In a move to boost ratings, Chuck Dolan’s three Metro Channels, which are geared to cable subscribers in the Greater New York area, will get a makeover stressing fun and entertainment over pure information.
The 15-month-old Metro Guide, the lead channel of the three, will be redubbed Metro and begin skedding a batch of new series this spring, including the following:
- “Rhythm & Dues,” a weekly hour covering the local nightclub scene, which will feature taped performances at the Village Vanguard and the Bottom Line.
- “Subway Q&A,” a daily half-hour of man-in-the-street interviews conducted by Tad Low, co-creator of VH1’s “Pop-Up Videos.”
- “Buzzcut,” which Metro describes as “a regular top-of-the-hour newsbreak featuring updates on the hottest metro-area entertainment and cultural events.”
“We’re delivering a well-informed utility service similar to the listings you’ll get in Time Out magazine. What we need is to become more entertainment-driven so people can relax with the channel, and have fun,” said Greg Moyer, president of regional programming for Metro Channels parent Rainbow Media Holdings.
To reinforce its emphasis on entertainment, Metro has, for the first time, bought six limited-run TV series set in New York. Beginning April 4, it will schedule them in a primetime block called “TVNY.”
The six are “The Bronx Zoo,” featuring Ed Asner as the principal of a tough inner-city school; “Central Park West,” Darren Star’s slick soap opera centered on the Gotham publishing scene; “Brooklyn Bridge,” a nostalgic comedy about a Brooklyn immigrant family circa 1950; “Car 54, Where Are You?,” a sitcom featuring a pair of bumbling cops; “The Associates,” a law-firm-based comedy with Martin Short; and “Serpico,” the TV-series version of the hit Al Pacino movie about a cop who blows the whistle on police corruption. All of the series are from Paramount TV Distribution except “Central Park West,” which comes from CBS-owned Eyemark Entertainment.