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Who decides the Genre category on the TCM schedule?


misswonderly3
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I suppose this is another topic that doesn't exactly keep most of us awake at night. Still, since this is an all-things TCM discussion forum, I thought it was worth mentioning.

So, I checked the schedule today, and saw that whoever designates the genre category to the films on the schedule decided to label this morning's offerings as "Horror". These are the films: The Time Machine Forbidden Planet,  and 2001: A Space Odyssey

Really, TCM schedule movie-labeller person ?? Come on. None of the above are "horror" movies.  While each of them might have a few scary moments, that's not enough to render them horror films. If you had to give them a genre label, shirley it would be "Science Fiction". Honestly, who does this? I could do a better job classifying the movies on the TCM schedule. So could most of you, my fellow TCM board posters. (and think of the fun we'd have with noir  🤨...)

Anyone else ever noticed how arbitrary and often off-base these TCM movie classifications are?

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I don't think they have a "science fiction" label, which is the problem. As far as I can tell, these are the labels currently in use:

  • Red = Drama
  • Blue = Comedy
  • Light Blue = Horror
  • Gray = Epic
  • Gray-Purple = Musical
  • Green = Western
  • Pink = Romance
  • Light Pink? = Shorts
  • Black = Silent
  • Yellow = Documentary
  • Brown = Crime
  • Purple = Suspense Mystery
  • Dark Purple = Adventure
  • Tan = War

Did I forget any?

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9 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I suppose this is another topic that doesn't exactly keep most of us awake at night. Still, since this is an all-things TCM discussion forum, I thought it was worth mentioning.

So, I checked the schedule today, and saw that whoever designates the genre category to the films on the schedule decided to label this morning's offerings as "Horror". These are the films: The Time Machine Forbidden Planet,  and 2001: A Space Odyssey

Really, TCM schedule movie-labeller person ?? Come on. None of the above are "horror" movies.  While each of them might have a few scary moments, that's not enough to render them horror films. If you had to give them a genre label, shirley it would be "Science Fiction". Honestly, who does this? I could do a better job classifying the movies on the TCM schedule. So could most of you, my fellow TCM board posters. (and think of the fun we'd have with noir....)

Anyone else ever noticed how arbitrary and often off-base these TCM movie classifications are?

You are so right and I noticed too those films being listed as such when I was checking the schedule after watching Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. I'm surprised that also was not put in the Horror category since it sounds like a movie about cannibalism to the ordinary viewer perhaps.


I agree that you would do a much better job than whoever is classifying these films, and if you are not available or they refuse to pay you your just worth, an ad should be placed on the site for a new TCM dissecter of genre listings, and I bet many here could do superlative work. This reminds me of working with some museums for gallery showings and many museums utilize local society women volunteers as docents, to lead visitors around the museum, yet these docents basically knew nothing about art and had only had a two hour tutorial they learned about each show. This resulted in many of the public visitors knowing way more than the docents who were leading them around the museum, who had minimal knowledge of the art. The docents were so lacking in any real knowledge of art and just would bluff their way around and sounded like arty morons. Sad really, when there are so many people in all fields who do have knowledge yet inferior folk are used for this purpose, and it is embarrassing.

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7 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I don't think they have a "science fiction" label, which is the problem. As far as I can tell, these are the labels currently in use:

  • Red = Drama
  • Blue = Comedy
  • Light Blue = Horror
  • Gray = Epic
  • Gray-Purple = Musical
  • Green = Western
  • Pink = Romance
  • Light Pink? = Shorts
  • Black = Silent
  • Yellow = Documentary
  • Brown = Crime
  • Purple = Suspense Mystery
  • Dark Purple = Adventure
  • Tan = War

Did I forget any?

  • Pea Green = Exorcisms
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21 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I don't think they have a "science fiction" label, which is the problem. As far as I can tell, these are the labels currently in use:

  • Red = Drama
  • Blue = Comedy
  • Light Blue = Horror
  • Gray = Epic
  • Gray-Purple = Musical
  • Green = Western
  • Pink = Romance
  • Light Pink? = Shorts
  • Black = Silent
  • Yellow = Documentary
  • Brown = Crime
  • Purple = Suspense Mystery
  • Dark Purple = Adventure
  • Tan = War

Did I forget any?

just indicates what I've long assumed.....they have little to no interest in either sci-fi or horror genres :(

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17 minutes ago, mr6666 said:

just indicates what I've long assumed.....they have little to no interest in either sci-fi or horror genres :(

That may be true, but they are doing a whole day of SF programming today, and Wednesday has a full day of actual horror movies on. So it could be worse. If left up to some of the message board members, there would never be any films of either genre shown.

