I posted this elsewhere before, but I think it's still very relevant now as we're in 2012:
Yeah, I said it. 2011 has turned out to be a great year for classic television.
Now that I've said that, if you're as big an oldies fan as I am, you're probably thinking "What?! But TV Land is terrible. Hallmark's constant schedule shuffling is annoying. GSN only airs the same 4 classics over and over and they don't even show the full runs of them! SOAPnet airs nothing older than 1990 on a regular basis anymore!" If you are thinking any of that, well, you're right.
I haven't had GSN for several months now, and while there are some steps in the right direction, like with Jeopardy! and $100,000 Pyramid being back, I still can't say that I miss having it. I don't expect it to be all oldies all the time, but with most of their library consisting of classics, one would think they'd see more variety with the airings. I tried to keep up with Empty Nest on Hallmark all while they aired the show, and trying to follow it on there drove me crazy with how much it was bounced around. Not only did that show itself move around a lot, but there was more than one occasion where it'd change so fast that the cable guide couldn't keep up. The entire line-up in general often goes through many frequent, and seemingly haphazard changes. And don't get me started on how they edit The Golden Girls. Makes me glad I have all the DVD's at this point. And anyone like me who's followed TV Land for a significant period of time knows that channel is a shell of its former self. SOAPnet is going away, and the 1970's Ryan's Hope reruns already left the airwaves before the channel has even disappeared yet. So, yes. All of that does suck.
But even with all those gripes, classic TV in general is doing fine though. Elsewhere. When I say this I'm referring to over-the-air digital subchannels like MeTV and Antenna TV. We've had MeTV in this area for several months now, and boy, let me tell you, this is a classic TV lover's paradise with many beloved series. Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Laverne & Shirley, I Love Lucy, The Odd Couple, Taxi, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason... I could go on. This reminds me of what TV Land was like in its prime. When I didn't have cable and was pining for it. A little less than a month ago we got Antenna TV. I couldn't have been happier. Shows like Maude, Too Close for Comfort, Three's Company (and even the spinoffs The Ropers and Three's A Crowd), Soap, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents are now readily available.
Really, if you're interested in seeing some old favorites that you haven't watched in years or if you're new to some others, there's a good chance that you'll find something to enjoy on both of those channels. With the way many cable channels have evolved in the past decade, I never thought we'd have this many shows to choose from and enjoy on TV again. Oh, and did I mention the newest launched digital subchannel, Bounce TV, airs classic Soul Train on a regular basis?
So yes, 2011 has been a very good year in my eyes for vintage television. Most of it's just not on cable or satellite exclusive channels. If you don't have any of these channels, then I strongly suggest you contact your local stations and ask for them to be added.