 2000s – is expected to include such programs as To Tell the Truth (all versions), Password (all versions), Family Feud (all episodes up to John O’Hurley hosting…in other words…NO STEVE HARVEY.  THAT’S FOR THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS GSN), Let’s Make a Deal (Monty Hall), all versions of What’s My Line?, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, and Match Game.  The Price Is Right might be included, depending on how Bob Barker sees fit, especially with his matter of episodes with fur coats offered.

To celebrate the launch, BUZZR TV has put out the following, very clever ad where many of the iconic bells and buzzers are given a beat.  Thanks to game show fan Chad Mosher’s YouTube for this.


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