Cozi TV, the multicast net showing classic television, turns 10 this month. Home of Columbo, The Munsters, Frasier and other vintage hits, NBCUniversal Local’s Cozi TV has escalated from 43 markets at launch to 145, and 49 million homes to 109 million. Broadcast partners include Nexstar, Gray Television and Tegna.
Those numbers may rise. “We are not stopping there,” said Meredith McGinn, executive VP, diginets & original production, NBCU Local. “We are absolutely looking to continue to grow.”
Cozi TV is marking its anniversary by opening up online voting for fan-favorite Cozi shows, including The Nanny and Roseanne, which will result in “Ten for Ten” countdown marathons this month. Starting in February, Cozi will debut “Ten-Year-Old Cozi TV” promos, which will see 10-year-old children from The Play Group Theater in New York, reenacting scenes from the network’s most beloved shows.
“Mini Monk, mini Roseanne, mini Nanny,” said Diane Petzke, VP, programming & promotion, Cozi TV.
What Works on Cozi
What makes for a Cozi TV hit? Shows that are “fresh from the vault, and less exposed,” said Petzke, such as firefighter drama Emergency! and Little House on the Prairie, the latter which had not been on free over-the-air broadcast in decades before Cozi TV licensed it, McGinn said.
Shows that are “easy to watch, easy to love, shows you lean into and watch multiple episodes,” added Petzke. Shows with “quirky characters that are a little offbeat, and fun.”
Serialized shows don’t fit the Cozi TV profile, and sci-fi series don’t either.
McGinn has been with Cozi TV since launch. Petzke came on board a few months after it premiered. Cozi had many more shows on its air at the time, Petzke noted. “Our mantra is less is more,” she said. “Quality versus quantity.”
Two hours of Frasier and an hour of Roseanne make up weekday prime, leading into The Nanny. That’s been the prime formula for years. “Consistency is key for us,” said McGinn.
New additions include Monk, Bones and Las Vegas, the NBC series with James Caan and Josh Duhamel.
The network has dabbled in original programming, though McGinn said Cozi TV executives are “very thoughtful in how we approach them.” They are typically specials connected to popular Cozi shows, such as one tied to Miami Vice, where comedian Chuck Nice went to Miami and looked into what Crockett and Tubbs might be like today.
Cozi saw a big gain in viewership during the pandemic, viewers hungry for some comfort food. “It was quite the boon for Cozi TV,” McGinn said.
Looking back on 10 years, McGinn said she’s “very proud” to see how far the network has come.
Petzke, for her part, said she didn’t know exactly what a diginet was when she came on board at Cozi TV. “It’s so rewarding to look at how far we’ve developed the network,” she said. ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.