Small Screen: How to find The Good Wife and other oldies

You have questions. I have some answers, including about searching for old TV shows.

Q: Why has “The Good Wife” never been shown in reruns? Is there any hope of it showing up on one of the other channels?

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A: As television shows and movies have spread across ever more broadcast, cable, digital and streaming services, it has become ever more challenging for viewers to find shows, especially older ones, nor do they always show up when you search your listings. So it may seem at times that shows have “never” been rerun because they did, but in places veteran TV watchers are unaccustomed to looking.

“The Good Wife,” which originally aired on CBS from 2009 to 2016, has in fact had reruns. At this writing, for instance, you can find telecasts on broadcaster myNetworkTV — if you have a local TV station carrying that network. You can find its stations at www.mynetworktv.com. “The Good Wife” is also available on Hulu, CBS All Access, Amazon Prime and iTunes. (A search of the Hallmark channels’ sites also brings up “The Good Wife,” although not with a current telecast time.) And, of course, there are DVDs of the complete series.

Unfortunately, most of these systems charge a fee, testing how much you really want to see a program. Or, alternatively, how readily you check your local library for a DVD, or a friend for a service password to borrow.

And we’re not done here with places to search for shows.

Q: Could you please tell me why “Three’s Company” doesn’t air reruns? I can never seem to find it on any channels. It seemed like a popular show for its day. Was it? I’m 36 so I don’t really know. But I know I miss it!

A: For most of its 1977-1984 run, the comedy starring John Ritter was one of the most popular shows in the country. It had a spinoff, “The Ropers,” and a sequel, “Three’s a Crowd,” though neither came near the success of the original series. It has been in rerun in the past and can currently be found on Antenna TV.

Before you ask, Antenna TV is a self-described “digital multicast network.” TV stations, now broadcasting digitally, can carry second, third and more lineups in addition to their main one, and quite a few services have offered programs for those extra channels. You may have come across not only Antenna TV but Buzzr, COZI, MeTV, Bounce, Grit and others.

Much of what their carry is vintage fare, but there is also some original programming. Availability in your area depends on whether your local stations have picked up a specific service, or if your cable or other service provider includes them in the lineup.

And I know folks are watching, because I get questions like this:

Q: I have been watching the first “Will and Grace” series on COZI. The series ends with a pregnant Grace leaving to find ex-husband Leo, the father of the baby. The following show starts the series over from the beginning. I haven’t watched the new series, so I don’t know what happened next, or if there is any reference to the baby. What happened?

A: A representative of COZI tells me that the network has all eight seasons from the original run of “Will & Grace,” and you may have missed some episodes; at the end of the series, Grace and Leo have a baby girl, Laila, who grows up to marry Will’s son Ben.

Or so we thought.

When the series returned in 2017, it was without Laila and Ben, and both Will and Grace were single. Their children are passed off as part of a dream Karen had. David Kohan, who created “Will & Grace” with Max Mutchnick, explained the change this way to EW.com: “If they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”

 

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