|Launched||April 29, 1996|
|Owned by||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
|Formerly called||Nick at Nite's TV Land (1996-1997)|
|Orby TV||Channel 230|
|Dish Network||Channel 106 (SD)|
|DirecTV||Channel 304 (HD/SD)|
Channel 1304 (VOD)
|Available on most cable systems||Varies by cable provider|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 241 (SD)|
Channel 741 (HD)
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 138 (East; SD)|
Channel 139 (West; SD)
Channel 1138 (East; HD)
Channel 1139 (West; HD)
|Philo||Internet Protocol television|
|fuboTV||Internet Protocol television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|AT&T TV||Internet Protocol television|
TV Land is an American pay television channel that is owned by ViacomCBS through its domestic networks division. Originally a spinoff of Nick at Nite consisting exclusively of classic television shows, the channel now airs a combination of recent and classic television series (ranging from the 1960s to the 2010s), original scripted series, and limited theatrically released movies. The network is headquartered at One Astor Plaza in New York City.
TV Land is available to about 90 million households in the United States as of January 2016.
Launch and debut
TV Land launched at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on April 29, 1996, and was originally called Nick at Nite's TV Land to provide reassurance to new viewers of who was behind the channel. The first program to air on the network was Love, American Style, and the episode entitled "Love and the Happy Days", which had later been recycled as the pilot episode for the 1974-1984 ABC sitcom Happy Days. The phrase "TV Land" (and a variant, "television land") had been in popular parlance since at least the late 1950s to refer to the viewing audience; early examples of its use included on The Honeymooners and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, and clips of the use of the phrase in both shows were used in the network's early promos. The phrase was then used by Nick at Nite in the 1980s as the name of the fictional place where the channel received its classic programming block, and was utilized in slogans such as "Nick at Nite: Hello Out There From TV Land!" for much of that decade. However, Nick at Nite quit using the term in its own branding campaigns in September 1997, seventeen months after the TV Land network launched, in order to prevent viewers from confusing the two separate channels.
The network's original lineup consisted of: Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, The Ed Sullivan Show, Gunsmoke, That Girl, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, Honey West, The Addams Family, Love, American Style, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres; The Phil Silvers Show and Hogan's Heroes.
Although the channel launched during a time when retransmission consent was becoming more common amongst subscription networks and terrestrial television stations nationwide due to a provision in the 1992 Cable Act, MTV Networks chose to offer TV Land to subscription providers for free for its five years of operation, as long as they added the channel to their expanded basic tiers during the 1996 calendar year. Likewise, USSB, then one of two services that used the DirecTV satellite, offered TV Land as a free channel to USSB and DirecTV satellite users, without requiring a subscription, for its first years on air.
Shortly after TV Land's debut, MCA filed a lawsuit against Viacom. Because MCA's original agreement with Paramount Pictures to operate USA Network prohibited either partner from operating other pay-television networks outside the joint venture, Viacom had been in breach of contract ever since the company bought Paramount in 1994, because it had operated MTV Networks (whose holdings include Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1) since its founding in 1983, and Showtime Networks (owners of Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix.) since it was founded in 1985. MCA claimed that the intention of TV Land was to compete directly with USA (this turned out to be true). Viacom claimed that the matter had already been settled when Sumner Redstone released Frank Biondi from his contract to let him work at MCA. The suit was eventually settled when Viacom agreed to sell its 50% stake in USA Networks to MCA (MCA later became Universal Studios, formerly just a subsidiary, which eventually merged with NBC and later, Comcast).
In February 1999, according to Nielsen ratings data, TV Land averaged a 1.0 share during primetime, tying ESPN for 10th place among all pay-television networks. Its siblings, MTV and VH1, respectively tied for 17th and 26th place. Columnist John Dempsey reported in Variety, "That February rating put TV Land into the top 10 for the first time since it began operating, and opened the eyes of the TV industry to the rich vein of golden-oldie TV shows that distributors are mining for an audience of nostalgia buffs and kids who are stumbling across the series for the first time."
Original programming efforts and shift to Generation X
The network first forayed into original scripted programming in 2010 with the debut of the sitcom Hot in Cleveland (starring established sitcom stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White), which premiered in June 2010 to 4.75 million viewers, a record audience for the channel. (The success of that series led to a spin-off called The Soul Man, which debuted in June 2012.) This was followed by the January 19, 2011 debut of Retired at 35.
In November 2014, amid growing allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, the network announced that it was removing reruns of The Cosby Show from its lineup, and deleted all references of the series from its website; a marathon of episodes from the series that had been scheduled for Thanksgiving was also cancelled. In its place was episodes from the Steve Harvey run of Family Feud.
The network began a programming transition in March 2015, when the new Sutton Foster series Younger was launched without either traditional network branding or advertising. After Memorial Day and the series finale of Hot in Cleveland, a new logo was unveiled as part of a larger re brand that saw TV Land shift its focus to Generation X viewers who grew into the network's demographic. New original series Impastor and The Jim Gaffigan Show were unveiled as the network officially announced the introduction of the rebranding on June 23, 2015. Completing the shift to edgier, single-camera programming, TV Land announced on July 28 that the upcoming fifth season of the multi-camera sitcom The Soul Man would be its last. Less than two weeks later, on August 10, TV Land's last remaining multi-camera sitcom The Exes was cancelled as its fourth season was still airing, with the announcement that the final episode would air September 16.
