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Repetative Movie Subject Programming


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Dear Sir or Madam, My wife & I have always loved TCM and your movie programming and of course Robert Osborn and company.However recently I have noticed that your daily programming has changed drastically. And to be perfectly honest about it,we have not liked it one bit! For example: Monday night you scheduled about a dozen or more Dr. Kildare movies all in a row starting early morning up until late that afternoon by that time everyone was thoroughly sick of a great little classic film series! And tonight it was every movie that could be found,about WWII bridges. Over the river kwai, over this and over that and even a bridge too far! Somebody must think that this is what people want to see,bridge movie after bridge movie. I could not disagreee more! How would you like it if all of the sudden your favorite radio station played nothing but songs about sitting under an apple tree for 36 hours and they were all produced during the mid-sixties? Its a simular thing about watching movies. I do not think it is fair to have to watch Ginger Rogers & Fred Astair movies all weekend long one after the other on & on & on... Of course we would turn the channel rather than watch this kind of repetative and stereotypical programming. After all we are not robots we like diversification in our entertainment. Anyway I hope my letter to you is not offensive to you, I just want to get my complaint out to the right person(s), and maybe other people can relate to my letter! Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns and opinions. Best Regards, T.Williams

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This is "movie junkie" programming. It's as if the entire viewership of TCM is obsessive-compulsive. The tendency to have to "thread" an entire day's programming is fine for die-hards. But for normal, casual viewers it can keep you off the channel for an entire day. I would be very curious to know how the channel's ratings on days such as this compare to those days when the schedule is eclectic.

 

This may be one of the reasons so many films are played to death while others receive little or no exposure.

 

On the other hand, maybe if they have 24 hours of Warner Bros. spooky mansion mysteries they'll finally run THE HIDDEN HAND!

 

As I write this, the June schedule is now available and it's loaded with retreads. A day of Mike Curtiz. CAPT BLOOD, ROBIN HOOD, MILDRED PIERCE, YANKEE DOODLE blah blah blah. There are so many other Curtiz non-immortals that deserve showing. And when the heck are they going to break open the post-49 Warner titles?!?

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I see where you guys are coming from. For some posters here, it's almost taboo to question TCM on their programming, but I think it's important for TCM to hear what is on the general population's mind too.

 

I've heard many people complain TCM has changed and I think the average Joe and Jane are an important number when it comes to viewership. As many movie lovers and loyal fans there are of TCM, I have my doubt they are their mainstay. If you don't appeal to the masses, well...

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One of the main things that many of us who were Fan Programmers learned during our time in Atlanta is just how much TCM and its staff values and appreciates its fans and viewers.

 

Because they aren't supported by advertising revenue as much as other networks, they have to find other ways of growing their brand and their viewership.

 

They are very aware of the heated discussions we have had here regarding the programming. But they strive to find a balance between the dedicated viewer and the need for them to continue to grow their viewership.

 

It's not so much that many people here find the questioning of programming subject to be taboo. Too often those types of threads tend to insult either posters of the board or the TCM staff itself.

 

We have no problem debating the merits and the perceived problems with the programming. We just wish that when people do they could more gracious in trying to get their point across.

 

And just to be clear, I am talking about programming threads in general and not trying to point any fingers in this particular thread.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter so as just to be clear

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I agree with you.

 

Part of the problem is that out of hundreds of channels available in the U.S. and Canada, there is still only ONE that is dedicated 100% to classic movies, and to showing them uncut and uncensored.

 

And there is just no way one single channel can please all the people all the time.

 

TCM seems to be trying some interesting things this year, partly because of the anniversary, and I'm sure they will continue to be open to suggestions. Viewers should remember that TCM doesn't have unlimited resources.

 

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Art for art's sake

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> {quote:title=georgiegirl wrote:}{quote}

> I see where you guys are coming from. For some posters here, it's almost taboo to question TCM on their programming, but I think it's important for TCM to hear what is on the general population's mind too.

>

> I've heard many people complain TCM has changed and I think the average Joe and Jane are an important number when it comes to viewership. As many movie lovers and loyal fans there are of TCM, I have my doubt they are their mainstay. If you don't appeal to the masses, well...

