TopBilled

TCM and Other Sources for Classic Film

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While TCM does not subscribe to traditional TV rating systems (Neilsen family, etc), they do have other ways of gauging their audience from market research to public surveys. Based on what the staff has said in interviews, they are involved in market research and very aware of other classic film stations across the dial.

 

They are also interactive with their audiences on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. One of the more popular Twitter sites is TCM oriented. 

 

With all due respect, it is entirely possible that TCM does know its Nielsen status - not that I'm saying that they do. Sister station TNT could order a Nielsen report within parameters that would include TCM as a competitor. They could even leave a copy on a TCM desk and terchnically not be breaking any rules. The problems would come only if TCM were to publish the data or use it in any form of promotion/negotiation and get caught doing so.

 

Again, I'm not saying that this is being done, but as long as theories are being proposed in this thread...

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I wish Me TV would put those eps of the enhanced Star Trek and Lost in Space on weekdays. This past saturday it was Lost in Space ep Visit to a Hostile Planet, the one where a spinning time vortex sends the jupiter 2 back to 1947 and they wind up in Manitou Junction and have to deal with local yokel Cragmire (Robert Foulk) Smith goes nuts as usual and wants to stay and enjoy 1947 americana. I love it at the end when Cragmire quips about Smith "They ain't gonna drop him off in Chickasaw Falls."  :D

 

1z3q6q8.jpg

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There is as much a flaw in your statement as mine. LOL You have no way of knowing whether or not people watched ALICE B. TOKLAS. They might have watched ME-TV's earlier programming before CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF started. 

 

It still doesn't negate the point I made that it is very possible ME-TV is cutting in on TCM's dance, I mean audience.

 

No, but it does negate the point you made that "The film that aired against ALICE B. TOKLAS, which was CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (with commercials) on ME-TV, did come in at number ten on the list."

 

Mine may be a theory as much as yours, but mine is at least based on the appropriate information and was not being promoted as

"news."

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On a day when TCM is showing films about devils, I find it ironic that we have all sorts of people playing Devil's advocate in this thread.

 

Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

What is starting to happen on these threads is that people want to chip away at the OP's comments or to confront another poster who comes along and makes a statement in support of the OP's comments.  Then, at the same time, we have a lot of clowning going on and those that are serious about a discussion on the topic, have to wade through all the extraneous posting that does not advance the main point.

 

So what is going on here is I am having to do double-duty. I have to keep returning to the main point to re-set the thread, and then I have to hold up a mirror to the posting styles and behaviors. This takes a lot of energy, folks. LOL

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No, but it does negate the point you made that "The film that aired against ALICE B. TOKLAS, which was CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (with commercials) on ME-TV, did come in at number ten on the list."

 

Mine may be a theory as much as yours, but mine is at least based on the appropriate information and was not being promoted as

"news."

clore,

 

I think you are repeating yourself because you felt you found a way to poke a hole in the thread. But even some of your logic is flawed, so we're coming out even. LOL

 

Now if you were interested in advancing the theory that people do love ALICE B. TOKLAS and that it is a true essential, I would like to hear your views on that.  But somethin' tells me that is not your goal here.

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Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

Not the way you used it, it isn't.

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clore,

 

I think you are repeating yourself because you felt you found a way to poke a whole (sic) in the thread. But even some of your logic is flawed, so we're coming out even. LOL

 

Now if you were interested in advancing the theory that people do love ALICE B. TOKLAS and that it is a true essential, I would like to hear your views on that.  But somethin' tells me that is not your goal here.

Guess what - that doesn't have to be my goal. I don't have to agree with you. LOL

 

To be quite frank, I don't give a moment's thought to what people consider an essential. If they watch a given show at a given part of their day, to them that's essential at that moment. I thought that TOKLAS was BS when it came out and a fairly recent revisit only reconfirmed that for me.

 

"The Essentials" is just a marketing gimmick as far as I'm concerned.

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... at the same time, we have a lot of clowning going on and those that are serious about a discussion on the topic, have to wade through all the extraneous posting that does not advance the main point.

 

 

So what is going on here is I am having to do double-duty. I have to keep returning to the main point to re-set the thread, and then I have to hold up a mirror to the posting styles and behaviors. This takes a lot of energy, folks. LOL

 

Shirley you are not referring to me?

