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2016 season of Essentials


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#1 TopBilled

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 05:35 PM

I try not to be too negative but Saturday night's primetime presentation was sad:

 

 - Another week without an Essentials discussion.  I can't remember when the last one was.

 - Ron Perlman did the intros as if he wasn't sure he wanted to be there.

 - Accordingly he was dressed as if he just walked in off the street and someone gave him a sport coat to throw over whatever he happened to have on.

 - It seems clear that Mr. Perlman is just reading someone else's script and adds nothing of his own.

 - The first movie was Murphy's Romance.  It would have been great to hear Sally Field discuss this with Robert and provide first-hand comments.  Will we ever see either of them again?

 

The entire evening just made me long for the past.

 

My guess is that MURPHY'S ROMANCE was selected with the intention of having Sally discuss it with Robert. But of course, those plans changed.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#2 cmovieviewer

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 05:03 PM

I try not to be too negative but Saturday night's primetime presentation was sad:

 

 - Another week without an Essentials discussion.  I can't remember when the last one was.

 - Ron Perlman did the intros as if he wasn't sure he wanted to be there.

 - Accordingly he was dressed as if he just walked in off the street and someone gave him a sport coat to throw over whatever he happened to have on.

 - It seems clear that Mr. Perlman is just reading someone else's script and adds nothing of his own.

 - The first movie was Murphy's Romance.  It would have been great to hear Sally Field discuss this with Robert and provide first-hand comments.  Will we ever see either of them again?

 

The entire evening just made me long for the past.



#3 TopBilled

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 10:44 AM

I agree. I have no up-to-date inside knowledge of the situation, but my guess is that the folks at TCM have just scrapped their plans for the 2016/17 season of The Essentials. At this point, they are probably just hoping that Robert Osborne is well enough for a last hurrah in 2017/18. That way, they can arrange a proper sendoff for the man who has really become the public face of TCM over the years.

It would have been nice had they made an official announcement, that Essentials was on indefinite hiatus and would be back full-time next year. Instead we have been left guessing for months. 

 

I was under the impression Sally Field had contracted to do another full season. And I like her hosting, so I am hoping to see her again with this franchise.


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#4 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 01:41 PM

The Jack Carson-Dennis Morgan movie makes it seem like they have temporarily discontinued the Essentials programming.

 

I agree. I have no up-to-date inside knowledge of the situation, but my guess is that the folks at TCM have just scrapped their plans for the 2016/17 season of The Essentials. At this point, they are probably just hoping that Robert Osborne is well enough for a last hurrah in 2017/18. That way, they can arrange a proper sendoff for the man who has really become the public face of TCM over the years.


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#5 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 07:17 PM

It does seem unlikely for TCM. But Blood and Black Lace is considered a classic of the giallo genre, and acknowledging it as such in October, and so close to Halloween, is a possibility.

Thanks Larry. What I noticed on the schedule is they have removed the word "Essentials" from the Saturday primetime section. In previous months it would say something like "Essentials: Mothers Day" and we would know that the first movie is an Essential and the rest of the evening would follow the same theme. But now they are not branding Saturday evenings as part of the Essentials, at least not on the online schedule. 

 

My guess is something like MURPHY'S ROMANCE was acquired for an Essentials slot when they thought Robert and Sally were going to do a full season. So unless they film a special wraparound with Sally, and Robert has come back full time to do it with her, I am wondering if they are just going to air the movie as part of their theme 'Feel Good Romances' and let Ben introduce it.

 

The Jack Carson-Dennis Morgan movie makes it seem like they have temporarily discontinued the Essentials programming.


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#6 LawrenceA

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 07:13 PM

I am trying to figure out the Essentials for October using the newest schedule information. 

 

October 29: BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (doesn't seem like an Essential)

 

It does seem unlikely for TCM. But Blood and Black Lace is considered a classic of the giallo genre, and acknowledging it as such in October, and so close to Halloween, is a possibility.


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#7 TopBilled

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 06:36 PM

I am trying to figure out the Essentials for October using the newest schedule information. 

 

October 1: TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE (does not seem like an Essential)

October 8: MURPHY'S ROMANCE (seems like an Essential and like something Sally Field would introduce)

October 15: THE INNOCENTS (seems like an Essential)

October 22: JAWS (seems like an Essential)

October 29: BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (doesn't seem like an Essential)


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#8 TopBilled

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 10:43 PM

So, The Essentials will not be returning to TCM before July, as evidenced by guest host Madeline Stowe's statement in her intro to The French Connection that she's "filling in for Robert Osborne this month."

