Post-Bankruptcy, MGM Launches Classic TV Channel

Studio will partner with Weigel Broadcasting to start Me-TV; new channel will feature “Dick Van Dyke” and “Cheers”

Last Updated: January 4, 2011 @ 12:55 PM

Fresh out of bankruptcy, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Weigel Broadcasting to launch a new network devoted to vintage sitcoms. This TVLand challenger will be called Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), and will be targeted for digital broadcast stations.

In launching the channel, MGM will raid its own vaults and dust off such television classics as "Cheers," "M*A*S*H," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Bob Newhart Show."

This is the first significant deal MGM has announced since it emerged from Chapter 11 protections last month. The studio had been stuck in a holding pattern for much of the past year, while it struggled to attract a buyer and labored under some $5 billion in debt.

Last fall, MGM's creditors agreed to a prepackaged bankruptcy plan in which they exchanged their debt for equity. As part of that deal Spyglass chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum assumed control of the studio.

MGM and Weigel have previously worked together to launch broadcast movie service THIStv.

A local version of Me-TV has already been airing on Weigel Broadcasting's WWME in Chicago. WWME and WBME, the Weigel station covering the Milwaukee/Racine metro area, have become the first affiliates of Me-TV.

Me-TV's national distribution will be handled by MGM's domestic television sales force. 

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