NEW YORK — MTV Networks, which owns cable TV's Nickelodeon and a new all-comedy channel that will start next year, said today it has bought rights to 15 former network shows, including the acclaimed "Mary Tyler Moore Show."
Thirteen of the shows are situation comedies going to MTV's "Ha! The TV Comedy Network" channel. Another series headed there is "TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes," which was on NBC for three years.
Eight of the comedies and one comedy miniseries, the six-part "Fresno," were made by Moore's production company, MTM, which also made the CBS' drama series, "The White Shadow." That series will air on Nickelodeon.
Moore's old series and repeats of "The Bob Newhart Show," the latter part of the MTM package, won't air on 'Ha!" until 1992 because those shows are still in syndication to television stations, an MTV spokesman said.
However, the others, including "The Lucy Show" starring the late Lucille Ball, "Love, American Style," and "That Girl" will be on "Ha!" when it starts operating, he said. Those three sitcoms were not bought from MTM.
The new "Ha!" channel is scheduled to begin April 1, competing with Home Box Office's 24-hour The Comedy Channel, which premiered on Nov. 15.