 

Ok, the bread analogy was a bit of a stretch, but aside from the silliness ("clowning" ?) I was making a serious point, which is, I don't see why you would consider it unfair to quote the original TCM goals and philosophy on its movie airing policies.

It seems to me that's the essence of what this argument is about.

 

You seem to be saying that regardless of TCM's intentions and policies on what kind of films they broadcast, they should alter this to accommodate those who don't like these intentions and policies.

 

And the comparison wasn't that far-fetched; if you don't like a particular bakery's bread, you buy it from another.

If you don't like what TCM is airing, you watch another station.

 

You can go back and forth between bread companies, as you feel like it, and you can go back and forth between TCM and "ME" or whatever this other station is you keep talking about.

 

There's plenty of bread and television channels for all tastes. The bakeries and the TV companies don't have to adjust.

 

(Well, maybe there isn't plenty of bread for all, but that's a whole nother topic. )

 

(I do know "nother" isn't a word.)

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On a day when TCM is showing films about devils, I find it ironic that we have all sorts of people playing Devil's advocate in this thread.

 

Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

It's TV 101 that even if there are just two viewing options, each one serves as competition to the other.

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Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

Given the enormous variety of the TCM repertory, and the extremely limited repertory (and commercial interruptions) of any other movie channel, I think it wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that the only real competition for TCM is Netflix.

 

The only other non-commercial station that's remotely competitive with TCM's vintage offerings is Fox, and they're only non-commercial from 3 AM to 3 PM.  Not to mention that they keep running the same movies over and over again, and cutting more and more of their best movies from their lineup.  At best they've got about 1/50th of what TCM will offer in any given month or year.

 

Bottom line is that for most of us who won't watch movies with commercials and who like a wide selection, it's either TCM or Netflix.  Those other networks are the 1962 Mets or 1916 A's of cable movie channels.

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Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

Given the enormous variety of the TCM repertory, and the extremely limited repertory (and commercial interruptions) of any other movie channel, I think it wouldn't be too far-fetched to say that the only real competition for TCM is Netflix.

 

The only other non-commercial station that's remotely competitive with TCM's vintage offerings is Fox, and they're only non-commercial from 3 AM to 3 PM.  Not to mention that they keep running the same movies over and over again, and cutting more and more of their best movies from their lineup.  At best they've got about 1/50th of what TCM will offer in any given month or year.

 

Bottom line is that for most of us who won't watch movies with commercials and who like a wide selection, it's either TCM or Netflix.  Those other networks are the 1962 Mets or 1916 A's of cable movie channels.

 

By default all other stations are competition for TCM but, as you note,  one can say none are really DIRECT competition since TCM is unique as noted.  

 

As I noted I can see a station like MOVIES being DIRECT competition since they show only movies and they have access to Fox and Columbia films that TCM doesn't.     But as we all know they have commercials and a lot (a lot) of repeats.      

 

I wouldn't say ME-TV is DIRECT competition to TCM unless they change their format to be 80% plus movies.  

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Svengoolie is actually the show the Werewolf was on.  For those who don't know, he has segments where he talks during the features, in addition to the normal commercials.  Most cable systems info will show the title of the movie being presented and then you find out it is the Svengoolie show with a movie shown during parts of it.  That is my impression of it and why I never watch it anymore.

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Boy, I gotta agree with Fxreyman on this one.

 

The title of this thread and its opening post is beyond ridiculous. Of course the Saturday evening audience is gonna tune in to see a rare showing of 'Curse of the Werewolf' over the often shown - on TCM - (I'd guess at least 6 times over the past 2 years) 'Alice B. Toklas'. It would have been likewise for almost any other movie TCM had chosen to run unless it was something awfully special.

 

The suggestion that people choosing the more rare treat in this one instance is evidence that a special movie network like TCM is losing its audience to MeTV on any kind of ongoing basis is just inane.

 

Agree, and the last word of your post can be said for that other fiasco Dame May Whitty vs Rock Hudson. I'm beginning to wish that they would take that TCM database and trash it. It's being misunderstood and it is being used to create a lot of nonsense.

 

AndyM108 wrote:

….but I'm also not a fan of having TCM's programming determined by who gets the loudest shoutouts on these message boards or the most searches on the Database.  There is no way of knowing what the motivation is behind those searches. For me I use it simply whenever I'm not familiar with a movie; if I already know and love a movie, there'd be no reason for me to do a search.  But others may only use it to confirm their pre-existing biases.

