Friday, February 12, 2016

USA Network in the 1980's

The USA Network looked much different in the 1980's than it does today. Now known as a home of NCIS and Law & Order: SVU reruns plus some stellar original programming, the network originally ran just about anything it could get its hands on in the 80's. Lower tier syndicated sitcoms, 1970's game show reruns and rock bottom programming like Dance Party USA, an American Bandstand clone filmed in Philadelphia and sponsored by Esleep.

The overnight television programming Night Flight presented a cavalcade of B-Movies and MTV rejected music videos. Pretty much anything cheap that could conceivably be considered programming.

Despite being called "USA Network", the cable channel also found time on the schedule for various Canadian game shows. 

American audiences were none the wiser that these productions originated from Canada up until the contestants spoke about "going oot" and telling their fellow contestants how "sore-y" they were. (The consolation prizes of Kraft Dinner and poutine mix were dead giveaways as well.)

The dawn of the 1990's meant greener pastures for USA, though the network's current streak of original programming wouldn't take flight until 2000.