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Someone says TCM's playing LESS movies now. True?

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In my TCM schedules thread on another forum someone posted this:

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 10.41.04 AM.png

To which I replied:

Not sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying they are spacing out the movies to put in more of those wine club ads and Backlot stuff? Thereby reducing the overall total number of films that air each day? Is that what you're saying? 

*****

Is TCM really playing less films now than they did five years ago?

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Oh My! Don't see the value in checking this out. In other words, don't care. The movies typically have start times closest to the next quarter hour. TCM, unlike all the others, does not put annoying text on the screen during a film. All of the advertising is about TCM. I agree, some movies get more airtime than others. I don't believe TCM is filling time with junk to the point of removing 4 hours (2 movies) per day. It would be different if TCM filled up time until the top of the next hour, to start the next movie. Today, I see 12 movies listed and 5 shorts. Almost all movies do start at the top of the hour. That's all the effort I will put into this.

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10 minutes ago, jimmymac71 said:

Oh My! Don't see the value in checking this out. In other words, don't care. The movies typically have start times closest to the next quarter hour. TCM, unlike all the others, does not put annoying text on the screen during a film. All of the advertising is about TCM. I agree, some movies get more airtime than others. I don't believe TCM is filling time with junk to the point of removing 4 hours (2 movies) per day. It would be different if TCM filled up time until the top of the next hour, to start the next movie. Today, I see 12 movies listed and 5 shorts. Almost all movies do start at the top of the hour. That's all the effort I will put into this.

What I don't understand is how people are connecting this to Robert Osborne. TCM still has the same library of movies to play. That will never change regardless of who's hosting. So Osborne's death does not have anything to do with what they're scheduling. The scheduling is probably changing because of the between-movies advertising. My opinion.

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That looks like the same unsubstantiated whining we see all the time on here (TCM doesn't play enough movies, they play too many new/ foreign/ whatever movies). I wouldn't worry about it. The commercials are usually kept to a minimum.

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I don't really have anything new to add to this.  Just copying and pasting what I already have posted on my site.
http://moviecollector.us/reports.htm

Here is one of the first things I ever put together, back when I started posting.  It is a movie-only report that counts unique movies shown per year on TCM, broken down by production decade.  See for yourself, go ahead and click on this link...I dare you:
http://moviecollector.us/reports/3)unique-features_movies-only.htm

It just dawned on me that I don't actually have a movie-only report at this time that counts all movies, including movie repeats, per year.  So you can't tell that right now from my info.  But that would be easy enough to add. 

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6 minutes ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

I don't really have anything new to add to this.  Just copying and pasting what I already have posted on my site.
http://moviecollector.us/reports.htm

Here is one of the first things I ever put together, back when I started posting.  It is a movie-only report that counts unique movies shown per year on TCM, broken down by production decade.  See for yourself, go ahead and click on this link...I dare you:
http://moviecollector.us/reports/3)unique-features_movies-only.htm

It just dawned on me that I don't actually have a movie-only report at this time that counts all movies, including movie repeats, per year.  So you can't tell that right now from my info.  But that would be easy enough to add. 

Yeah it would be helpful to add that. But...let's say TCM schedules a morning of Tim Holt westerns. Most of those are no longer than 65 or 70 minutes. So a day of shorter B films means the total for that day will be greater than a day when 3-hour war epics are scheduled. The amount of movies per day will fluctuate depending on the theme.

But I think the person I quoted in the original post is upset that there is more space being put in between the movies, where one movie ends and there are a lot of ads now before the next movie starts.

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9 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Yeah it would be helpful to add that. But...let's say TCM schedules a morning of Tim Holt westerns. Most of those are no longer than 65 or 70 minutes. So a day of shorter B films means the total for that day will be greater than a day when 3-hour war epics are scheduled. The amount of movies per day will fluctuate depending on the theme.

But I think the person I quoted in the original post is upset that there is more space being put in between the movies, where one movie ends and there are a lot of ads now before the next movie starts.

A short is understood to be anything less than 45 min, so those would count as movies too. 

FWIW I don't base the durations of the features in my project on what TCM's schedule says, along with all the padding.  I base it on what IMDB says the duration of each feature is.

P.S. more padding might mean fewer repeats, I'm not sure at this point.

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1 minute ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

A short is understood to be anything less than 45 min, so those would count as movies too. 

FWIW I don't base the durations of the features in my project on what TCM's schedule says, along with all the padding.  I base it on what IMDB says the duration of each feature is.

That's a whole other can of worms, because sometimes TCM shows an edited version. Especially when it comes to foreign films. So the TCM running times do not always correlate with what's listed on the IMDb or on wiki.

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This is pretty simple stuff. Like flying a plane. You push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. You pull the stick back, the houses get smaller. I just couldn't help myself.

