Thursday, July 22, 2010

WPHL-TV Channel 17 Philadelphia, "The Great Entertainer"

Not being one to resist giving old broadcasting a plug, I continue my nostalgic trip through Philly TV past, this time with a look at WPHL-TV Channel 17, known in the late 70s and early 80s as "The Great Entertainer."  I didn't watch too much stuff on 17 back in my very early youth, as Channel 48 had the majority of what I was interested in.  Still, there were definitely highlights, some of which I'll spotlight here.

Welcome Back Kotter!

Barney Miller!

Its spinoff Fish!

The original Battlestar (I'll stop with the exclamation points).

Star Trek.

As far as kids programming goes, I watched the 60s Filmation Superman and King Kong cartoons during the summer in the mornings, and Ultraman, Spectreman, and Speed Racer in the afternoon, but the most important contribution to my childhood that Channel 17 made was airing the 60s Spider-Man cartoon, one of my favorites TV shows ever.  Not just cartoon series, but any kind of series.  When Channel 48 died, much of their equipment and library went to Channel 17.  When that happened, Spidey left 17 and was off the air in Philly until Channel 57 brought it back in the mid-80s.

Today the station is mostly still independent, save for its affiliation with My Network TV, of which I'm not a fan, to put it mildly.  The station, however, does recognize its past with a section of its Web site called "Vintage 17," where you can see the clips I posted here as well as some others.

I apologize to those not interested in my Philly-centric tone of late.  I'll get back to more broad topics soon.  Until then, here is Channel 17, and me, signing off!


FilmFather said...

I still love 17's "Great Entertainer" jingle...takes me back.

The two shows I distinctly remember watching were Dancin' On Air (during a class trip, my high school buddy got on the air during one of their remote shows at Dorney Park's Wildwater Kingdom), and the NWA's World Wide Wrestling, featuring the eternal Ric Flair and the original Four Horsemen.

Greg May said...

It's been almost 30 years since its release but cult-classic JAWS3D
is still sinking its teeth into the imaginations of its loyal fans thanks to French punk-rock star ROMAIN CHRISTMANN. Check out his website - the ONLY website -on JAWS3D at out Romain and his band NEOPHYTE at


Related Posts with Thumbnails