Sign in to follow this  


5 posts in this topic




Path40a created the first TCM Programming Challenge in February, 2006 to give people a glimpse into the complexities of the programming process. The challenge has endured because it allows entrants to exercise their imagination, display their knowledge and introduce rare classics. TCM Programming Challenges are neither sponsored nor endorsed by TCM but tcmprogrammr has stated that programmers happily steal ideas from these schedules. Many entrants have had the joy of seeing their themes and movie selections air on TCM. The Challenge is to create a week’s schedule following TCM’s standard format.


This challenge starts right now--Thursday, June 13, 2019 and runs until Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 11:59pm PST.  The Voting Thread will be posted on  July 26, 2019. 


Everyone is welcome to create and post a schedule, and everyone is welcome to vote! It’s much easier than it sounds, and it’s quite fun! Voting takes place in a separate voting thread after the challenge is closed. You may either vote by posting your selection on the thread or by directly messaging the moderator. The winner has the honor of running the next challenge. If you want to enter but can’t host the next challenge, enter anyway, then withdraw from voting. We want to see your ideas too!


1. Create a week's schedule which begins at 6 AM (EST) Sunday and ends at 6 AM (EST) the following Sunday. The week selected must be between October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. 

2. Each day’s programming can begin whenever the evening schedule is over. TCM spills their evening schedules into the next day all the time, or sometimes starts the next day at 3am, so there is no official starting time.

3. Primetime/Evening MUST begin at 8 PM (EST). TCM never strays from this, so neither shall we.

4. Feature films must start on the hour, quarter-hour, half-hour or three-quarters hour. Short films or other material can be used to “fill-in” between movies so that there is never more than 14 minutes of unscheduled time between features, but don’t feel like you need to schedule all those little in-between commercials and interviews—we can all assume they are there.

5. For this challenge, the premiere limit has been lifted for reasons that will be explained down below......


1. Star of the Month -- At least 4 movies on one evening to showcase an actor. The SOTM must have a body of work large enough to allow similar blocks the other weeks in the month.

2. Silent Sunday Night -- A silent movie which begins at approximately 12 AM (EST) Sunday night/Monday morning.

3. TCM Imports -- A foreign film that begins at approximately 2 AM (EST) Monday morning.

4. TCM Spotlight -- A group of films which showcase a theme which appears in primetime each one night a week for a month.

5. TCM Underground -- A little known or “cult” film which begins at approximately 2 AM (EST) Saturday night.

6. The Essentials -- A highly regarded film that has remained undimmed by time. Must be at 8 PM on Saturday.

7. Noir Alley – a film noir starting at midnight on Saturday Night

8. Mandatory Challenges as outlined for TCM Programming Challenge #41


·         You may include a Guest Programmer but you are not required to do so unless it is a mandatory challenge requirement.

·         Programming related to birthdays, anniversaries of historical or cinematic importance, genres, places or anything else that can reasonably be thematically grouped together is encouraged. Thought provoking, humorous and/or outrageous themes are especially welcome.

·         Programming notes to explain your themes or to provide additional information on your selected movies are not required but are greatly encouraged. These notes should be on a separate post following the posting of your schedule.


Follow the standard TCM scheduling format for each film: Time, Title, Year, Actor(s), Director(s), Studio, Running Time, and justification (if any).


6:15pm The Long, Long Trailer (1954) Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Marjorie Main. Dir. Vincente Minnelli. MGM. 103 mins. (p/s).

Running times and studio information may be found in the TCM database or at


·         P/S for movies or programs which have been previously shown.

·         PD or “Public Domain” for films in the public domain.

·         “PREMIERE” for movies never seen before on TCM

·         No notation is needed for any movie in the original Turner film library (pre-1950 WB, pre-1986 MGM, and RKO).


Studio abbreviations some of us use for less typing (not a requirement, just FYI):

·         UI = Universal International Pictures

·         WB = Warner Brothers

·         MGM = Metro Goldwyn Mayer

·         RKO = RKO Radio Pictures

·         PAR = Paramount

·         COL = Columbia

·         FOX = 20th Century Fox

·         RANK = J Arthur Rank

·       UA = United Artists



·         The original Turner library consisted of: Warner Brothers (pre-1948 only,) MGM (pre-1986 only) and RKO (all years.)