I have every reason to believe, and suspect there is a report to prove it, feature films have become longer in running times, in a linear fashion. Older films - shorter. Newer films - longer. So, TCM is digging into the newer films more frequently.

I too say things that shouldn't be. We are human and we get grumpy. It would be nice if TCM would accept legitimate comments and allow us to know they are listening.

For now, nobody does it better, and we should not forget that. I would be lost without TCM.

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42 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

That's a whole other can of worms, because sometimes TCM shows an edited version.

They use to say "un-cut." So that isn't exactly true?

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3 minutes ago, jimmymac71 said:

They use to say "un-cut." So that isn't exactly true?

I think by uncut they were saying they didn't cut in and interrupt with commercials/ads. But yes they have shown some edited films, when those are the only versions available to them. To their credit they do try and use the most complete films they can find but that is not always possible.

The version of THEY ALL KISSED THE BRIDE they show is definitely cut (because Joan Crawford's character utters a negative/racist comment about the Japanese). So in the scene where she does that there's a jump cut in the middle of her line so the offensive dialogue is not played.

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Excellent! I now have terrific project to occupy my leisure hours--just as soon as I finish counting the angels on the head of this pin. . . .

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I'm too lazy to actually look back at all my old posts, but I know I mentioned in a thread sometime this year that I missed the days that a film would end at 0:58 or 0:59 of an hour, and you would get the outro discussion and then a list of the next three films showing, and then the intro to the next film would begin immediately. I equated that with the Robert Osborne days, not that I necessarily thought Osborne had any control over that or regulated that in any way, but his hosting tenure was a time when there was less TCM self-promoting "advertisements", if I may call them that, between features. I noted that this never happens any more in current times. Now, no matter what time a feature ends, there is going to be one promo for either Wine Club or Backlot played before the next movie starts. If that means pushing the next movie back to 0:15 rather than 0:00 to get that promo included, TCM will do that 100 per cent of the time now.

Possibly I didn't word my intent very clearly, because the only reply I recall getting was someone informing me that TCM always played stuff between movies, be they shorts or whatever, even in Robert Osborne's days. Which was not my point at all, but I've become accustomed to my posts being completely misunderstood and misinterpreted over my decade on these threads. What I intended to say was there was once a time when a movie ended and another one immediately started without any station promos airing between. I don't think that ever happens any more. Certainly not in primetime, when I do 90 per cent of my viewing. A lot of you are more daytime viewers, I think, and can speak more authoritatively about that than me.

It feels like this insistence on always having at least one in-house promo between every movie, and pushing back the next start time by 15 minutes if necessary to ensure this always happens, might reduce the number of movies by one a day or so. But I have no hard evidence.

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48 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I'm too lazy to actually look back at all my old posts, but I know I mentioned in a thread sometime this year that I missed the days that a film would end at 0:58 or 0:59 of an hour, and you would get the outro discussion and then a list of the next three films showing, and then the intro to the next film would begin immediately.

That would be almost impossible to do, as the vast majority of movies are not 58, or 1:58 minutes long.

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24 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

That would be almost impossible to do, as the vast majority of movies are not 58, or 1:58 minutes long.

Sigh

What I mean is, okay, they would cue the Now Playing intro at 8:00 pm. Then a spoken intro. Then the movie. Then the spoken outro. Then the list of the next three upcoming movies. And THEN it wold be 10 pm, and they'd just start the next damn Now Playing intro and not do any in-house promos at all. When I say "0:58", I mean "8:58" or "9:58" or whatever time it is. I feel like I'm doing an incredibly poor job of explaining what is actually a really valid point.

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Yes you are, because the only way to have a short bit of introduction, a short bit of afterword, and a few short bits of program notes and have movies begin on the hour is to have movies very close to one, or two hours long.  Please don't take my comments as antagonistic.  My point is that there was always padding after movies to fill the time to the next convenient start time (on the quarter, half, or full hour).  These were, and remain to a large extent trailers, shorts (the erstwhile one reel wonders), promos for upcoming events, or TCM productions (alas, not so many of them anymore), and more recently, commercials for TCM revenue-generating ventures.

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26 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Yes you are, because the only way to have a short bit of introduction, a short bit of afterword, and a few short bits of program notes and have movies begin on the hour is to have movies very close to one, or two hours long.  Please don't take my comments as antagonistic.  My point is that there was always padding after movies to fill the time to the next convenient start time (on the quarter, half, or full hour).  These were, and remain to a large extent trailers, shorts (the erstwhile one reel wonders), promos for upcoming events, or TCM productions (alas, not so many of them anymore), and more recently, commercials for TCM revenue-generating ventures.

