Classic vintage shows such as Get Smart get virtually no exposure on cable networks any longer. The networks are spending enormous sums to build their own branded identities through original programming.
By Lee Pfeiffer
There was a time when cable TV networks would pay big dollars for episodes of just about any retro TV series with name recognition. Nowadays, however, the cable channels are flush with cash and are intent on developing their own series, such as AMC's highly-lauded Mad Men. These cable networks are creating a persona of their own, so to speak, and are therefore far more selective about what series they show as re-runs. Some networks such as TBS stress comedy, so don't look there for many urban dramas. Conversely, sister network TNT does specialize in action series and courtroom dramas. These cable niches are leaving the major networks in a bind because the cash cow from the traditionally lucrative re-run market is rapidly being drained. For lovers of classic TV series, it's also bad news. There is little appetite on the cable networks to give prime air time to shows from the 50s and 60s - and when they are shown, they are cut to pieces to make room for more commercials. For more click here