For all you Droids and Toons, cable has something for you

September 18, 1992|By Orlando Sentinel

In the next month, cable satellites will welcome aboard some of television's oldest friends: Beaming down to living rooms across the nation will be such otherworldly company as Buck Rogers and Bugs Bunny, Dr. Who and Daffy Duck, Capt. James T. Kirk and Kwicky Koala.

The long-in-the-making Sci-Fi Channel debuts Thursday. A week later, on Oct. 1, Turner Broadcasting introduces the "Toon Age" with its launch of the Cartoon Network.

Between the widespread channel capacity crunch and a confusing legislative environment, there will be many cable operators postponing decisions to pick up new programming, said Larry Gerbrandt, an analyst with Paul Kagan Associates, a Carmel, Calif., cable consulting firm.

"This is a time when capacity is very tight," Mr. Gerbrandt said. "And with Congress threatening regulation, they [companies] are operating in an uncertain environment. It makes them more cautious about adding things."

Sci-Fi Channel is predicting that it will begin its telecast in 10 million U.S. homes. Its programming includes movies such as "Alien" and "Star Trek: The Movie" and its sequels; the British series "Dr. Who"; all 1,225 episodes of the ABC soap opera "Dark Shadows"; and old network series that include "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," "Lost in Space," "The Incredible Hulk" and "Bionic Woman."

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