Been dying to watch "Kung Fu," "Perfect Strangers," "Chico and the Man" and other old TV shows on your PC? If so, then AOL and Warner Bros. have just the ticket for you.
Earlier today the two Time Warner Inc. divisions unveiled a new venture, In2TV, that will deliver thousands of "vintage" TV series to broadband users over AOL's popular Web site, starting sometime in January. The free, advertiser-supported service will allow online users to watch full-length episodes from such old series as "Welcome Back Kotter," "Falcon Crest," "Spencer: For Hire" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" on an on-demand basis. In its first year, plans call for In2TV to stream up to 4,500 hours of video programming from 107 shows produced by Warner Bros.
The venture will not offer any current TV programs, at least not at first. Nor will it offer any shows from Time Warner's own WB Network. In fact, only programs that are so old that they're no longer offered in broadcast syndication will be available.
If the venture proves successful, AOL and Warner Bros. executives eventually hope to serve up first-run TV programming and even original shows exclusive to the broadband medium. But don't your breath just yet. First, let's see how much broadband demand there really is for reruns of "Eight is Enough."