by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Dark Shadows cast
Dark Shadows cast

Unless you receive your local TV over the air, you probably did not know that as of Feb. 1, 2021, WCHS, Charleston, added FOX Network to its multiplex tier (i.e. WCHS DT.2). WVAH is now an OTA and cable affiliate of DECADES TV, one of ME TV stable of spin offs.

WCHS , which operates WVAH through an operating agreement, has since 2009 been the base of operations for WVAH, which formerly operated out of Hurricane studios. 

WVAH started as a UHF indie then moved to channel 11. When FOX began expanding the station acquired its affiliation. At one point it carried portions of UPN's schedule in the late night hours. 

DECADES, a network of METV, has a mixture of classic genres, including repeats of Ed Sullivan and Dick Cavett. At one time it featured Rowan and Martin's Laugh In. 

The cult supernatural soap, DARK SHADOWS, airs daily at 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. The soap first broadcast on ABC in 1966 gained attention and staved off cancellation by introducing Barnabus Collins (Johathan Frid) as a vampire.  Frid became the show's star and the soap continued for nearly five years.

Produced by Dan Curtis, the plot arcs had borrowed bits and pieces from Dracula, Frankenstein, and Turn of the Screw. WV actor David Selby had the role of Quentin. Frid twice visited Huntington to host WOWK's Talent Hunt finals at the Keith Albee.

Some cast members have continued the series as an "audio" drama. They are available for purchase, just as is all episodes of the series. 

The series also "streams" on Amazon Prime, Pluto and Tubi. Pluto has a 24/7 Dark Shadows channel; however they have only a limited number of episodes looped, so Prime and Tubi air the complete serial. 

NBC revived the series in prime time just as the Gulf War started. Repeated interruptions kept the series from securing a large audience. It was cancelled after 13 episodes.

A Canadian soap STRANGE PARADISE had the same supernatural themes as Shadows but it only ran for a brief period.

Not a Dark Shadows fan? Decades has the classics including a little from each decade.  You can catch The Honeymooners to Frazier and Cheers along with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.

On weekends, Decades "binges" a past series. These have included Starsky and Hutch, Green Hornet, Mod Squad and Greatest American Hero.

This weekend Route 66 will be rerun. The Saint and White Shadows are on deck for binge watchers.

WCHS also broadcast a third digi-net , Antenna TV. WVAH has Stadium  TV, Comet , and Charge.