Prevue Guide

TV Guide Network

TV Guide Network (formerly known as TV Guide Channel, Prevue Channel and Prevue Guide) is a cable network produced by Macrovision in the United States. It provides, on the bottom half of the screen, a scrolling grid that lists television channels and the television programs and films currently showing on them. On the top half of the screen are featured programs usually featuring movie previews, celebrity news, and commercials. The majority of the network's audience comes from channel surfers looking to see what's on and upcoming on their cable and satellite system's channel lineup.

Although the listing scroll continues to be the major feature of the channel, TV Guide Network has repositioned itself as a destination channel for television news and information through their original series and specials, mainly because of on-screen electronic program guides provided by digital video recorders like TiVo, satellite services and cable boxes, and listings on the Internet, which offer the information in a speedier manner and with more detail than TVGN's grid listings. TV Guide offers its own EPG software on digital cable boxes, called TV Guide Interactive, which is similarly structured like TV Guide Network listings-wise.

A gridless version of the channel, featuring the channel in full-screen, is also provided to those providers who place the channel on a digital tier, where by the nature of having an on-screen program guide with the digital cable box, the channel's function would be duplicated, and the need for a guide channel for analog-only viewers is negated.

History

1980s

In 1985, a small independent 24-hour cable network called the Electronic program guide (or the EPG for short) was launched. The early years of the EPG had an on-screen program guide that covered the entire screen. The graphics from the old EPG version featured the same channel listing every half hour: at times, current listings were several minutes away. The 1985 to 1987 version featured a local text-based advertisement ticker on the bottom of the screen and live audio from a local FM radio station.

Then in 1988, the company known as Prevue Networks Inc. was established and the EPG was renamed Prevue Guide. The second version of the Prevue Guide's program grid was similar to the EPG's version, and it featured the "split-screen". In this case, the "split-screen" featured graphic and animated advertisements on the upper portion of the screen. The bottom portion showed the then shrunken program grid. Although some cable companies decided to keep the old EPG version, major ones that had larger numbers of viewers decided to upgrade to the Prevue Guide version.

1990s

In 1991, the third version of the Prevue Guide was launched. Prevue Guide eventually decided to add their own programs and segments. For the cable companies that still carried the second version of the Prevue Guide program grid would only provide live audio from the Prevue Guide station and advertisements covered up the video portion of the screen. The third version saw the same scrolling channel listings taking up the bottom half of the screen of the new Prevue Guide format, while advertisements and identification could be displayed at the top half. Such a format continues to be used on the channel, albeit with many presentation changes. Meanwhile, Prevue Guide notified the smaller cable companies that still carried the old EPG version to upgrade and start carrying the Prevue Guide, and the EPG was later discontinued in 1993. Since then, many cable providers across the United States and Canada, offers local advertising on the top half of the screen and includes any type of music Prevue uses, from the Prevue Tonight segment to holiday music.

In March 1993, Prevue Guide overhauled its presentation and the listing format. A "blue grid" replaced the older format. Shortly thereafter the name became the Prevue Channel. By 1995, a new logo and new graphics to go with it had been added to the channel. That same year, Prevue introduced their first digital Interactive Guide, which was from General Instruments. It was launched as part of TCI's first digital cable service. The 1995 logo stood the same on February 9, 1998, but the font changed. By that point on, new programs were added and some were updated. The 1998 logo lasted until one year later, in 1999, when it was renamed TV Guide Channel.

PrimeStar, the first DBS satellite system, carried the Prevue Channel in 1994. Unlike the Cable version, this channel carried the actual "blue grid", which doesn't scroll from the top and the bottom of the screen. Also, PrimeStar carried only eight channels, mostly for their programming lineup such as Movies, Sports, Family, Pay-Per-View and more. It lasted until late 1999, when PrimeStar was purchased by Hughes Electronics and the customer base was merged into DirecTV.

