Since I was very young, I've had an unhealthy fascination with the regional differences in television. At the age of 5 or so, I remember it galled me to vacation in the US and see - wonder of wonders - an entire cable channel dedicated to what I wanted to see: cartoons. Or, at least, mainly cartoons. Nickelodeon
blew my tiny mind; I can still remember their mid-80s station ID jingles. ("Stick-a-stick stick, a-stick with Nick, Nick-el-o-de-onnnn!")
Given this, it was something of a nine days' wonder for me when YTV
was launched. I remember fondly the first full summer it was on the air, watching Rocky & Bullwinkle
and The Muppet Show
every night, just as the dusk began to fall; I'm pretty sure, though not positive, that they ran at 6:30 and 7:00 respectively. Laugh if you must, but a warm summer night and Kermit the Frog are my version of Proust's madelines; all the memories come rushing back: the boredom, the periodic excitement, the simple joys of childhood, the days before I couldn't stand being outside for more than twenty minutes at a stretch for fear of bugs.
A few weeks ago, the Ottawa cable lineup was slightly rejiggered to accomodate a new addition - the regional Southern Ontario channel CTS
. Their mission statement
is admittedly a bit unnervingly evangelical, but for two reasons I can forgive that. The first is the daytime schedule of delightfully awful sitcoms from the 70s and 80s, mostly of the sort that I imagine aren't terribly expensive to acquire in syndication. The second is The Muppet Show
- at 7:00. To make it even better, the shuffle pushed YTV to channel 65 on the local Rogers lineup, giving CTS the slot of channel 25. I can watch The Muppet Show
, at 7:00pm nightly, on channel 25, as I did way back in 1989. I enjoy that, I do.