 

 Mr6666 wrote:

However, I don't see where statements like "A commercial and Svengoolie-interrupted Curse of the Werewolf beats out Essentials." based on movie searches on TCM's database, really PROVE anything about actual viewership #s (these aren't Nielsen ratings), or popularity of films OR actors.

 

Arturo wrote:

Totally unsubstantiated conclusions are being drawn on the basis on the most searched titles in a given day. The methdology used is next to nonexistent, this daily list being it. There is nothing scientific about the list, nor is it always accurate or complete, as recent days have shown duplicate titles or missing titles. Plus, there is no control over this; should someone want to spike the results, just click into the same title numerous times. Also, if someone gets knocked offline, and goes back in a few times to finish reading on the titles, this may also skew the results. We have no way of knowing.

 

fxreyman wrote:

The search feature again is being discussed as if it was really being used as a barometer of sorts. As I wrote in another thread earlier today if TCM had some sort of counter to show exactly how many people were using the search feature then possibly we could see just how many people are searching. Again, very un-scientific.

 

===

 

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I don't have anything against the TCM database per se, but like many others here, I'm not exactly sure what counting its results might mean.  Some of us only use it to look up unfamiliar titles or people.  I use it for that, and also to see an actor's full filmography if I'm trying to place a movie that I've partly forgotten.  Others may well be using it to look up fun facts about a favorite of theirs. I have no idea how we're to distinguish among these motivations.  I'm only glad that it's there, but I wouldn't dream of using search numbers to influence programming choices.

 

Hell, if TCM ever wants to know what to program and not to program, just ask me and I'll be glad to tell them.  I guarantee that at least one steady viewer will be pleased. ;)

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I think I am going to (nicely) challenge this. It would be dreadful if every time someone voiced a concern (as opposed to a complaint) about the lack of studio era movies on TCM that someone else kept digging this statement up to throw it on to a thread as a way to stifle conversation.

 

I agree that it is good to see what Osborne said at the beginning, but I do not think as many people watch TCM to see the more current and watchable stars as they do to see the earlier watchable stars.

 

I'm stating this again for the 3rd time: 

 

If you look at ANY date on TCM's schedule (excluding those devoted to a specific star's spotlight) the majority of the movies shown are studio era American movies.

 

No one seems to be able to provide evidence from the TCM schedule to refute this. 

 

(I will also point out that the majority of the dates devoted to a specific star's spotlight also have a majority of studio era American movies on the schedule. Of course this would not be the case on a day devoted to the movies of, say, Catherine Deneuve or Faye Dunaway.)

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On a day when TCM is showing films about devils, I find it ironic that we have all sorts of people playing Devil's advocate in this thread.

 

Nobody seems to want to advance the point that ME-TV and other channels are competition for TCM. Doesn't it seem odd that this whole point is being overlooked?  I think it's a valid point.

 

What is starting to happen on these threads is that people want to chip away at the OP's comments or to confront another poster who comes along and makes a statement in support of the OP's comments.  Then, at the same time, we have a lot of clowning going on and those that are serious about a discussion on the topic, have to wade through all the extraneous posting that does not advance the main point.

 

So what is going on here is I am having to do double-duty. I have to keep returning to the main point to re-set the thread, and then I have to hold up a mirror to the posting styles and behaviors. This takes a lot of energy, folks. LOL

Extraneous? That's gotta be me.  :) The basic point is that the public is reacting to tcm's continuing eclecticism binge by watching something else..like Me TV. But I will admit to setting my vcr last nite to record Haxan.  :)

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I'm stating this again for the 3rd time: 

 

If you look at ANY date on TCM's schedule (excluding those devoted to a specific star's spotlight) the majority of the movies shown are studio era American movies.

 

No one seems to be able to provide evidence from the TCM schedule to refute this. 

 

(I will also point out that the majority of the dates devoted to a specific star's spotlight also have a majority of studio era American movies on the schedule. Of course this would not be the case on a day devoted to the movies of, say, Catherine Deneuve or Faye Dunaway.)

 

Sadly you could make this statement (one I agree with),  a many more times and it will still not sink in to some here. 

