Wednesday, August 06, 2008


While BOB WILKINS had lots of competition in the BAY AREA, he pretty much had the SACRAMENTO television market all to himself except for a year and a half period. On October 5, 1974, a brand new Sacramento Independent TV Station signed on the air on Analog Channel 31. Its original owner was TV and Film Producer, NORMAN LEAR. Its call letters were KMUV. The MUV stood for MOVIES or in their ads MUVIES.

Their format was ALL MOVIES. While that format is now commonplace for CABLE TV, they were ahead of their time.They had 3 (or 4) movies which was shown 3 times a day. The station started at 6:30AM with 15 minutes of News (anchored by CHRIS HARRIS) and 15 minutes of Spanish News aka NOTICIAS.(anchored by DON GOMEZ).

KMUV had 3 on air hosts for their movie packages. There was KROY radio disc jockey JOHNNY HYDE, entertainer GEORGE LIBERACE (brother of more famous LIBERACE) and former actor/stuntman BUDDY BAER (who at the time owned a SACRAMENTO FURNITURE STORE). Johnny Hyde showed old movie serials like FLASH GORDON and COMMANDO CODY (in a show called SOLID GOLD HEROES) a LITTLE LULU cartoon and a PETE SMITH SPECIALTIES comedy short as well as a HORROR/SCI-FI MOVIE. George Liberace showed COMEDIES, MUSICALS and FAMILY FILMS while Buddy Baer showed ADVENTURES, ACTION, WESTERNS and THRILLERS. KMUV showed HORROR and SCI FI MOVIES 6 times a week. They were shown at 7:30AM, 5:30PM and at 11:30PM each day except for SUNDAYS. Yes, MONSTER MOVIES 6 days a week, not just on SATURDAYS!!!

At that time, KMUV pulled a coup and snagged the rights to many classic movies from studios such as UNIVERSAL, RKO, WARNERS and more. After a 3 year absence, those wonderful UNIVERSAL MOVIE MONSTER returned to the air on KMUV. When KMUV signed on the air on October 5, They showed the original FRANKENSTEIN (1931) starring BORIS KARLOFF. And throughout the entire month of OCTOBER showed ALL of the UNIVERSAL STUDIO MONSTER MOVIES like FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, THE WOLFMAN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE MUMMY and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and all their SEQUELS! Over the year and a half , KMUV showed such HORROR and SCI FI MOVIES like THE BLACK SLEEP, KING KONG, THE RETURN OF DR. X, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, THE MAD MONSTER, THE FOUR SKULLS OF JOHNATHON DRAKE, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, VOODOO ISLAND, TWO LOST WORLDS, THE CREEPING UNKNOWN, THE INVISIBLE INVADERS, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER, BEGINNING OF THE END, THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD, ONE MILLION B.C., THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX, THE MANSTER, FLIGHT TO MARS, CAULDRON OF BLOOD, BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS, THIS ISLAND EARTH, THE NEANDERTHAL MAN, THE PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD, INVASION USA, THE MAGNETIC MONSTER, GOG, THE DEVIL BAT, THE DEVIL'S MESSENGER, THE PROFILE OF TERROR, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS, BEDLAM, CAT PEOPLE, I BURY THE LIVING, THE LEOPARD MAN, THE APE, THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, KRONOS, THE CASTLE OF EVIL, THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T DIE, CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN, TARANTULA, THE PHAROAH'S CURSE, SCARED TO DEATH, THE WALKING DEAD and more CLASSICS. In addition to the classics, KMUV also showed relatively new movies at the time. Some as new as a year old. Some of the new scary movies include, BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW, LEMORA THE LADY DRACULA, GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE, OCTA MAN, LEGACY OF BLOOD, DIE SCREAMING MARIANNE, THE VAMPIRE PEOPLE, DECOY FOR TERROR, DISCIPLE OF DEATH, THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM, BEAST OF THE DEAD, CURSE OF THE VAMPIRE, and THE SEVERED ARM. Yes, even THE SEVERED ARM! Can you imagine watching this movie at 7:30 in the morning instead of the cartoons on KTXL TV 40? At that time, KMUV was on the air from 6:30AM-1:AM. On April 19, 1975, KMUV finally went 24 Hours. By May, the Horror Movies were being mixed in with movies from other genres like Comedies and Westerns. On July 7, 1975, SOLID GOLD HEROES expanded to TWO HOURS and included some cartoons too including SPIDERMAN. They also added ONE HOUR TV SERIES shows like SUSPENSE THEATRE and THE BOB HOPE SHOW. On September 6, 1975, KMUV added other shows in addition to the movies. By this time, KMUV was transforming into a GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT TV STATION like KTXL TV 40. They started carrying such shows like PORTER WAGGONER, THE WILBURN BROTHERS (both Country Music Shows), NCAA FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHTS and THIS IS THE NFL. Also on this day was a SATURDAY NIGHT HORROR/SCI FI DOUBLE FEATURE. I can't recall the name, but it was HOSTLESS and started at 8:30PM and ending at 11:30PM, later it was modified to 8:PM-11:PM. Then on DECEMBER 27, 1975, KMUV ended its 24 Hour Day at 6:AM. They returned to the air at 3:PM and then continued with a schedule of being on the air from 3:PM-1:AM, 7 days a week. SOLID GOLD HEROES became a fixture on weekdays from 4:PM-6:PM. Beginning on JANUARY 26, 1976, KMUV picked up the CBS AFTERNOON GAME SHOWS: TATTLETALES and GAMBIT, which wasn't carried locally by then CBS affiliate, KXTV-TV CHANNEL 10.This arrangement lasted until APRIL 9. On APRIL 5, KMUV picked up THE PTL CLUB, then a TWO HOUR RELIGIOUS SHOW featuring the infamous EVANGELIST, JIM BAKKER. The show ran 7 nights a week at 11:PM. All of this should have had me thinking that ALL GOOD THINGS MUST END, but on MAY 1, 1976, KMUV drops all of its ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING except THE PTL CLUB and became the area's second SPANISH LANGUAGE TV STATION.

KMUV remained a HYBRID SPANISH/ENGLISH RELIGION TV STATION until it was sold to KOPLAR COMMUNICATIONS in 1981 and on APRIL 2, changed its calletters to KRBK and its programming to a GENERAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE ENTERTAINMENT TV STATION (Only 2 shows survived the changeover, THE PTL CLUB and JERRY FALWELL). Now however, the NEW CHANNEL 31, competed BIGTIME against LONGTIME SACRAMENTO INDEPENDENT TV STATION, KTXL TV 40. A long hard fight occurred in the 1980's between these stations including legal fights but that is another story that will be told.......IN THE NEXT POST!!!!!

1 comment:

Glen Eisner said...

You are amazingly thorough! I do remember seeing Tarantula before going off to school! then seeing it again that day.