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Tag Archives: Cable Tv

Special FX (’90s Edition)

Today’s videos are artifacts from the dorky yet lovable early years of Fox’s FX cable channel. These promos date from when the network went under the tagline “TV Made Fresh Daily,” broadcasting a variety of shows from their funky studios in New York City. Although you might recognize a few faces that later went on to better things (Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst), mostly the channel was a low-key affair staffed by friendly guy- and girl-next-door types. I think Fox meant it to feel like a bunch of your friends got together and put on a show. Sandwiched between reruns of Batman and Mission: Impossible, the channel’s slate of original programs covered a variety of subjects. My own favorite was Personal FX, the antiques and collectibles show. I was a regular viewer despite the fact that it was hosted by a complete airhead (Claire Carter) who knew nothing about antiques and collectibles. At least co-host John Burke brought on the hunk appeal. Burke later hosted on the pre-acronym American Movie Classics, and recently I was surprised to find him in a commercial endorsing some kind of back pain gadget.

Of course, FX is now a powerhouse network with acclaimed series like Damages and Nip/Tuck on their schedule — but guess what? I never watch them. I actually prefer the old, dorky FX. Some things actually work better if they haven’t been mass marketed and focus tested to death.