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TCM Programming Challenge #35 -- The Long and The Short of It


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TCM Programming Challenge #35

The Long and The Short of It.


Some background:


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. 


When it begins/When it ends:


This challenge starts at 12:00 PM (EST) Sunday, March 5, 2017 and ends 11:59 AM (EST) Sunday, April 2, 2017. A voting thread will be started shortly after the end of the challenge.


Who can enter/Who can vote:


Everyone is welcome to create and post a schedule.  Don’t be shy! Anyone who was a registered forum member prior to January 5, 2017 will be allowed to vote for their favorite schedule 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.


What you need to do:


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 January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

2.  Each day’s programming should begin at 6 AM (EST.) However, if you begin an occasional day at 6:15 AM or 6:30 AM that’s no problem.

3.  Primetime/Evening MUST begin at 8 PM (EST.)

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.


Your schedule must include:


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.  The Essentials  --- An indispensible classic film that begins at 8 PM (EST) Saturday night.

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

7.  Mandatory Challenges as outlined for TCM Programming Challenge

#35   --  “The Long and The Short of It.”





Silent Sunday Night, TCM Imports and TCM Underground are exempt from the limit of premieres stated in the requirements for this challenge.


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.


Format and Justifications:


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


For example:

6:15 PM The Big Movie (1932) Kay Francis and Porky Pig. Dir:  Lionel Barrymore. Colossal Films, 162 min., Premiere.


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



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

E or “Exempt” for Silent Sunday Night, TCM Imports or TCM Underground films.

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

“Premiere” for movies which count toward the Challenge allowance on premiers.

No notation is needed for any movie in the original Turner film library.


Film library, SOTM, and previous challenge archive links plus other information:


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


Disney animated feature films are never allowed because Disney will not license them to TCM.  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:



All other theatrical movies are allowed as premieres. 
The most commonly used libraries are:

Columbia Pictures 
United Artists
Samuel Goldwyn 
J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors: 
20th Century Fox:
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 on TCM:


Many thanks to Moviecollector for this “unofficial report”

of what has aired on TCM since 2001. It can be a great

resource as you are creating your schedule.




Thanks to previous Challenge Moderators for the opportunity to liberally "borrow" from their instructions.  Questions?  Just ask.



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