 

Frey has provided actual stats but to no avail.    Too many people will just take limited data (e.g. the movies shown on ONE evening),  and use that to make a broad comment about a TCM programming trend.  

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Sadly you could make this statement (one I agree with),  a many more times and it will still not sink in to some here. 

 

Frey has provided actual stats but to no avail.    Too many people will just take limited data (e.g. the movies shown on ONE evening),  and use that to make a broad comment about a TCM programming trend.  

It is just lame for tcm to choose saturday nites to placate their eclecticism binge and sway viewers away with obscure frenchy flicks.  :)  Yeah, I don't doubt that most of the time mainstream american films are the predominant offerings...but not last saturday nite.

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I don't have anything against the TCM database per se, but like many others here, I'm not exactly sure what counting its results might mean.  Some of us only use it to look up unfamiliar titles or people.  I use it for that, and also to see an actor's full filmography if I'm trying to place a movie that I've partly forgotten.  Others may well be using it to look up fun facts about a favorite of theirs. I have no idea how we're to distinguish among these motivations.  I'm only glad that it's there, but I wouldn't dream of using search numbers to influence programming choices.

 

Hell, if TCM ever wants to know what to program and not to program, just ask me and I'll be glad to tell them.  I guarantee that at least one steady viewer will be pleased. ;)

 

As TopBilled wrote yesterday:

 

ALICE B. TOKLAS had a plum spot in primetime last night on TCM. For those who read the threads in the Essentials area, there has already been considerable discussion about whether this film, selected by Drew Barrymore, was in fact a true essential.

And now comes news that this film did not even crack the top ten of most-searched titles on the database yesterday, suggesting it did not really appeal to most viewers. BLOW UP, a second installment of Essentials, with a much later time slot, easily hit number one.

 

But, are you ready for this latest development?  Sit down and fasten your seatbelts. The film that aired against ALICE B. TOKLAS, which was CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (with commercials) on ME-TV, did come in at number ten on the list.

 

So what does that tell us? That people are not watching something they don't consider a true essential and that they going off to see what the competition has to offer...?  Is ME-TV cutting in on TCM’s action?

 

 

Now commenting on what he wrote yesterday, he seemed to suggest that the mere searching of a particular film on the database should be some sort of reason to indicate just how popular a film is. In his case, he deduced that because Blow Up was ahead of Alice B.Toklas, that Toklas did not appeal to most viewers. And because of this ranking, Blow Up was more popular.

 

I contend that if there was some way to see exactly how many people were actually searching using the database then we would have a much clearer idea of exactly how many people were interested in a particular film. And since TCM does not use any of the ratings services they probably do not know exactly how many people ARE watching a particular film at a particular time. Maybe internally they do, but I know of no such service that they employ. And through conversations with Charlie Tabesh, the head of programming at TCM, he told me that they do not use or subscribe to the Nielsens or Arbitron.

 

Then TopBilled deduced that the movie Curse of the Werewolf being shown on the network called ME-TV was more popular because that film gathered more online searches than the film it was supposedly running against, Toklas.

 

Whats more troubling is deducing that a certain film IS more popular or that another film has MORE viewers than another film simply based on the ranking it receives for online searches. My own opinion is how would you be able to deduce this? What are the facts, except for the ranking of a film on an online search database?

 

Thats why it would be interesting to see just how many people were searching about Curse of the Werewolf and why Toklas was not being searched as much. But as I have written, I really do not see how someone can sit here and say that just based on online searches a particular film is more popular than another film. In my opinion, this is why using that barometer does not work.

 

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Extraneous? That's gotta be me.  :) The basic point is that the public is reacting to tcm's continuing eclecticism binge by watching something else..like Me TV. But I will admit to setting my vcr last nite to record Haxan.  :)

 

Do you have a crystal ball or something? Where do you gain this info from?? Are you just using the not so scientific rankings on the TCM Database Top Ten Movie Searches???

 

I really would like to know where you and others seem to think that more TCM viewers are not watching TCM but watching some other film on another channel. I mean I could see if TCM programmed a special showing of a film against the World Series or Super Bowl, but lets face it either one of those two events would trump TCM.

 

Can you tell me how you have come to the conclusion that viewers on TCM are going someplace else?

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As TopBilled wrote yesterday:

 

ALICE B. TOKLAS had a plum spot in primetime last night on TCM. For those who read the threads in the Essentials area, there has already been considerable discussion about whether this film, selected by Drew Barrymore, was in fact a true essential.