> {quote:title=georgiegirl wrote:}{quote}

This poster is right. Those who criticize the programming are sometimes assailed by- whom I refer to as - the "cheerleaders" or "apologists". They apparently approve of any and all programming choices. Regardless, I will continue to make my voice heard about what I want to see on my favorite channel, TCM. I pay in excess of $60/month for cable (no premium channels included) to receive TCM. So when I request more pre-Codes, fewer recent movies (1970 forward), etc., I don't appreciate being chastised by those who favor the status quo.

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I hope I didn't come across as a "cheerleader" or an "apologist" myself.

 

Just to be clear, I think that fans should speak their mind, just as long as it's done politely, because TCM programmers really should (and seem to) listen to constructive criticism.

 

By the same token, I wouldn't support anyone who was simply bashing TCM and the programmers or making unrealistic demands (and I don't mean to suggest anyone in this thread has done that).

 

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Art for art's sake

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> {quote:title=ChelseaRialtoStudios wrote:}{quote}

>

> On the other hand, maybe if they have 24 hours of Warner Bros. spooky mansion mysteries they'll finally run THE HIDDEN HAND!

 

I tend to think along those same lines. I don't care to much for some of the themes but I have noticed that some rare movies will be shown occassionally for no apparent reason other than that they were thrown in because they fit with whatever theme they had going.

 

I think they first showed *Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone* on a day where the theme was trains. They dusted off the rare Crawford pre-code *Dance , Fools, Dance* because it was April 1st. and all the films had the word "fool' in the title.

 

I can only hope that if they keep it up they will eventually throw in some rare movie that they should have access to, and that I have been dying to see, only because it happened to fit in with whatever theme they were trying to program for.

 

I'll take 'em anyway I can get 'em.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> One of the main things that many of us who were Fan Programmers learned during our time in Atlanta is just how much TCM and its staff values and appreciates its fans and viewers.

>

> Because they aren't supported by advertising revenue as much as other networks, they have to find other ways of growing their brand and their viewership.

>

> They are very aware of the heated discussions we have had here regarding the programming. But they strive to find a balance between the dedicated viewer and the need for them to continue to grow their viewership.

>

> It's not so much that many people here find the questioning of programming subject to be taboo. Too often those types of threads tend to insult either posters of the board or the TCM staff itself.

>

> We have no problem debating the merits and the perceived problems with the programming. We just wish that when people do they could more gracious in trying to get their point across.

>

> And just to be clear, I am talking about programming threads in general and not trying to point any fingers in this particular thread.

>

> Message was edited by: lzcutter so as just to be clear

 

*****************************************************************************************************************

It?s always been obvious to me, TCM is appreciative of their fans and viewers. Their quality of entertainment says it loud and clear, not to mention Mr. Obsborne in the way he talks to and not down to us average viewers. And the fact they have this website is also proof of their dedication to the movies and their fans. I really enjoy their games. lol

 

TCM, like many other venues, can grow by word of mouth as much as any advertising. I worked in corporate America in communications for more than 25 years and was taught, do one good thing and a client/customer will tell one or two other people at most. Do one bad thing and that same client/customer will tell at least a dozen people, and each of those in turn will tell a dozen more. TCM needs to hear from all viewers, good and bad, and those who have less than favorable comments should be handled with kid gloves and not made to feel unwelcome. It?s as they say, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and TCM deserves to retain and acquire new fans by extending a hand in friendship as some regulars here are very capable of doing, while others not so much. lol And the ones that don?t have the knack for tact, do more harm than good when it comes to branding and growing a larger and dedicated viewer-ship for TCM.

 

The original poster who penned this thread was polite and addressing TCM, not us bloggers. I know I?m new here, and he wasn?t addressing me, but I?ve come to notice new bloggers who post their concerns with TCM?s programming are often greeted by some with less than friendly attitudes and get bombarded with condescending replies. (I?m not pointing fingers, either.) These new folks, sans the tough skin it takes to make it on some message boards, get scared away, never to be heard from again. I knew where this man and his wife were coming from and I wanted him to at least meet with a friend who understood his views and take on TCM?s recent programming trends before those who had a problem with him, though it?s not any of their business, either, pounced. lol

 

Remember, lots of folks from around the world are movie lovers and may post here, as are those of varying educational backgrounds, and they may not have a grasp on how words can come across on a message board, especially if English is a second language. Without seeing that person face to face, their words can get misconstrued and meaning lost, so a poster?s comment may not be what it appears. So when you say you wish all would come across more gracious, it?s always a good idea to keep in mind, not everyone finds the written word an easy way of expressing themselves and getting their message across they way it was intended.

