Thou hast set me free. That means that I am free to please thee. And I am going to please thee very much.


– Jeannie, from I Dream of Jeannie



There are lots of times, I think, that we are all not adventurous enough. I mean, we spend 95 percent of our lives doing the same things over and over, eating at the same restaurants, watching the same TV channels – and, the whole time, right under our nose, there’s an entire vast new world ripe for exploring if we only dare to look.

Like you, I need to be more aggressive and more adventurous in my life and so, the other day, I took that step after I realized that I’ve never even explored the vast majority of my TV channels. You know, I watch Fox News and CNN, and sports on ESPN, and Modern Family on ABC and Survivor on CBS, but – even though I watch TV all the time – I never take the exciting next step of looking at what I call “the high channels.” I realized the other night that I never ever go above Channel 586 (Starz) – but I get channels that go all the way up to Channel 1999.

I pay Time Warner (We know who you are even if you call yourself Spectrum; you are not fooling anyone) hundreds and hundreds of dollars every year to get all those channels that I’ve never watched or even heard of. So, with that in mind, I decided that, this week – for my column and for my edification – I would thoroughly explore all the unknown high channels, the ones no one ever watches, to learn what the heck was on them and to figure out why my channel selector goes up to one shy of 2000.

What I discovered was absolutely fascinating. I can’t write about all of them in a single column, but here’s a small sample of the types of channels that await all of us in the vast wonderland on the other side of the TV spectrum …

Channels 801 to 811. OK, these are completely incomprehensible. They are not even in English.

My Spanish consists of just one phrase: “Dónde está la casa de Pepe?” And even then, just knowing that one lone phrase, I always thought it meant, “Where is the bathroom” (You know, “Where is the place of pee-pee?”) But even the one thing in Spanish I thought I knew was wrong.

But I made myself watch these channels anyway. Finally, I remembered there should be a way to turn on subtitles somewhere; so I figured it out and turned them on, and, unbelievably, they were in Spanish too. I don’t get that: It does absolutely no good whatsoever to have subtitles if they are in the same strange language the people are talking in. I think that is discrimination against me as an American and I plan to write a strongly worded letter to Time Warner about it.

  1. GOLTV. As far as I can tell, this channel only shows Venezuelan soccer – just 24 hours a day of Venezuelan soccer. If you think I’m making that up, turn to channel 960 on your TV at any time of the day or night and tell me if what you see isn’t Venezuelan soccer.

Various numbered channels sprinkled throughout. A hundred different shopping channels. There are a lot of these and they basically cover every product under the sun. These are all just like the Home Shopping Network. One thing I do like about the Home Shopping Network is that it is one of the only channels that never has any commercials.

One of these is called GEMTV where one show on it is called “An Hour of Amazing Jewelry under $50.” So that channel was a nice find. It’s a good one because, if you go in a jewelry store, you can spend thousands of dollars for jewelry but if you buy the same stuff here it is sometimes only like $10 or $15. Be sure to keep this channel in mind if you want to make your next Valentine’s Day very memorable.

  1. GRIT. This channel has shows like Walker Texas Ranger, Zane Grey Theatre, Laramie, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon and movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I’m not kidding at all when I say that, to the best of my knowledge, this channel only runs shows that take place west of the Mississippi River. Who knew there was a channel like that? You can even see Lassie reruns on this channel. If you don’t know, that show is about a dog who lives with a family that understands what a dog is saying when it barks. For instance, four loud, quick barks means, “trapped in the old mill.”
  2. 1245. As far as I can tell, this is Bonanza and CHiPs reruns 24/7.
  3. ANTENNA. Now this is a great channel and I don’t know how I missed it all these years. It has The Jeffersons, Johnny Carson reruns, Mork & Mindy, Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for …

(Sorry, I got carried away there.)

They also show a lot of I Dream of Jeannie. I enjoyed this show a lot when I was a kid and I did in fact dream of Jeannie. Boy, did I dream about Jeannie. I mean, I dreamed and dreamed about her if you know what I mean.

If you’ve never seen the show, it’s about Jeannie, who lives in a bottle that was found by astronaut Major Anthony Nelson, and in return she offered him anything he wanted. He did what every red-blooded American male would do if he had an incredibly hot, scantily clad genie begging to grant his every wish – he chastised her for trying to seduce him and ordered her to never use her magic power.

Just like any of us would do. Including myself. Because, you know – it’s only right.

  1. 1451. Filipino on Demand. Even the name of this channel frightens me. I wanted to know what it was about, but I’m scared to even Google the channel name on my work computer. I also didn’t even try to watch this channel because the last thing I want to do is accidently hit a button on my remote and have someone show up at my door expecting money.
  2. 1531. Eros on Demand. See above.
  3. 1261. Laff TV. Now, this station is all old comedies but, to me, the funniest thing about it is that they spelled the name of the network wrong. (Last time I checked it was L-A-U-G-H.)

I watched Gilligan’s Island the other night on this network. That’s the show where they went on a three-hour tour but packed lots of formal wear, boas and theatrical costumes. I can’t remember the name of the episode I saw this week, but it’s the one where the castaways are about to get rescued off the island but then Gilligan makes a bone-headed move that screws up the rescue and leaves them marooned.

1800 to 1899. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Stay away from these channels at all cost! When you get past 1800 on the dial, watch out. I hadn’t stumbled on these before but this stuff is dirty, dirty, dirty. I am not kidding one bit when I say that I can’t even put the names of these shows in a family publication like this. I can’t believe they even show the names of these on the on-screen guide. The titles leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.

At least, back in my day the titles were clever.   You know, it was things like You’ve Got Male, My Bare Lady and On Golden Blonde.

But these titles these days leave nothing at all to the imagination. I had no idea that that kind of programing was on my perfectly innocent Samsung TV.

You have to pay about $12.95 per movie to activate the service and then there is no telling what you will see and I am not about to find out. You will never, ever under any circumstances find me watching one of these channels because (A) I am a good Christian (B) I was raised right, and (C) you can find the exact same movies on the internet for free.

On this part of your channel dial, you’ll find Penthouse on Demand, Adult on Demand, Playboy TV and more. I mean, you name it, it’s there. There is even one channel, channel 1846, that is called, “Too much for TV on Demand.” And it is on TV. I don’t even know how that works.

(If you do accidently watch any of these channels, I would like to point you back to channel 1230 where you can watch “Ask the Pastor” and “The 700 Club” to help you get forgiveness.)

Once you get to 1900, it is all music. You can find a channel that plays any type of music you want. I listened to one, “Toddler Tunes,” that is just music for toddlers all day long. But if you are going to watch that channel a lot I would suggest that you get a gun because it kind of makes you want to shoot yourself.