And now comes news that this film did not even crack the top ten of most-searched titles on the database yesterday, suggesting it did not really appeal to most viewers. BLOW UP, a second installment of Essentials, with a much later time slot, easily hit number one.

 

But, are you ready for this latest development?  Sit down and fasten your seatbelts. The film that aired against ALICE B. TOKLAS, which was CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (with commercials) on ME-TV, did come in at number ten on the list.

 

So what does that tell us? That people are not watching something they don't consider a true essential and that they going off to see what the competition has to offer...?  Is ME-TV cutting in on TCM’s action?

 

 

Now commenting on what he wrote yesterday, he seemed to suggest that the mere searching of a particular film on the database should be some sort of reason to indicate just how popular a film is. In his case, he deduced that because Blow Up was ahead of Alice B.Toklas, that Toklas did not appeal to most viewers. And because of this ranking, Blow Up was more popular.

 

I contend that if there was some way to see exactly how many people were actually searching using the database then we would have a much clearer idea of exactly how many people were interested in a particular film. And since TCM does not use any of the ratings services they probably do not know exactly how many people ARE watching a particular film at a particular time. Maybe internally they do, but I know of no such service that they employ. And through conversations with Charlie Tabesh, the head of programming at TCM, he told me that they do not use or subscribe to the Nielsens or Arbitron.

 

Then TopBilled deduced that the movie Curse of the Werewolf being shown on the network called ME-TV was more popular because that film gathered more online searches than the film it was supposedly running against, Toklas.

 

Whats more troubling is deducing that a certain film IS more popular or that another film has MORE viewers than another film simply based on the ranking it receives for online searches. My own opinion is how would you be able to deduce this? What are the facts, except for the ranking of a film on an online search database?

 

Thats why it would be interesting to see just how many people were searching about Curse of the Werewolf and why Toklas was not being searched as much. But as I have written, I really do not see how someone can sit here and say that just based on online searches a particular film is more popular than another film. In my opinion, this is why using that barometer does not work.

 

Tcm is basing their scheduling criteria on database searches? Smart :D 

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Well, I don't find Peter Sellers remotely funny so I would not seek out any movie he was in.

That would be the reason for me not watching I LOVE YOU, ALICE B.TOKLAS when it aired on TCM.

 

The only movie with Sellers in it that I actually enjoyed was MIRDER BY DEATH.

I found it interesting in Robert Osborne's comments either before or after TCM's airing of MURDER BY DEATH that Sellers did not like MURDER BY DEATH because he thought it was not funny.

 

As for TCM viewers not being interested in European films, I think the interest in an "artsy" film from a Italian director (BLOW-UP) on TCM's search database indicates otherwise 

TOKLAS is interesting, because it's one of the few times Sellers plays an American, other than one of his characters in STRANGELOVE. Perfect American accent.

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I'm stating this again for the 3rd time: 

 

If you look at ANY date on TCM's schedule (excluding those devoted to a specific star's spotlight) the majority of the movies shown are studio era American movies.

 

No one seems to be able to provide evidence from the TCM schedule to refute this. 

 

(I will also point out that the majority of the dates devoted to a specific star's spotlight also have a majority of studio era American movies on the schedule. Of course this would not be the case on a day devoted to the movies of, say, Catherine Deneuve or Faye Dunaway.)

 

All good points Holden. Unfortunately they are missing the points we continue to make.

 

I really do feel at this stage that FredCDobbs must have a fan club or something because he is the top of the conspiracy pyramid around here. And has many followers.

 

Just kidding!!!

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Tcm is basing their scheduling criteria on database searches? Smart :D 

 

Your kidding right? Not TCM.

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Do you have a crystal ball or something? Where do you gain this info from?? Are you just using the not so scientific rankings on the TCM Database Top Ten Movie Searches???

 

I really would like to know where you and others seem to think that more TCM viewers are not watching TCM but watching some other film on another channel. I mean I could see if TCM programmed a special showing of a film against the World Series or Super Bowl, but lets face it either one of those two events would trump TCM.

 

Can you tell me how you have come to the conclusion that viewers on TCM are going someplace else?

Uh I think the hit a button or two on their remotes when they see something like that there Toklas flick scheduled.  :)

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