TV Land will broaden its programming mix by tapping the archives of sister network CBS, bolstering its Inside TV Land
franchise and launching a new awards show.
First up will be TV Land Legends: The 60 Minutes Interviews, 13 half-hour profiles culled from the venerable CBS Sunday evening newsmagazine. Hosted by 60 Minutes
correspondent Ed Bradley, each segment will consist of one 60 Minutes
interview with a famed TV star or off-camera figure — including footage that wasn't used when the piece first aired.
At least two of Bradley's segments, with Chris Rock and Robin Williams, will be included in the series.
"This is all about synergy," TV Land executive vice president and general manager Larry Jones said. "Our goal with this series is to enhance the overall viewing experience of TV Land."
Bradley, on hand for an Oct. 15 briefing here to announce the programming initiatives, likened the project to "going to a video store and getting the director's-cut DVD."
The veteran newsman was given some creative input on the footage added to one of his profiles, but not for others.
"There are some scenes I'd like to see," he said, adding that if another set of episodes is approved, "I'll be talking to someone about that."
Four segments (Jackie Gleason circa 1984, Johnny Carson in 1979, Jerry Seinfeld in 1997 and a Carol Burnett segment from an undisclosed year) will be packaged as a two-hour premiere special on Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. (EST). The series will take its regular turn one week later, airing Bradley's conversation with Robin Williams at 10 p.m.
Other profiles cover Candice Bergen, Steve Martin, Norman Lear and James Burrows, who directed Taxi
Meanwhile, Inside TV Land
will return with the first of four new specials Nov. 10, covering TV theme songs, culled from the results of a top-40 countdown poll on the network's Web site (www.tvland.com). Two more installments — on taboo TV matters and cop dramas/reality programs — will appear later that month, while a fashion-oriented episode is scheduled for Feb. 14. Gay Rosenthal Productions of VH1 Behind the Music
fame returns as the supplier.
Previous Inside TV Land
specials have profiled individual series such as The Honeymooners
and I Love Lucy, shown the emerging stature of African-Americans in the medium, and outlined how TV shows are pitched.
TV Land is also developing an annual awards special that would honor both classic TV series and offbeat show highlights, such as wackiest kiss or best sitcom home decor, said Jones. The first edition is planned for next March and, like sister channel VH1's My VH1 Music Awards
special, will involve viewers in the selection of categories and nominees.