20TH ANNIVERSARY Nick at Night basks in birthday glow
The celebration starts Tuesday night at 10.
By NOEL HOLSTON
LONG ISLAND NEWSDAY
This week Nick at Nite is marking the 20th anniversary of its advent. What a feat of alchemy that was. Its programmers and marketers didn't transform lead into gold. Not literally anyway. But they set themselves up for similar rewards by transforming reruns into RERUNS!
On July 1, 1985, Nickelodeon, a 6-year-old cable channel for kids, expanded its daytime-only schedule into the evening hours. The programming included "Camp Nickelodeon," an 8-9 p.m. block of old sitcoms (initially "The Donna Reed Show" and "Dennis the Menace"), and 1 a.m. reruns of "Route 66," the Martin Milner-George Maharis road drama with the indelible Nelson Riddle score.
Nowadays, Nick at Nite offers mostly late-model reruns ("Full House," "The Cosby Show"). Its spin-off channel, TV Land, is where you turn for wall-to-wall oldies -- although, here again, older and more obscure series are fewer and farther between.
Both channels will be involved in the 20th anniversary commemoration. It starts Tuesday on Nick at Nite with episodes of "Who's the Boss?" (10 p.m.) and "Growing Pains" (10:30 p.m.) and the fabled episode of "Moonlighting" (11 p.m.) in which Dave (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) daydream a parody of "The Taming of the Shrew."
Wednesday will bring episodes of "Silver Spoons" (10 p.m.), "The Facts of Life," "Kate & amp; Allie" and "Benson."
Thursday's quartet represents "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties," "Cheers" and "Night Court."
On Saturday and next Sunday, responsibility shifts to TV Land, which will showcase about three dozen different series in a 48-hour span, some of which are still in regular rotation. The list includes episodes of "Mr. Ed," "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Superman," "Get Smart," "Dragnet," "I Dream of Jeannie," "I Love Lucy" and "Green Acres."