For years, I could not receive the classic TV channel Decades. Last year I discovered the new Frndly streaming service that offered these cable/over-the-air subchannels for a budget-conscious $6.99 monthly price. Finally! I liked Decades. It was full of “comfort TV”. Mind you, I wasn’t that happy with the “Weekend Bindge” format. I can’t sit and watch 48 hours of the same show. Too, many of the shows were available elsewhere, and I’d seen them a million times. Still, it offered a great selection of classic shows and at a bargain price.
Starting in January, I noticed a better lineup on the weekend. Some great shows from my youth were on the schedule – ABC’s Family, The Streets of San Francisco, and NBC’s The Girl With Something Extra. I’m thrilled this weekend’s binge block is the original 1968 Mod Squad. And that quintessential undercover hippie cop show is a good departure point. As of Monday, 27 March, Decades Channel retires for good.
Rebranded as Catchy Comedy, the channel will offer nothing but sitcoms. Some of the old favorites from the 1950s-1960s will remain. The lineup has been expanded to include comedies from the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, cult classics like Dark Shadows will be dropped from the lineup as well as cop/PI shows. At first glance, Catchy looks more Norman Lear-centric. That’s all well and good, but the same shows are in syndication on Antenna TV, MeTV, and a plethora of streaming services. Though the weekend binge block remains, I’m uncertain what will be available.
Well, good luck Catchy. Unlike Decades, Catchy Comedy will be Nielson-rated like Antenna and MeTV. I hope they pull off something brilliant, as they will have an uphill battle against all the other channels showing the same content. Of course, I felt a little twinge of regret when I saw Dark Shadows dropped from the 5 AM slot. True, I seldom watched the show on Decades. It was nice when I woke up too early during the pandemic years and couldn’t get back to sleep. Nothing put me back to sleep like the slow story arcs of Adam, Quentin’s ghost, and the Leviathans on DS. Five minutes, and I’m out like a light.