"This" launches Nov. 1

What’s “this” you ask? This TV.

The new classic movie digital channel from MGM and Weigel finally debuts on Saturday on WCIU digital channel 26.4, WDJT digital channel 58.3 in Milwaukee, and in 30 other markets.

The channel features movies from MGM libraries (not the pre-1986 library, which is owned by Warner Bros./Turner Entertainment) as well as a handful of programs from MGM’s library of TV shows, including The Addams Family and Daktari. The schedule is flexible (much like Retro Television Network) and affiliates can move around programs to fit their needs.

The move comes as three digital networks folded shop in the past year. NBC’s Weather Plus recently closed, while music-video channel The Tube shut down in September 2007 and the World Championship Sports Network went away last spring after being bought out by NBC Universal (which relaunched as Universal Sports. The closures however, have opened a door of opportunity for others, such as LATV (seen on WGN-DT 9.2), .2 (“dot” 2), and RTN.

Already, Weigel has the low-power WWME-TV and WMEU-TV (MeTV and MeToo, respectively) on digital channels 26.2 and 26.3 in Chicago, and WBME-TV in Milwaukee (MeTV Milwaukee) on digital channel 49.1. WBME was formerly known as WJJA-TV until Weigel purchased the station last year.

This TV in Chicago launches officially Saturday, but a sneak preview may be planned for Friday, with some Halloween movies from the MGM library.

To give you an idea of what programming This TV will air, here is a list of film libraries MGM currently owns. Among the libraries MGM owns include include films produced by Orion and the post-1952 United Artists catalog.