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Bring me Beavor bring me TV via satellite dish

Mott & Hester Deli buddy Lou Collazo makes a convincing sales pitch against satellite dishes when he appears on Time Warner Cable commercials (and I love seeing his wife dance around the kitchen), but every time I think about Eddie Haskell, Barney Fife or Sgt. Schulz, I am convinced it's time to call DirecTV.

Those are the characters I long to get reacquainted with, and the best way to do that is through the cable's TV Land. Yet Time Warner does not carry the channel among it's 100-plus digital lineup. The satellite dish would require a decent amount of work, and a local TV antenna to draw in the WB network (the kids can't live without Digimon).

You know me. I'm mechanically illiterate and generally opposed to technological advancements, so I'm pleading with Time Warner to conclude what they call "ongoing negotiations" and get Leave It To Beaver, Andy Griffith and Hogan's Heroes into my home on a regular basis.

Actually, I'm not pleading, I'm demanding. I look at what is currently offered and cannot understand why everyone's passion is being satisfied but mine. Five Discovery channels, six music channels and three C-SPAN offerings, but we can't see Gomer Pyle and Mary Tyler Moore.

Word has it Time Warner will add the Women's Entertainment channel, and they already have Lifetime and Lifetime Movies. So what do you think I want my wife watching: a scorned Meredith Baxter-Birney driving her SUV through her husband's living room, or June Cleaver?

According to the folks at TV Land, 75 percent of the nation's cable homes get a steady diet of Barney Miller, Dragnet, Beverly Hillbillies and tell-all documentaries, from the producers of Behind the Music, on your favorite old-school shows.

I know somebody out there is saying the last thing we need is another channel full of reruns, but if you share my passion, call Time Warner. If you don't, Ernest Hooper might go Ernest T. Bass on the Time Warner office.

Until I get TV Land, I'll continue to settle for Nick at Nite. And of course, there's those campy Denny's commercials with George and Weezy Jefferson. Did you know we can thank Tampa's WestWayne Advertising for bringing back Sherman Helmsley and Isabel Sanford to peddle the Grand Slam breakfast?

WestWayne creative director Scott Sheinberg said the idea was to use a couple people would welcome like an old friend. The campaign has been so successful it's being credited with producing seven consecutive weeks of store-traffic increases for Denny's. Now a second campaign is in the works.

On Friday night, the Channelside parking garage attendant said, "I've never seen it this crowded."

People parked on Level 4 and it took 40 minutes to get out of the garage, due in large part to the crowds at Stump's Supper Club and the adjacent Howl At The Moon piano bar. Guy Revelle at Stump's said they did 450 covers at the supper club, and the dance floor was still crowded at 12:30.

Yet it was Howl At The Moon that had a standing-room-only crowd for the better part of the night. The dueling pianists occasionally morph into a six-piece band, and while you heard your typical Billy Joel and Elton John standards, there also were renditions of Living On A Prayer, Baby Got Back and a wicked version of Bohemian Rhapsody that would have made Garth and Wayne proud.

A good time was had by all: the young Florida State fans who paid $25 to hear the Seminole war chant, the older couple sitting in the back, the chap in the cowboy hat and the party animal who made me get up and dance to Pour Some Sugar On Me.

Don't ask.

Did you notice that all the Warner Bros. stores in town are going out of business? Items were 20 percent off at the Brandon Town Center Saturday, prompting me to wonder only one thing: What is going on with the Time Warner conglomerate?

_ Ernest Hooper can be reached at (813) 226-3406 or Hoopersptimes.com. His column appears on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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