The Prevue Guide grid itself is similar to The Weather Channel's WeatherSTAR (which would provide local information from the cable company and live video feeds at the same time) and it physically ran on Amiga hardware and software. The guide was known to crash at times, leaving the Amiga "Guru Meditation" error overlaid on top of the listings. Other common errors included a C-Band listing failover, and a red box where the listings would normally be, simply stating that local listings would appear soon.

In 1997, Prevue Networks Inc. and United Video Satellite Group launched Prevue Online, an online service for local TV listings, audio/video interviews, and weather forecast. Another website Prevuenet, was launched as well to provide more history and useful information for the Prevue Channel, Sneak Prevue, UVTV, WGN Chicago, and WPIX New York. Also, Prevue was the first channel that introduced TV Ratings on their blue grid as well as the top on the screen.

In February 1999, United Video Satellite Group, parent company of Prevue Networks, bought TV Guide for $2 billion in stock and cash. Over the next 10 months, the newly renamed TV Guide Channel quickly transitioned. New graphics were in by midyear and a replacement for the blue grid which had presented listings on the channel for 6 years was operational by December. Some cable companies were still using the old blue grids until they were finally phased out in January 2000.

2000s

Ever since the Prevue Channel was bought by TV Guide, the programs on it have changed drastically. 'Shows' have been added to the TV Guide Network (see bottom). Shows can last from a few seconds to a couple hours (the longer shows take up the whole screen, making the scrolling grid smaller). Starting in 2005, Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa Rivers began providing coverage for television award events like The Emmy Awards and The Academy Awards. In 2007, the mother-daughter duo were unceremoniously dropped by TV Guide in favor of Lisa Rinna. Later in 2007, Rinna was joined by fellow Dancing with the Stars alumni Joey Fatone.

Also on the scrolling grid are ads and promotions for the local cable provider (their logo is shown at the end and beginning of the listings), which are usually preceded by local weather conditions. The weather data differs from that used on The Weather Channel's WeatherSTAR.

Because of Gemstar-TV Guide's dominant position in the listings market, on most websites the company provides listings for, TV Guide Network's listings appear on the topmost line, no matter which channel TVGN may be on. This is also the case within the print version of TV Guide.

Since the TV Guide Network isn't available with every cable service, services like IO Digital Cable and Bright House Networks have come up with their own scrolling grids, with IO having TV commercials for their service at a certain time (the other time just has still ads with music playing), but up in the right hand corner in a small screen and Bright House having a local news station as a "show", and the screen is set up like IO's.

DIRECTV did not start carrying the TV Guide Network until 2004. The network has been shown in full-screen since 2005.

This is also the case with DISH Network, as of 2006 the channel has gone full screen due to the fact that the on screen program guide is TV Guide branded.

During the network's red carpet coverage of awards shows and the network's primetime original series, the video from the event/show is shown full-screen, with a two line transparent non-scrolling grid along the bottom third of the screen showing a reduced version of the regular TV Guide Network listings, with truncated show titles only. An 800 number comment line also appears on the top line of these listings, which directs viewers to leave feedback about the listing style for TV Guide Network's future reference.

On April 30, 2007, Gemstar-TV Guide announced that as of June 4, 2007, the Channel would be re-branded as TV Guide Network, according to the press release, saying the move "reflects the continued evolution of the Channel from primarily a utility service, to a more fully developed television guidance and entertainment network with a continued commitment to high quality programming."

In some markets such as Denver's Comcast system, the network is available only with digital cable service, although many cable providers also use TV Guide Network's channel space as a default Emergency Alert System conduit to transmit warning information for their service areas, as its programming is considered non-critical.

With the acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide by Macrovision on May 2, 2008, that company, which purchased Gemstar-TV Guide to mostly take advantage of their lucrative and profitable VCR+ and electronic program guide patents, has stated they are possibly looking to sell both the channel and namesake magazine to other parties.

Categories and color schemes

Note the screencaps of the channel were taken while the network still identified as "TV Guide Channel". However, beyond the logo and upper-pane programming, there have not been any changes to the pictured grids.

