11/17/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Whatever Happened To The Made-For-TV Movie? Cable

The made-for-TV movie, all but gone from the major networks, is being reinvented on cable.

In the mid-1970s, there were six weekly movies on the three broadcast networks, and as late as 1998, ABC, CBS and NBC all aired them on Sunday nights. Now none do: Instead, they offer a combined half-dozen or so titles each year.

Yet check the Saturday night lineup (a dead zone for the big guys) and you'll find new films on Lifetime, Sci Fi Channel and Hallmark, the three biggest purveyors of original movies.

Unlike broadcasters, cable networks can run movies 30 or 40 times, expanding their audience -- and profit.

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