Hunker down with Fonzie, Mr. Phelps and more old friends for free this weekend
Pluto TV, a free video service from ViacomCBS, has launched six new streaming channels dedicated to classic TV shows. The ad-supported app and website (pluto.tv) looks like your on-screen cable guide, with timed blocks of programming listed next to channel names.
Pluto TV's six new channels each have a singular focus: There's "Family Ties," featuring the NBC show that made Michael J. Fox famous; "Happy Days," with Henry Winkler as Fonzie; "Wings," a long-running NBC show from the '90s starring Steven Weber and Tim Daly; "The Love Boat," promising something for everyone (wink wink); "The Beverly Hillbillies," where you can watch Jethro do some cipherin'; and "Mission: Impossible," featuring the espionage high jinks from Mr. Phelps and Co. that led to Ethan Hunt's big-screen adventures.
Pluto TV's collection of series and movies is surprisingly large for a free service you probably hadn't heard of; a dedicated 007 channel is showing "From Russia With Love" (followed by "Thunderball") as I type this. There are also channels dedicated to "Mystery Science Theater 3000," "The Rifleman," "CSI," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Star Trek" and more. There's an on-demand library as well.
To mark the holiday season arrival of its new channels, Pluto TV made a donation to World Central Kitchen to "support their ongoing efforts to use the power of food to heal communities ... during times of crisis," according to a news release.
A performance by Tony Award-winning "Miss Saigon" star Lea Salonga airs Friday on WTTW Channel 11.
The greatest singer alive
Her name is Lea Salonga, and you've definitely heard her voice even if the name isn't familiar.
This weekend's new episode of "Great Performances," airing at 8 p.m. Friday on WTTW Channel 11, features Salonga and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing her signature Disney songs -- "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin" and "Reflection" from "Mulan" -- as well as Broadway favorites from "Les Miserables," "The Music Man" and "Miss Saigon," for which she won the lead-actress Tony Award in 1991.
"Lea Salonga in Concert" will also be available at wttw.com after the on-air premiere.
• Sean Stangland is an assistant news editor who highly recommends the YouTube video of Lea Salonga and Josh Groban singing "All I Ask of You."