The type of show categories are highlighted by colors on the screen:

  • Normal Programming: Gray (current color)
  • Children's Shows: Light Blue
  • Sports Programming: Green
  • Movies: Red (regular channels), Dark Purple (pay-per-view)

The use of these colors is unchanged on digital cable receivers with the newest version of TV Guide/Gemstar's EPG software, TV Guide Interactive.

During the time around the Emmys, shows that have been nominated are highlighted in gold. Same goes for the Oscars, except only movies that have won in the past. Other special shows, for example, like shows on Discovery Channel's Shark Week have a bubbly-water scheme, referring to the ocean, or close to Halloween, horror movies have spiderwebs in the scheme, and Holiday movies shown in December are blue with what looks like snow hanging at the top. Similar important shows and/or premieres have similar schemes to their grid space.

Former colors

  • Normal programming: Teal green (used from the teal green days of the program grid from 2004-2005).
  • Normal programming: Blue (used from the blue program grid days from 2003-2004).
  • Normal programming: Yellow (used from the yellow program grid days from 1999-2002).
  • Normal programming: Navy blue (used from the navy blue program grid days from 1993-1999).
  • Premium/pay-per-view stations: Dark red (used from the navy blue program grid days from 1993-1999 and the black listings from 1985-1993). This color was later discontinued since the arrival of the yellow grid and when the Amigas were degraded.
  • Premium/pay-per-view summary listings: Light gray (used from the navy blue program grid days from 1993-1999 and the black listings from 1985-1993).
  • Movies (not shown on either a premium or Pay-Per-View station): Light blue (first introduced in 1996 on the navy blue program grid).
  • Normal programming: Black (used from the EPG and Prevue Guide years until mid 1993).

Note: on the older versions before the yellow grid came out in late 1999, the colors for the sports programs were not added at the time. Also, when the teal-green grid came out in early 2004, the color for the children's programs were added.

Current shows

In addition to paid programming that airs from late morning-early afternoon, the TV Guide Network has many original series that air during primetime.

  • TV Watercooler- A weekly recap of TV's noteworthy shows and moments.

-Hosted by John Fugelsang and Teresa Strasser (Debra Wilson was a former co-host)

  • America's Next Producer- TV and video producers compete to see who possesses the skills to create a hit show. Contestants take a concept through the development process, while attempting to avoid elimination. The winner receives $100,000 and a TV Guide Network deal.
  • Hollywood 411- Daily entertainment news magazine show covering TV, film and music, as well as Hollywoode news. Lasts an hour.

-Hosted by: Madison Michele and Chris Harrison; Entertainment reporters include Megan Tevrizian and Marc Istook

  • InFANity- A comprehensive look at a particular TV series, featuring cast interviews; set visits; stars' off-screen activities; fans' questions; and plot previews.

-Hosted by Lisa Joyner

  • Look-a-Like- Everyday people get Hollywood-style makeovers to look like their favorite celebrities.
  • TV Guide Close Up- Informative and fun one hour biographies on your favorite TV and film stars.
  • Hollywood on Set- Set visits and behind-the-scenes info on the latest movies, profiling three each show.
  • Reality Chat- Weekly talk show dedicated to the reality TV phenomenon.

-Hosted by Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez

  • Idol Chat & Idol Tonight- Discusses each week's American Idol, and highlights (and lowlights) of the previous show, featuring analysis of the judging and fashions as well as the performers and performances. Also: interviews with defeated contestants.

-Hosted by Kimberly Caldwell, Rosanna Tavarez, Justin Guarini

  • Hollywood Showdown- Repeats of episodes originally seen in 2000 on PAX (now ION Television) and Game Show Network; contestants field questions on film, TV, and music for cash prizes. Hosted by Todd Newton.
  • Celebrity Says!- A game show in which contestants try to predict what various celebrities said during various red carpet interviews, vying for a chance at $5,000 in cash. Hosted by Dave Holmes.
  • What's on DVD- A preview of upcoming releases on DVD.
  • Making News: (blank) Style (:27 and :57 past the hour) - Follows news anchors at TV stations in the state of Texas. During the first season, the anchors of Odessa, Texas CBS affiliate KOSA were featured (some episodes also featured an anchor at the market's NBC affiliate, KWES). The second season followed anchors at the duopoly of WJCL and WTGS, the ABC and Fox affiliates (respectively) in Savannah, Georgia, as well as long-dominant CBS affiliate WTOC and NBC affiliate WSAV, from time to time). The second season was called Making News: Savannah Style. It is unknown what the third season will be called and what the station will be to be talked about for now.