Perhaps there are more ads for TCM revenue-generating ventures than before. They're not used as filler between movies. Instead, they are becoming a priority and the other stuff (trailers, shorts, etc.) is now used intermittently to "fill" around the ads. Then after there's been 14 or 29 minutes of this, the next movie finally starts. 

I agree with sewhite2000 that there is no longer direct continuity from the concluding wraparound of one feature into the introductory wraparound of the very next feature. There is always a break for a wine club ad or a Backlot promo. 

I am still not clear on what they're trying to get out of the Backlot people. I've wondered if the chapters they're trying to set up, which they are encouraging people to use these message boards to achieve, aren't really meant to be political in time for the next presidential election. I really think they're using Turner's library of movies to push a socio-political agenda. And if they can make money out of that at the same time, even better. The movies are almost becoming secondary to other goals.

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They would have to be magicians to pull this off, since they still program for 24 hours a day.

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Can anyone please explain what a "less movie" is?

Or is the intended idea that TCM is playing fewer movies than they have in the past?

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My burning question: What is TCM doing with all this glorious income? They are not adding a West Coast feed. You cannot compare them to the likes of PBS. TCM charges a subscriber fee to cable and satellite companies. They must be collecting something from the streaming providers as well.

I don't think it really matters if a movies starts at the top of the hour. It is 24 hour movies, not radio, where there might be news at the top of the hour.

It is what it is. I would like to see the benefits of all that extra income returning back to the channel. I recently looked at CC for a moment. The trailers and old productions did not have closed captioning. Ben announced THE WIZARD OF OZ, and he was closed captioned.

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19 hours ago, jimmymac71 said:

I have every reason to believe, and suspect there is a report to prove it, feature films have become longer in running times, in a linear fashion. Older films - shorter. Newer films - longer. So, TCM is digging into the newer films more frequently.

 

That may be the answer.  I also believe that they are showing more "shorts."  And shorts are not movies IMO.  With showing shorter movies mixed with longer movies and more shorts, it does require expert manipulation of start times.

Of course, they also need to sell something.  Interesting that people mention the wine club and backlot group, but seldom mention the ads for DVD's and other products.

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49 minutes ago, jimmymac71 said:

My burning question: What is TCM doing with all this glorious income? They are not adding a West Coast feed. You cannot compare them to the likes of PBS. TCM charges a subscriber fee to cable and satellite companies. They must be collecting something from the streaming providers as well.

I don't think it really matters if a movies starts at the top of the hour. It is 24 hour movies, not radio, where there might be news at the top of the hour.

It is what it is. I would like to see the benefits of all that extra income returning back to the channel. I recently looked at CC for a moment. The trailers and old productions did not have closed captioning. Ben announced THE WIZARD OF OZ, and he was closed captioned.

with all the income they should be acquiring more movies!

"logic was impeccable, captain.

we are in grave danger." -spock, 2nd year ep 'the changeling'

:)

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An interesting parallel is what's happening to ESPN, the king of cable sports.  Recently ESPN has created their own streaming service called ESPN+, which hosts additional sports that aren't available on the cable channel.  In addition, they've moved some things that used to be on the cable channel to now be exclusive to the streaming service (such as the 30 for 30 documentaries).  For that you have to pay another ~$5 per month.  People that watch ESPN are familiar with the scroll along the bottom that shows current scores and breaking sports news.  The kicker is that now the scroll is constantly being used to periodically advertise the ESPN+ service.  If I was a cable provider I'm not sure I would appreciate ESPN using their channel to advertise in this manner.

A worst-case equivalent for TCM would be if they decided FilmStruck would start showing films that would no longer be available on TCM, and then advertise that service before, during, and after movies you watch on TCM.  How long before some people get fed up and just drop out altogether?

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3 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

An interesting parallel is what's happening to ESPN, the king of cable sports.  Recently ESPN has created their own streaming service called ESPN+, which hosts additional sports that aren't available on the cable channel.  In addition, they've moved some things that used to be on the cable channel to now be exclusive to the streaming service (such as the 30 for 30 documentaries).  For that you have to pay another ~$5 per month.  People that watch ESPN are familiar with the scroll along the bottom that shows current scores and breaking sports news.  The kicker is that now the scroll is constantly being used to periodically advertise the ESPN+ service.  If I was a cable provider I'm not sure I would appreciate ESPN using their channel to advertise in this manner.

A worst-case equivalent for TCM would be if they decided FilmStruck would start showing films that would no longer be available on TCM, and then advertise that service before, during, and after movies you watch on TCM.  How long before some people get fed up and just drop out altogether?

Your last paragraph is quite interesting...and I can see TCM doing that. It likes to make things "exclusive" so yes, why wouldn't certain titles be upgraded to FilmStruck, while other stuff is replayed on TCM that people aren't as interested in. In a way, this is probably what's been happening since FilmStruck was started. If so, it will only get more pronounced.

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