My memories of watching TV shows on WSNS-TV Channel 44 in Chicago in the 1970s.

Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 2.35.07 PM
Logo Bumper of WSNS-TV Channel 44. Credited from Logopedia. 

Hi everyone. Today I am writing about my memories of watching WSNS-TV Channel 44 in the 1970s. It may be strange to some people that I write about a TV Station that is still in business, but at the time, it was unique. Channel 44 first went on air on April 5, 1970, it maintained an all-news format. That continued until 1972. Slowly, it began showing old movies, talk shows, and obscure TV shows. The shows that I remembered are listed here: 

  • Prince Planet
  • Speed Racer
  • Leave it to Beaver
  • Adventures of Superman
  • Mundo Hispano
  • College Courses
  • Dimensions, a talk show
  • Felix The Cat
  • Deputy Dawg
  • Peter Gunn
  • Mr. Lucky
  • The Munsters
  • Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C
  • I Love Lucy
  • My Favorite Martian
  • Hazel
  • Room 222
  • The Untouchables
  • Colonel March of Scotland Yard that starred Boris Karloff
  • Bullwinkle
  • Popeye with Steve Hart
  • Bonanza
  • Wanted: Dead or Alive
  • Maverick
  • Flipper
  • F-Troop
  • Sports Spotlight
  • On Deck
  • Movie Game
  • Thing Theater
  • Rick Talley Sports
  • Ultraman
  • The Dating Game
  • Dinah and Friends
  • The Gong Show
  • Bob Luce Wrestling
  • The Star-Spangled Movie
  • The Good Time Bunch
  • Spiderman
  • Illinois State Lottery
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Black Hawks
  • Monster Rally Movie
  • DePaul Basketball
  • Get Smart
  • Al Lerner Sports
  • All Night Movies
  • Combat
  • The Mike Douglas Show
  • Outdoors with Ken Callaway
  • ON-TV
  • The One O’ Clock Movie
  • Monster Movie
  • Not For Women Only
  • Roller Derby
  • I Spy
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Indiana Basketball
  • Burns & Allen
  • Win at The Races
  • High Hopes, a Canadian soap opera
  • The Onedin Line
  • Marvel Superheroes
  • Robin Hood
  • Linus The Lionhearted
  • Lassie
  • Science Fiction Theater
  • Marine Boy
  • Space Giants
  • Lafftime
  • Sgt Bilko
  • The Big Valley
  • House of Frightenstein
  • Pro-Fan
  • Johnny Sokko
  • The Heart of The News

Well, that’s most of the shows that I remembered and researched. The Chicago White Sox started airing on Channel 44 in 1973 until 1980, The Chicago Blackhawks aired from 1978 to 1980, and The Chicago Bulls aired from 1973 to 1976. The Disco Demolition also aired on channel 44. I was in Greece at the time. In September 1980, ON-TV a subscription television service debuted on Channel 44. It started airing at 7 p.m. in the evening that aired movies, concerts and sporting events. It aired adult programming in late evening hours. The converter box is probably the most popular thing that people remembered about ON-TV. The service ended in May 1985. On July 1, 1985. WSNS-TV Channel 44 converted to an all Spanish network by Univision for a few years and then to Telemundo.

When I watched Channel 44 in the 70s, it had programming that was very interesting. It was low-budget, and the promos of the TV shows were very memorable. My favorite shows that I watched were Prince Planet and Speed Racer. Speed Racer has been in reruns for years, but Prince Planet was very evasive. Once I went to a comic book convention and saw Prince Planet on DVD. It was a bootleg DVD recorded off TV.  I couldn’t resist and I bought it. I took it home and watched it for the first time in years. It was heavily edited, but I love it anyway. There is an official DVD release but it aired originally in Japanese. Not sure you can change the language on a DVD player, but I will find out soon.

All these years I was hoping channel 44 would come back as an English independent TV station. I don’t think it will happen. WCIU Channel 26 had ethnic programming for years until it switched to English programming on December 31, 1994. Oh, well, at least we have our memories. Thank you. Pete Kastanes, Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

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