Back in the 1970s, the first truly great television channel was born. It was called the Z Channel, and it was available only through Theta Cable Television, a subsidiary of TelePrompTer Corporation. Here was a channel made for film freaks such as myself. I could watch not only popular films, but film classics, including French, Italian, and Japanese classics with subtitles.
The trucks belonging to Theta Cable bore the following logo, of which I could find only this very imperfect example on the Internet:
The Z Channel ended badly with a murder/suicide when program director Jerry Harvey shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.
Around then, the Z Channel segued into the Sports Channel, which interrupted their movies with Stanley Cub playoffs. I remember calling my cable provider and demanding to cancel the hockey channel. They knew what I was talking about.
There were other hopeful beginnings, such as Headline News, CNN, Bravo, TNT, and even MTV at the beginning. Now the only cable channel of any worth is Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which still has no advertising, and which shows films uncut and unscanned (i.e., letterbox versions). As far as I am concerned, the rest is mostly sports (way, way too much sports), right wing news, and celebrity gossip. I would be in heaven if all that mattered to me were Kim Kardashian’s ass and how the Cubs are faring against the Hornets. Oh, yes, and Benghazi!
Cable television was once a land of promise. Then, I suppose, Eve ate the apple; and we were all drummed out of paradise.