 

If some posters have nothing nice to say, and say it in an awful way, I?m sure TCM?s admin/moderator can handle them and be gracious enough and save TCM?s good name by doing it with tact and decorum. :-)

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*So when you say you wish all would come across more gracious, it?s always a good idea to keep in mind, not everyone finds the written word an easy way of expressing themselves and getting their message across they way it was intended.*

 

GG,

 

You make some good points about posting here but as I tried to make clear in my post, I wasn't citing this thread as a problem. I was referring more to your comment about "As many movie lovers and loyal fans there are of TCM, I have my doubt they are their mainstay. If you don't appeal to the masses, well.." when I wrote that TCM does in fact care very much about its fans and viewers.

 

I then tried to say that there are some people that come here and in their posts about the programming call the programmers stupid and other such names and often insult the posters who actually like the movies that the upset poster is complaining about.

 

Up until only very recently, this site was not moderated as much as it has been in the last few weeks. TCMWeb seems to be taking a different approach with the message boards, perhaps to help us move away from the more fractious arguments that we are prone to have here and perhaps towards a more congenial atmosphere.

 

Here's hoping.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter again for clarity

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> *So when you say you wish all would come across more gracious, its always a good idea to keep in mind, not everyone finds the written word an easy way of expressing themselves and getting their message across they way it was intended.*

>

> GG,

>

> You make some good points about posting here but as I tried to make clear in my post, I wasn't citing this thread as a problem. I was referring more to your comment about "As many movie lovers and loyal fans there are of TCM, I have my doubt they are their mainstay. If you don't appeal to the masses, well.." when I wrote that TCM does in fact care very much about its fans and viewers.

>

> I then tried to say that there are some people that come here and in their posts about the programming call the programmers stupid and other such names and often insult the posters who actually like the movies that the upset poster is complaining about.

>

> Up until only very recently, this site was not moderated as much as it has been in the last few weeks. TCMWeb seems to be taking a different approach with the message boards, perhaps to help us move away from the more fractious arguments that we are prone to have here and perhaps towards a more congenial atmosphere.

>

> Here's hoping.

>

> Message was edited by: lzcutter again for clarity

 

 

I perfectly understood what you were saying. I replied in kind in my opening, saying it was always obvious to me TCM cares about it?s devoted viewers and fans. :-)

 

I also got that you weren?t citing this thread as problematic, but you did touch on the subject of the problem in general and I addressed that issue, as well. lol

 

Seeing as you touched on it again, I think I can understand why TCM?s admin has been jumping in, in an attempt to produce a more congenial atmosphere. The object of any company is to grow it?s customer base, and that?s what TCM needs to do in order to stay on top of their game. When new people come on board they should be given the benefit of a doubt as to their intentions. If good people are made to feel their voice isn?t important and unwelcome, there isn?t any reason to stick around. I?ve seen it before and that kind of atmosphere drives people away in droves. If they are just bad seeds, their true colors will shine through and they can be taken to task.

 

I?m new to message boards but I?ve learned two things can happen. Either they become ?clicky? and those folks are so full of themselves new people are made to feel shut out, or they become so over-run by name callers, they?re shut down. It?s no fun to be demeaned or made not to feel part of the so-called in-crowd. Kinda like high school. lol

 

As you said, here?s hoping the admin keeps a handle on all of it. lol

 

Now, to get back on topic. Isn't there somewhere for the original poster of this thread to pose his concerns to TCM directly? I think I saw it somewhere on the site.

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*Now, to get back on topic. Isn't there somewhere for the original poster of this thread to pose his concerns to TCM directly? I think I saw it somewhere on the site.*

 

Georgie,

 

There is indeed, it is on the FAQ which is a sticky on the main forum page. If they follow this link to the TCM Support Center they will find instructions there for contacting TCM:

 

http://www.tcm.com/support/

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> *Now, to get back on topic. Isn't there somewhere for the original poster of this thread to pose his concerns to TCM directly? I think I saw it somewhere on the site.*

>

> Georgie,

>

> There is indeed, it is on the FAQ which is a sticky on the main forum page. If they follow this link to the TCM Support Center they will find instructions there for contacting TCM:

>

> http://www.tcm.com/support/

 

Thanks! I knew I saw it somewhere a while back. I'm sure the new guy will appreciate it. :-)

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Hi, welcome to the message board. :)

 

I have found that it helps to have a VHS or DVD recorder on hand, so that you can look over a week?s schedule and set it to record your favorite types of movies. That way you can play those back when all the Kildare and Bridge movies are airing. :)

 

After a few months or a couple of years, you?ll have a bunch of great movies recorded. :)

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I guess they could have alternated the *Dr. Kildare* films with *Dr. Gillespie* films one after another. That would have offered a little variation to the schedule. (I wonder if Lionel Barrymore ever got the two roles confused?)

 

Seriously, there are many viewers who are fond of the franchise film series like "Dr. Kildare" and look forward to catching as many of the films as possible in fell swoop. Last fall, TCM ran the entire "Andy Hardy" series over two days which pleased many members here. And in May, an entire day is being turned over to Philo Vance - much to the delight of 'markbeckhuaf', among others.

 

TCM has always grouped films around a common theme for their evening programming. More often than not, I think such an effort actually increases viewership over an evening. Any kind of similarity that threads a particular film with another one showing before or after it makes for "destination" viewing. (Think of NBC Thursday nights with "Friends", "Seinfeld" and the various series that were sandwiched between them.) There is a greater likelihood that a viewer will hang around after one film finishes if the film that follows has a connection to what was already seen.

 

It also makes a night's complete line-up more easily remembered. (Oh, I see *The Bridge At Remagen* is on. That means it's "Bridges" night. I can catch *Bridge On The River Kwai* later... after "American Idol" (or "Nova", if you prefer) today.)

 

I do feel for audience members home during the daytime when nothing on TCM is appealing to them. The "alternatives" on other channels in the morning and afternoon are pretty...sad. (Just how many "People's Court" type programs are there? I am amazed at the proliferation of these oddities.)

 

But I would never call this type of scheduling "appealing to the masses." Don't forget, without advertising, TCM _doesn't_ need to worry about attracting large viewership. Just a loyal one that enjoys great films. And presenting them in a context that demonstrates some forethought and intelligence is one way to engage and maintain such an audience.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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>>I guess they could have alternated the Dr. Kildare films with Dr. Gillespie films one after another. That would have offered a little variation to the schedule. (I wonder if Lionel Barrymore ever got the two roles confused?)

 

Those films run in a deliberate sequence though. Events in one chapter may be referred to in the next. The Dr. Gillespie films got going only after Lew Ayres was temporarily persona non grata because of his conscientious objector status during the war. From what I've read, many theaters rejected his last in the series as the story had broken at that time.

 

The Gillespie films have him seeking a replacement for Kildare, giving MGM a chance to break in some contract players.

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> I do feel for audience members home during the daytime when nothing on TCM is appealing to them. The "alternatives" on other channels in the morning and afternoon are pretty...sad. (Just how many "People's Court" type programs are there? I am amazed at the proliferation of these oddities.)

 

Isn't that what time-shifting was invented for? ;)

 

 

 

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*"The Gillespie films have him seeking a replacement for Kildare..."* - clore

 

So Lionel Barrymore played the same role in both series? I didn't know that. Thanks for enlightening me.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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*Hey! You're a pacifist!* - Kyle

 

Well, maybe, but I have been known to throw golf balls at cats that kill my squirrels and rabbits, so heads up out west. No joking about my long-requested *Gillespie* marathon! ;-)

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I never thought of the Kildare movies as two different series: Kildares and Gillespies. It's like any long-running series...some regulars come and go. Some are early entries, some are later. Some have Lew Ayres, some don't. Basically it's all the same series.

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I'll speak up for the day of that cool little B series, "Dr. Kildare". I LOVED it!!! I was home not well, and it was perfect for me! I can understand how it might get wearing, but I love marathons (at times), so it was cool for me! I also loved the November of 2007 when TCM decided to air B movie series every weekday. I was in hog heaven! I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, but I also have things I can point to that I don't like as much as well. For example, I'm not thrilled with the choice for the month of June.

I'll advocate for MORE of the type of day we had to enjoy that Kildare series and hope we see a block of the Gillespie films as well at some point, as well as other "series films"!

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Curiously, Columbia's "Ellery Queen" series hasn't shown up yet. It was preceded by two Republic pics, THE SPANISH CAPE MYSTERY and THE MANDARIN MYSTERY.

It seems the number of Columbia Bs has dwindled. Many were scheduled and subsequently canceled (e.g., ALIBI FOR MURDER) and others only seen once (THE BIG TIMER, BY WHOSE HAND?).

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