TV Time Machine

First Choice > First Choice-Superchannel > First Choice > TMN: The Movie Network > Crave

A few days ago, Bell announced that CraveTV had merged with The Movie Network, with both services being renamed Crave. This ends the TMN: The Movie Network era, which began in 1993.

Prior to being re-branded The Movie Network, the pay-tv channel was known as First Choice. But before that, it had the cumbersome moniker First Choice-Superchannel, and originally, it launched as First Choice.

So if you're following along at home, this station has been named:

  • First Choice
  • First Choice-Superchannel
  • First Choice
  • TMN: The Movie Network
  • Crave

Thanks to Retrontario, we can hop in a time machine and enjoy these old intros. Here's the First Choice feature presentation opening from back in 1983.

Here's the old First Choice-Superchannel feature presentation fanfare.

Farewell, TMN.

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Night Walk

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Mini*Pops Christmas

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Watch it, Buddy!

Periodically, I'll break into my best Peter Silverman imitation and exclaim "Watch it, buddy!" At some point in the 90s I saw CityTV's Silverman do this during one of his Silverman Helps segments and it stuck.

Thanks to Retrontario, I now have the exact clip. You'll hear it at the 19 second mark of this old CityPulse promo.

Silverman, who was dismissed from CityTV back in 2008, is now 85 years young.

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When I was growing up in the early 80s, ParticipACTION PSAs ran often. This ad, for example, is forever etched in my mind. I will sing this song on demand.

Then, there's Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. Their Body Break clips were everywhere. If they look like a couple, it's because they were. They married in 1999.

Get with the action!

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Hammy Hamster's Adventures on the Riverbank

Twelve years ago, I sang the praises of Hammy Hamster.

I remember fondly being mesmerized by Hammy Hamster. Hammy Hamster was the lead character in a television show entitled Hammy Hamster and he was indeed a hamster. Not a cartoon hamster, but an actual hamster. His best friend was G.P. who was a guinea pig and there were others. These riverbank creatures had calming adventures and I was just psyched to see actual rodents performing. It was very cool.

Now, thanks to Retrontario, we have a full episode of Hammy Hamster's Adventures on the Riverbank as it aired on Global TV back in 1982. It even has the original commercials.

That's my jam right there... sweet, sweet nostalgia.

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The Ron Oliver Show

At some point in the very early 90s (or was it the very late 80s?), I stumbled upon a YTV show called "The Ron Oliver Show". I was hooked.

For some reason, this show tickled my funny bone. It was great fun while it lasted, which wasn't very long. I've been trying to find evidence of this show online but it's surprisingly difficult.

Ron Oliver's IMDB page doesn't even list the show in his credits. A search of YouTube for "Ron Oliver Show" comes up empty. Did I dream this show up?

Thanks to Retrontario, there's now evidence I'm not completely delusional. Oliver's Twist was a YTV clip show that used the best bits of YTV Hits and the Ron Oliver Show and he's posted five minutes to his YouTube channel.

Does anyone else remember The Ron Oliver Show on YTV?

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Introduction to TSN (1984)

Meet John Wells, Jim Van Horne, Michael Landsberg and Terry Leibel from your new TSN.

British gymnastics!

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Video Hits with Samantha Taylor

Before MuchMusic appeared on my television, I got my video fix from two sources: Toronto Rocks on CityTV and Video Hits on CBC.

I preferred the rougher feel of Toronto Rocks, but I also enjoyed hearing from Samantha Taylor at 5pm. Here's a clip of Samantha Taylor hosting Video Hits in 1988, courtesy of Retrontario.

Samantha Taylor, by the way, was a pseudonym. Her real name is Myroslava Luciw. If anyone knows where she is today, I'd love to sit down and chat with her.

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The Worst of You Can't Do That On Television

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