 

I'm guessing that, at this point, the powers that be have decided to scrap their plans for the current season and are hoping Osborne is well enough for a last hurrah in 2017. It was reported on the TCM Classic Cruise last fall that Sally Field was contractually obligated to TCM for at least one more season of The Essentials.

They should have just had Sally do the season on her own. Or brought Alec Baldwin back to co-host it with her. They would have done a nice job during Robert's absence and provided some sort of on-going continuity. As it is now, the franchise is becoming a little too hit-or-miss.


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#9 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 09:54 PM

So, The Essentials will not be returning to TCM before July, as evidenced by guest host Madeline Stowe's statement in her intro to The French Connection that she's "filling in for Robert Osborne this month."

 

I'm guessing that, at this point, the powers that be have decided to scrap their plans for the current season and are hoping Osborne is well enough for a last hurrah in 2017. It was reported on the TCM Classic Cruise last fall that Sally Field was contractually obligated to TCM for at least one more season of The Essentials.



#10 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 05:01 PM

TCM has posted their monthly promo video for June on social media (see here). No mention whatsoever is made of The Essentials. This striking lack of publicity suggests that the 2016 season will not, in fact, begin on Saturday night. Either that or TCM is intentionally trying to keep the series' return a secret, which seems a rather unlikely scenario.


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#11 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:15 PM

Interesting that in the introduction for tonight's airing of WHITE HEAT, by Ben Mankiewicz and writer Jeremy Arnold (author of the new book The Essentials: 52 Films and Why They Matter) no mention was made of the upcoming season of the program. Probably the segments for tonight were recorded before TCM was able to finalize their plans for 2016.

 

The last I heard was that TCM was planning on launching an abbreviated season of The Essentials in June. That information dates to late March, though, which was before Robert Osborne's announcement that he'd be missing the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival. So for all I know alternate arrangements have been made since then. Nonetheless, Saturday nights starting in June are still billed as The Essentials on the online schedule so we'll see what happens.

 

Tonight marked, I believe, the most explicit on-air reference to Robert Osborne since his extended leave of absence began three months ago. Jeremy Arnold mentioned that Osborne's contribution to his book was integral and cited THIS IS SPINAL TAP as one of Osborne's favorite comedies.


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#12 TopBilled

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 03:39 PM

Based on that, the first four films to air with Essentials wraparounds this year will be:

 

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940)

THE STING

 

I can almost guarantee that MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS will repeat on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday this year.

Good detective work. As you suggested, titles like SABRINA will probably be repeated later, with the intended wraparounds. It's nice to know the full Essentials schedule up front, though due to unforeseen circumstances this year that did not happen. In years past, people were able to predict four or five of the Summer Under the Stars honorees. 


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#13 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 02:08 PM

Guess we still haven't gotten the full 2016 Essentials schedule yet, have we..?

 

Based on the schedule for June, it looks like that is when the new season will begin. Saturday, June 4 is the first evening on the current schedule which is specifically billed as The Essentials. That start date would allow for thirty some-odd Saturday nights between then and the conclusion of this series of The Essentials at the end of January 2017, which is roughly equivalent to the number of Essentials that typically air in a given year (discounting repeats).

 

I'm betting that the films airing on Saturday nights between now and then will still air with Essentials wraparounds later in the year, when the series is usually into repeats anyway; in fact, we can already see this since THE STING is scheduled as an Essential on the last Saturday in June, having already been scheduled earlier in the year.

 

Based on that, the first four films to air with Essentials wraparounds this year will be:

 

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940)

THE STING

 

I can almost guarantee that MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS will repeat on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday this year.


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#14 TopBilled

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 01:45 PM

Guess we still haven't gotten the full 2016 Essentials schedule yet, have we..?


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#15 TopBilled

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for the confirmation, Barton.  I'm glad that Robert Osbourne is feeling better.

 

It is indeed a good idea to have Ben step into place to introduce the originally scheduled movies in The Essentials spot.

 

I suspected that something was up when for the first time I remember, The Essentials was not included as a theme in the March video promo segment.