·         Disney animated feature films are only allowed as part of your Treasures from the Disney Vault segment because Disney will not license them to TCM otherwise. Disney live action films are allowed, either as previously shown films or as premieres. Animated movies created by other studios whose rights were later acquired Disney are allowed as previously shown films or as premieres. Disney shorts or cartoons which have been previously shown on TCM are allowed.

·         All other theatrical films are allowed as premieres.

Movies in the original Turner library are:

·         Warner Brothers (pre-1948 only):

·         MGM (pre-1986 only):

·         RKO (all):

Movies in the public domain are:

The most commonly used libraries are:

·         Columbia Pictures:

·         United Artists:

·         Samuel Goldwyn:

·         J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors: 

·         20th Century Fox:–99)–present)

·         Paramount Pictures:

·         Universal Pictures:

·         British Gaumont Pictures:

A link of previous Stars Of The Month can be found here:

Previous Challenges can be reviewed here:


How to tell if a movie has aired previously or has not aired at all on TCM, courtesy of MovieCollectorOH:

Many thanks to MovieCollectorOH for his “unofficial report” of what has aired on TCM since 2001. It can be a great resource as you are creating your schedule:

Films that have not, as far as currently known, appeared on TCM are in these files that MovieCollectorOH has arranged chronologically: [20th Century Fox] [American International Pictures] [Allied Artists] [Columbia] [Disney] [First National] [Hammer] [MGM] [Monogram] [Paramount] [Republic] [RKO] [Goldwyn] [Universal; 1912-1946;1963-present] [Universal; 1946-1963] [WB] [Misc. companies up through 1990] [British Companies Up Through 1990]

And for finding out the last time a movie aired (in case you want to rustle up some film not seen on the channel for years, there's this. All the one time only films are listed first, then the 2 times films, etc.)



Thanks to previous Challenge Moderators for the opportunity to use their instructions. If you have any questions, post them here in case someone else has the same question. The info on the specifics of this challenge can be found in the next post……..

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



#1- New material for TCM.  The premiere limit has been lifted for this challenge, because as a mandatory requirement for this particular challenge, your schedule must include at least 15 premieres. There is no maximum number. Use MovieCollectorOH's helpful files to find titles that have never before been seen on TCM. Anything you wish. The sky's the limit. If you want to schedule 48 straight hours of rare Paramount and Universal titles or if you want to do Disney animated films, feel free! There's no stopping you this time around.

#2- New SOTM. Your Star of the Month must be somebody who has never been given such an honor in the past on TCM. None of the names on this list can be chosen: This takes a lot of names out of the running, but this gives you freedom to choose just about any Fox, Paramount, Universal, foreign, or more recent star, not to mention all those great character actors and actresses! Again, as long as you think of a person, feel free to take it as far as you wish to go!

#3- Cinema's origins.  In this challenge, you need to create a programming block that contains, at the minimum, 4 silent films made in the early days of Hollywood's history.

#4 - TCM Message Board Guest Programmer. OK, this one might sound a little odd, but bear with me. All of our schedules are what we want to see on TCM, but what about what others want? For this reason, I am asking you to converse with another Message Board member (be it somebody who usually participates in these events or not) either in a thread or via a private message and ask him or her 4 or 5 titles that they want to see on TCM either again or the first time.

That's everything, so this challenge is now officially open! Good Luck Everyone!

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that WAS fast, haha! The new challenge looks fun. I'm looking forward to diving in. Also, you've probably already done it, but just as a reminder, make sure to send a PM to the moderator asking to have this thread pinned. I'd hate for anyone to accidentally miss it!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stevomachino said:

Wow, that WAS fast, haha! The new challenge looks fun. I'm looking forward to diving in. Also, you've probably already done it, but just as a reminder, make sure to send a PM to the moderator asking to have this thread pinned. I'd hate for anyone to accidentally miss it!

i did send a message yesterday, so hopefully this will be pinned soon.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:


Having problems?

Contact Us