MeTV hosts its first Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza event, a month-long celebration of the horror host, starting October 1. MeTV promises “spooky, kooky and fiendishly fun movies, programs and specials for the entire family,” along with a one-hour primetime Svengoolie special, a weekly Svengoolie movie showcase, a new season of Sventoonie, Sunday afternoon mini-marathons of spooky episodes of classic TV series, and a new horror-themed episode of original series Collector’s Call.
Hatched in Chicago in 1979, Svengoolie is a top hat-clad, coffin-dwelling host, portrayed by Rich Koz, with a taste for campy horror movies
Special Svengoolie Uncrypted starts things off October 1. “The master horror host escapes his dungeon to journey far and wide, discovering a world of friends and new adventures,” said MeTV. “The special also shines a spotlight on Svengoolie’s world for 43+ years as he has entertained horror fans with Saturday night showcases of campy and obscure titles, offering insightful horror movie facts, trivia and jokes. Fans across the country will want to tune-in for all this plus the crypt-shaking special reveal.”
Season two of Sventoonie, the companion show to Svengoolie, will also premiere October 1 with a special one-hour episode. It will continue to follow Svengoolie Saturday Nights with 15 new 30-minute episodes. Toony the Tuna, from MeTV morning show Toon In With Me, dons the top hat and tux to host.
Every Saturday in October, MeTV will present a Svengoolie movie title, starting with Count Yorga, Vampire October 1.
Every Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. in October, MeTV has mini-marathons of classic TV shows’ more frightful episodes, including “a monster mashup” of The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, Happy Days and Leave It to Beaver, followed by blocks of The Addams Family, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Kolchak: The Night Stalker. MeTV also offers bonus Halloween-themed episodes of vintage series airing in their regular time periods across the schedule throughout October.
Svengoolie launched on WFLD Chicago in 1970 with Jerry Bishop in the title role. In 1979, Rich Koz, a former writer on the show, debuted as Son of Svengoolie. Fox bought the station in 1986 and scrapped the show. Neal Sabin, then Weigel Broadcasting’s vice chair, brought the program back on WCIU Chicago in 1994.
Weigel owns MeTV. ■
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.
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