Classic Soaps The Doctors to be available on streaming from January 2020

tommie

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Chattanooga-based Reach High Media Group, a national distribution hub hosting television programming in 221 cities across the country, is expanding its streaming access and adding new original content.

Included in that new content is a new morning show called "Morning Beat," which will debut as a half-hour daily show in January.

Reach High Media Group offers free family-friendly programming through over-the-air, cable and satellite television on The Heartland Network, Retro TV, Rev'n, The Action Channel and The Family Channel. It currently reaches 50 % of U.S. households.

Formerly Luken Communications, the group is run by Joel Wertman, a musician and broadcast veteran who has focused the company on creating new content, with most of it created in Chattanooga, as well as acquiring addition retro content such as classic dramas and sitcoms. He has also launched streaming access.

"Making the leap into original productions was no small undertaking and I'm proud that our networks and programming are being embraced by viewers and affiliates across the country," he said.

"Morning Beats' will be hosted by Ashley Larsen and will focus on everything from health to exercise tends and organizing you life to interviews with experts on art, books, movies, music and more. It will air daily form 9 -9:30 a.m. and will replace "Coffee, Country & Cody" on the Heartland Network.

The network's current lineup includes "More Than the Music, The Unseen world, Just Renting," "The Red Green Show," "Reflections" with Keith Bilbrey," "Paula" with Paula Dean and more.

Retro TV is planning a special tribute and airing of the popular classic soap opera "The Doctors" beginning in January. Reach High media specialist Jennifer Crutchfield said fans are "crazy about" the show and the subscription-based access will include all-new programming including interviews with stars of the series that ran from the late '60s to the early '80s.

The series will also include classic TV commercials as well as early black-and-white episodes.

Retro TV was the country's first digital broadcast network and airs vintage comedies like "The Lucy Show," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Ray Bradbury Theater" and the Joey Bishop Show."
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news...2/tv-hub-programming-streaming-access/510459/

All episodes from 1968 to the end that's aired on Retro TV will apparently be made available, along with black and white episodes that will be exclusive to streaming. Apparently The Doctors have done really well for them, which is good news for those that want retro soaps on streaming platforms.
 

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RetroTV actually acquired these episodes (originally produced by Colgate-Palmolive) from the Hallmark Channel, who bought the rights about 2010 or so but never opted to air them. Unlike most production companies at the time (1960s up to about 1980), C-P actually saved master tapes of the episodes rather than taping over them, probably because this was their only foray into TV production and they were proud of their effort.

If you have seen some of the episodes on youtube, you'll immediately notice that The Doctors lacks the production values of what most of us are accustomed to. You really have to invest in the stories and the characters, because they are not going bowl you over with a huge hospital, rich people living on mansions, and big party scenes. Characters even (gasp!) wear the same clothing more than once. I'd say the production values are akin to what you might see in a low-budget, online soap...the difference being, of course, that The Doctors can get away with sparsely-furnished sets and blank windows because most of the time they're telling really good stories. You can overlook the budgetary restraints if the stories are good enough.

I admit most of my motivation to sample the series came from wanting to see actress Anna Stuart in one of her earliest roles (Toni Ferra, the role that put her on the map). I'd watch her read a phone book.
 

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Into the 1970s, some soaps were still doing their episodes live, which greatly limited their ability to move around and go from scene-to-scene on different sets. Shows like The Doctors were produced and directed by people who'd learned their craft on live soaps, so the scenes were pretty static and only had the most minimal shifts within episodes (and usually between commercials). It wasn't until the 1970s that soap producers sought out newer talent behind the scenes who moved away from the older traditions and enacted new filming techniques and wrote stories that felt and looked less claustrophobic. They also phased out the organ music! Oh, how annoying that organ music was.

It's quite interesting to watch these older soaps and see how they did so much, story-wise with so little freedom to move about and "show" rather than just explain.
 

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Preview site up - "only" the 1967-1970 episodes for now will debut on 27th February, but more will come: https://watchthedoctors.com

$2.99 per month or $30.99 for the entire year.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2020

Media Contact:
Reach High Media Group
Jennifer Crutchfield
423-468-5177
jennifer@reachhighmedia.com
REACH HIGH MEDIA GROUP WILL CELEBRATE RETRO DAY 2020 BY RELEASING SUBSCRIBER-BASED INTERACTIVE PLATFORM FOR THE DOCTORS
Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 18, 2020) – Reach High Media Group invites fans of the iconic soap opera The Doctors to join them in celebrating National Retro Day 2020 on February 27 with the debut of WatchTheDoctors.com, the subscriber-based, video-on-demand platform which includes interactive experiences dedicated to the classic series. With the new platform launch, WatchTheDoctors and Reach High Media Group television network Retro TV will be the exclusive homes of the beloved daytime drama.


Joel Wertman, President of Reach High Media Group says, “Streaming options give us the opportunity to engage our audience more than ever before. Our fans have the ability to watch, share and interact with the programming that they love in new, exciting ways.”


Beginning February 27, 2020, viewers can subscribe online at WatchTheDoctors.com, through OTT (over-the-top) devices like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and through their Android or iOS App Store. Subscriptions will include hosted trivia games on Wednesday and Saturday nights that will create opportunities to unlock exclusive original interview content.


Set in the fictional New England city of Madison, The Doctors was known for featuring cutting-edge storylines and received seventeen Emmy Award nominations. The series ran for 20 seasons with cast alums including Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), daytime stars Kim Zimmer (Guiding Light) and Anna Stuart (Another World), Ted Danson (Cheers), Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married) and Emmy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Hubbard (As the World Turns).
 
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