HBO faves relaunch DirecTV’s 101

Network modifies presentation, content

DirecTV is relaunching its 101 Network on May 31 to coincide with encore presentations of HBO faves “Deadwood” and “Oz.”

Satellite carrier’s entertainment channel became a firstrun home to “Friday Night Lights” in the fall and co-produces the series with NBC. It has since aired several skeins, including “Wonderland” and “Smith,” that were canceled in their first season but had episodes in the can that were never televised.

“The Nine,” which aired only a handful of episodes in 2006 on ABC before being axed, begins on Wednesday, while “The Dan Patrick Show,” a nationally syndicated sports radio program hosted by the former ESPN anchor, will air 9 a.m.-noon weekdays beginning July 20.

Logos and graphics will be created to help lure viewers to the channel. “Oz” will be presented in HD for the first time, and creator Tom Fontana will introduce many of the episodes.

“We thought the network deserved it,” DirecTV entertainment topper Eric Shanks told Daily Variety. “As the network has grown up, we should have a presentation that goes along with our programming strategy.”

Televising “Deadwood” and “Oz,” which will run back to back on Sunday nights, is part of the net’s plan to draw a demo of males 35 and up.

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