In July 2015, TV Land dropped reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard after the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House (the flag was displayed atop of the show's car, the General Lee).
Since 2017, Viacom has been in the process of reorganizing its media businesses around six flagship brands, including Paramount Pictures, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and MTV. Network president Keith Cox was reassigned to the newly-rebranded Paramount Network (the former Spike), and two series originally slated for TV Land—American Woman and Heathers—were reassigned to the channel. The former was canceled after its first season, while the latter eventually aired in a heavily edited and redacted form. Younger was also supposed to move to Paramount Network for its sixth season, but the move was reversed before the newest season launched.
On August 20, 2019, two TV Land-branded channels, "TV Land Drama" and "TV Land Sitcoms", were launched on Pluto TV, a free streaming service acquired by Viacom in March 2019. The latter channel was a rebrand of the former "Pluto TV Sitcoms" channel.
TV Land's programming originally focused on television series from the 1950s to the early 1980s. Such programming continues to air during the daytime hours, while the network's primetime lineup focuses on both recent and contemporary sitcoms originating from the late 1990s. TV Land's sole original series is Younger, which premiered in 2015 and has since become the network's longest running program. The network previously held their own annual award show, the TV Land Awards from 2003 to 2016. The telecast celebrates classic television series and stars.
In 2001, Craig Media launched a Category 2 pay-television specialty channel called TV Land Canada, through a brand licensing agreement with Viacom (which later acquired a minority ownership stake in the channel months after its launch). On August 2, 2010, TV Land was rebranded as Comedy Gold, reformatting the channel as an offshoot of The Comedy Network. The rebranded channel focuses primarily on sitcoms and sketch comedy programs from the 1970s to the 1990s. Viacom sold back its stake in the channel to CTVglobemedia (which would later be acquired outright by minority shareholder BCE, Inc. on September 10 of that year to form Bell Media) following the rebrand.
- "Cable Network Coverage Area Household Universe Estimates: January 2016".
- TV Land archives on Freewebs Archived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine (1996–2004)
- "Nick-at-Nite's TV Land joins U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Lineup"; Business Wire, April 30, 1996.
- Brown, Rich. "Nick at Nite becoming Nick at Nite-and-Day; MTV Networks Inc.'s launching of classic TV channel called TV Land", Broadcasting & Cable, October 30, 1995. Retrieved March 1, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
- "Mca, Viacom Sue Each Other"; Chicago Tribune, April 30, 1996
- "Sumner Red-faced Over 'Embarrassing' Papers"; New York Daily News, November 5, 1996
- "Mca, Viacom File Suits In Dispute Over Usa Network"; SunSentinel, April 30, 1996
- Dempsey, John, "It's Boom(er) Time for TV Land"; Variety, March 8–14, 1999.
- Betty White Lightning Strikes! "Hot In Cleveland" Draws Nearly 5 Million; Breaks Records TV by the Numbers, June 17, 2010
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 3, 2010). "TV Land finds cast for George Segal pilot". The Hollywood Reporter.
- TV Land scraps The Cosby Show marathon set for Thanksgiving week. Variety (November 19, 2014). Retrieved November 19, 2014. "(E)pisodes have been pulled immediately for the foreseeable future…TV Land even removed references to The Cosby Show from its website on Wednesday afternoon as the scandal accelerated."
- Littleton, Cynthia (23 June 2015). "TV Land Unveils New Logo, Branding Campaign Aimed at Gen-Xers". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Nellie Andreeva. "'The Soul Man' Picked Up For Fifth & Final Season By TV Land". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 10, 2015). "'The Exes' Cancelled By TV Land After 4 Seasons, Last Multi-Cam Original Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- "TV Land Pulls 'Dukes of Hazzard' Reruns". ABC News. July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2014). "TV Land Picks Up Impastor & Teachers To Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2017). "Spike President On Channel's Rebranding As The Paramount Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2017). "Spike To Change Name & Become The Paramount Network In Viacom Rebranding". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Lieberman, David (February 9, 2017). "Viacom CEO Supports Paramount And Non-Core Networks – But For How Long?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- "'Shannara Chronicles' Canceled as Paramount Network Passes on Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Wagmeister, Daniel; Holloway, Elizabeth (March 16, 2017). "TV Land's 'Heathers' Reboot and 'American Woman' Moving to Launch Paramount Network". Variety. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Swift, Andy (April 3, 2019). "Younger Season 6 Will Air on TV Land; Move to Paramount Network Cancelled". TVLine. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Viacom Announces Completion of Pluto TV Acquisition". www.businesswire.com. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- Bouma, Luke (2019-08-19). "Pluto TV is Adding 4 New Channels Tomorrow Including TV Land Drama, TV Land Sitcoms, & Comedy Central Roast". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
- TV Land, MTV and Craig Broadcast Systems to Launch New Canadian Services in September; PR Newswire; 2001-08-21
- CTV tweaks TV Land Canada's focus, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 June 2010
- Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
-  Archived October 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine