AOL brings you classic reruns -- free

153010__kotter_lStarting in January, you’ll be able to watch old episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter (left, starring Gabe Kaplan and John Travolta), Wonder Woman, Babylon 5, The Fugitive, Growing Pains, Kung Fu, Lois & Clark, Maverick, Pinky and the Brain, and hundreds of other classic shows for free on your computer. It’s part of In2TV, a joint initiative of AOL and Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution (both are part of Time Warner, as is EW.com). In2TV will be available to anyone with broadband, and viewers will have to watch four 15-second ads to access each streaming episode. There’ll be six channels of content (comedy, fantasy, cartoons, nostalgia, etc.) and bonuses like trivia games and celebrity interviews.

In any case, it looks like the biggest step yet toward making the computer a viable, legal, piracy-free distribution platform for television content. In fact, it might even be too big, suggests a rival programmer, Larry Jones, president of Nick at Nite and TV Land. He told the Wall Street Journal he’s not worried In2TV will cut into the audience of his networks any more than the current boom in TV shows on DVDs has because it won’t really filter anything out for consumers. ”We pick the best of the best from multiple studios,” he said. ”I don’t know if viewers are ready for so much choice. Ultimately what [In2TV] does is force viewers to be their own programmers.” Well, yes, that’s the point.

Does this sound like a good idea to you, PopWatchers? Any classic shows you’d want to stream on your PC?

Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • Kyle

    I think this is a terrific idea!!! There are so many old shows that I really miss and aren’t available anywhere. I personally hope that they make some old-school Nickelodeon shows available. I still feel nostalgic for shows like Rocco’s Modern Life. I think the only problem with this is that productivity in American offices may drop drastically. Procrastinators can now spend their hours watching TV shows on their computers! Like I don’t waste enough time online as it is!!!

  • lulu

    China Beach or Homefront! I would love to see those shows again. It would be better if they were on DVD, but this is a reasonable option in lieu of the DVDs.

  • tony

    dynasty
    the colbys
    homefront
    ill fly away
    remington steele

  • areaderwrites

    I wouldn’t pay for this type of service –I think the ad-supported model is the way to go, and I look forward to using it. There are many episodes of old TV shows that I would like to be able to see again on a casual basis without investing in a DVD collection, and I am certainly willing to put up with a few commercials in order to watch older shows for free.

  • Josh Berg

    Does anyone remember a D&D cartoon show where kids went on a rollercoaster and ended up in a odd land with powers and abilities? If you do then you’d want that show streaming to your computer in all it’s 1980’s glory.

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