Former shows (TV Guide Channel)

  • Watch This!- A daily hour show that shows the best programs in primetime to watch.

-Hosted by: John Henson, and Nikki Boyer (Sometimes co-host switches)

  • What's On'

-Hosted by Leanza Cornett, Sibila Vargas, Katie Wagner, Lesley Ann Machado & Madison Michele (Ken Taylor was one the occasional subsitute hosts during the run)

  • What's On: Flicks'

-Hosted by Ken Taylor

  • Music News'

-Hosted by Katie Wagner

  • TV Talk

-Hosted by Katie Wagner

  • Hollywood Insider

-Hosted by Sibila Vargas & Aashna Patel & Cynthia Garrett

  • The Screening Room

-Hosted by Debbie Matenopoulos & Ken Taylor

  • Quick Flicks

-Hosted by Debbie Matenopoulos

  • Movie Profile (:10 and :40 of every hour, 1999)
  • TV Guide Insider (:25 and :55 of every hour, 1999)
  • TV Guide Quick Tips
  • Entertainment News (:20 and :50 of every hour, 1999)
  • TV Close-Up

-Hosted by Katie Wagner & Ken Taylor

  • Movie Close-Up (short segments, in some form since 1988)
  • Pay-Per-View Close Up (short segments, in some form since 1988)
  • Family Finds
  • Sportsview
  • News Brief and Weather (preceded TV Guide Insider, 1999)
  • TV Guide Around Town (aired only in some areas, 1999)

Former shows (Prevue Guide/Channel)

  • Prevue Tonight (:27 and :57 of every hour, since 1988)
  • Familyvue (:28 and :58 of every hour, 1995-1999)
  • Movievue (Became a service for VCR Plus and Prevue Channel since 1993)
  • Earthvue
  • Prevue's TV Trivia (short segments, from 1994-1998)
  • Intervue with Jim Ferguson (Television movie critic, from 1995-1998)
  • Prevue's Sportscope
  • Prevue's ReelTalk (during Pay-Per-View Previews, from 1993-1998)
  • Network Spotlight (short segments, from 1993-1998)
  • Holiday Spotlight (from December 1994)
  • Prevue This (:00 and :30, from 1998)
  • Prevue Family (:05 and :35, from 1998)
  • Prevue Sports (:15 and :45, from 1998)
  • Prevue TV (:17 and :47, from 1998)
  • Prevue News and Weather (:25 and :55, from 1998)
  • Prevue Revue (:27 and :57, from 1998)
  • Prevue Around Town (aired only in some areas, 1998)
  • The Big Picture (movie trailers, 1996-1997)

Slogans

Prevue Guide and Prevue Channel

  • Just what you're looking for. (1988-1992)
  • We are what's on (1992-1995)
  • Prevue... See what's on (1995-1997 secondary)
  • Prevue First! (1998-1999 secondary)
  • Before you view, Prevue! (1993 to 1995 alternate, 1995-1999 primary)

TV Guide Channel/Network

  • Change the way you channel (1999-2001)
  • Don't miss a thing (2001-2004)
  • Original shows, original channel, TV Guide Channel. (2004-2007)
  • America's Television Headquarters (2007-present)
  • Original shows, original network, TV Guide Network (2007-present secondary)

Sneak Prevue

The Prevue Channel spun-off another network, exclusively for pay-per-view programming, Sneak Prevue in 1991. TV Guide ceased operations of Sneak Prevue in 2002.

References

Archive.org cache of a gallery of Prevue Guide crashes.

External links

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