And I have a feeling the guest programmer segment with Lou Gossett Jr was also affected by these scheduling conflicts. It seems to have been indefinitely postponed.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#16 GregoryPeckfan

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 06:23 PM

Yes, it is true that Robert Osborne was ill. I have it on reasonably good authority that he was sick with the flu during the week he and Sally Field were originally supposed to record their segments for The Essentials in January. This was at about the same time that Eva Marie Saint accepted the William Cameron Menzies Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Directors Guild on Robert's behalf -- his illness was also given as the reason for his absence at that event.

 

Robert is well now and was apparently back in the studio for TCM in the last couple of weeks recording his segments for March and April. But just at the moment Sally Field is busy doing publicity for her new film HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS, so that temporarily precludes Sally from joining Robert to record their intros and outros for the 2016 season of The Essentials.

 

As I understand it, all of the films scheduled to air in the 8:00PM slot on Saturday nights this month (SABRINA, THE STING, THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE GENERAL) will still air with Essentials wraparounds later in the year, when the series is usually into repeats. So the 'delay in production' which is vaguely referred to at essentials.tcm.com is simply code for scheduling conflicts.

 

Additionally, it seems like a smart move to have Ben Mankiewicz step in to host on Saturday nights in the meantime, since there may be some casual TCM viewers who tend to tune in only for the big-budget mainstream fare seen on The Essentials  and they may not be as familiar with Ben as the folks around here would be.

 

 

Thanks for the confirmation, Barton.  I'm glad that Robert Osbourne is feeling better.

 

It is indeed a good idea to have Ben step into place to introduce the originally scheduled movies in The Essentials spot.

 

I suspected that something was up when for the first time I remember, The Essentials was not included as a theme in the March video promo segment.


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#17 Barton_Keyes

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:48 PM

Thanks jody for posting this. I hadn't seen it yet. There has been talk in other threads that Osborne was ill. Not sure how true that might be. If so, then it would explain the delay and why Ben is stepping in.

 

Yes, it is true that Robert Osborne was ill. I have it on reasonably good authority that he was sick with the flu during the week he and Sally Field were originally supposed to record their segments for The Essentials in January. This was at about the same time that Eva Marie Saint accepted the William Cameron Menzies Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Directors Guild on Robert's behalf -- his illness was also given as the reason for his absence at that event.

 

Robert is well now and was apparently back in the studio for TCM in the last couple of weeks recording his segments for March and April. But just at the moment Sally Field is busy doing publicity for her new film HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS, so that temporarily precludes Sally from joining Robert to record their intros and outros for the 2016 season of The Essentials.

 

As I understand it, all of the films scheduled to air in the 8:00PM slot on Saturday nights this month (SABRINA, THE STING, THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE GENERAL) will still air with Essentials wraparounds later in the year, when the series is usually into repeats. So the 'delay in production' which is vaguely referred to at essentials.tcm.com is simply code for scheduling conflicts.

 

Additionally, it seems like a smart move to have Ben Mankiewicz step in to host on Saturday nights in the meantime, since there may be some casual TCM viewers who tend to tune in only for the big-budget mainstream fare seen on The Essentials  and they may not be as familiar with Ben as the folks around here would be.


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#18 TopBilled

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:12 PM

I figure there's a decent chance you've seen this already, but just in case, from essentials.tcm.com:

"Due to a production delay, The Essentials with Robert Osborne and co-host Sally Field has been delayed. In the meantime, Ben Mankiewicz will be stepping in every Saturday night in March introducing the classic movies you love, along with the ones you will hopefully come to love."

Thanks jody for posting this. I hadn't seen it yet. There has been talk in other threads that Osborne was ill. Not sure how true that might be. If so, then it would explain the delay and why Ben is stepping in.


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#19 jodyjm13

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:10 PM

Yes, something is holding them up. Maybe Osborne is about to step down or else go into semi-retirement. Just speculating. Or else it has to do with them still lining up a few selections.

I figure there's a decent chance you've seen this already, but just in case, from essentials.tcm.com:

"Due to a production delay, The Essentials with Robert Osborne and co-host Sally Field has been delayed. In the meantime, Ben Mankiewicz will be stepping in every Saturday night in March introducing the classic movies you love, along with the ones you will hopefully come to love."


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#20 TopBilled

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 01:14 PM

I agree that it's highly doubtful the programmers would simply discontinue the series altogether. But given that we're expecting the new season to start on Saturday night, I'm just a bit perplexed by the total lack of publicity surrounding what has typically been 'event' programming for TCM.

Yes, something is holding them up. Maybe Osborne is about to step down or else go into semi-retirement. Just speculating. Or else it has to do with them still lining up a few selections.


"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).





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