TV Exec Pushes for Decade Specific Retro Channels (LIS Mention)

Variety is reporting that TV exec Garth Ancier has created a new company which is pitching decade specific, syndicated TV networks to various cable companies.

“We have been looking at literally every show that was made in these eras,” said Ancier, former BBC America prexy and chairman of WB Television Network. The concept is patterned after Sirius XM’s satellite radio channels grouped by decade.

For Ancier, the key to building audiences nostalgic for skeins from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s will be in curation and show-discovery strategy. Zeus is seeking adjacent placement for the four channels, and the idea is that at the top of the hour they’ll each run a roadblock promoting next-up programming on all four.

Retro TV is an untapped opportunity, to hear Ancier tell it, with about 80% of shows from those four decades unavailable on any national network. “Nowhere on television is ‘Three’s Company,’ ” Ancier said incredulously, adding that ’60s sci-fi classic “Lost in Space” isn’t in syndication either.

For now, Ancier isn’t disclosing what Zeus’s target shows are, but the venture has shared proposed programming schedules with prospective pay TV partners. Zeus is in talks with eight studios to license library content: CBS, Sony Pictures Television, 20th Century Fox, MGM, NBC, Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Carsey Werner. Ancier said the company isn’t seeking exclusivity on any of the shows.

“It’s hard slogging because you’re asking for four channels” from an operator, Ancier said. “I’m going in there and basically begging, which is what you do in cable and satellite.”

It’s a brilliant idea! Now the questioning begins – which shows would you put together in your ultimate per decade line-up?

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