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16 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

That may be true, but they are doing a whole day of SF programming today, and Wednesday has a full day of actual horror movies on. So it could be worse. If left up to some of the message board members, there would never be any films of either genre shown.

Each October the schedule is loaded with horror offerings. They sort of cram all those into one month, the way they put all the holiday movies onto the schedule for the month of December.

I do agree that science fiction is often short-changed by TCM's programmers. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) has only aired once this decade. It's a critically heralded work in this genre.

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

Each October the schedule is loaded with horror offerings. They sort of cram all those into one month, the way they put all the holiday movies onto the schedule for the month of December.

I do agree that science fiction is often short-changed by TCM's programmers. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) has only aired once this decade. It's a critically heralded work in this genre.

I'm surprised it's only shown once. It's an Allied Artists release, but it appears to have been also handled by Paramount and Universal for subsequent showings on television and home video. It's most likely another expensive rental. Either way, that's why I buy the movies I like (I have this one on blu ray), that way I don't have to wait for TV or streaming showings. It doesn't help establish new fans, though, when it never gets shown.

Is there a lack of SF and horror from MGM/WB, and is that partially responsible for the lesser amount shown? I know Universal, Fox and Paramount all have a lot of genre titles.

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Just now, LawrenceA said:

I'm surprised it's only shown once. It's an Allied Artists release, but it appears to have been also handled by Paramount and Universal for subsequent showings on television and home video. It's most likely another expensive rental. Either way, that's why I buy the movies I like (I have this one on blu ray), that way I don't have to wait for TV or streaming showings. It doesn't help establish new fans, though, when it never gets shown.

Is there a lack of SF and horror from MGM/WB, and is that partially responsible for the lesser amount shown? I know Universal, Fox and Paramount all have a lot of genre titles.

I don't think there's a lack of SF or horror films in the Turner library, since that includes UA releases and there were a slew of B-pictures in these genres made by UA in the 50s. Plus the Turner library includes American International releases, another low-budget company that did B-horror and B-science fiction in the late 50s & 60s.

Yes, it means they won't air a lot of the classics that Universal turned out, unless they cough up the dough. But all they have to do is lead off with one Universal or Paramount picture at 8 p.m. then follow it with five of these cheap B films they have. There's really no reason for them not to do a monthly spotlight on science fiction. And since they've already done westerns, noir, comedies and musicals with the Ball University summer courses, they could certainly do a course on science fiction. 

As you say, this is a way to establish new fans for the genre.

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27 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Each October the schedule is loaded with horror offerings. They sort of cram all those into one month, the way they put all the holiday movies onto the schedule for the month of December.

I do agree that science fiction is often short-changed by TCM's programmers. INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) has only aired once this decade. It's a critically heralded work in this genre.

Too bad there is not a Communist witch hunt-takeover-mind control genre that one could put this allegorical film by Don Siegel into on the site.

Or it could be put into a nature category due to the seed pod substratum.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

I suppose this is another topic that doesn't exactly keep most of us awake at night. Still, since this is an all-things TCM discussion forum, I thought it was worth mentioning.

So, I checked the schedule today, and saw that whoever designates the genre category to the films on the schedule decided to label this morning's offerings as "Horror". These are the films: The Time Machine Forbidden Planet,  and 2001: A Space Odyssey

Really, TCM schedule movie-labeller person ?? Come on. None of the above are "horror" movies.  While each of them might have a few scary moments, that's not enough to render them horror films. If you had to give them a genre label, shirley it would be "Science Fiction". Honestly, who does this? I could do a better job classifying the movies on the TCM schedule. So could most of you, my fellow TCM board posters. (and think of the fun we'd have with noir  🤨...)

Anyone else ever noticed how arbitrary and often off-base these TCM movie classifications are?

I've always assumed a dart board was involved...

every now and then they come across with something unintentionally 100% accurate, like the fact that the 1966 film THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO! is quite aptly labeled "HORROR" when it shows up on the schedule.

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18 minutes ago, GordonCole said:

Wouldn't it have been great if The Godfather would have been done in Supermarionation by the Thunderbirds acting crew, Lorna?

There's all sorts of films that would've benefitted from the treatment. Personally, I'd like to see WUTHERING HEIGHTS done with creepy marionettes.

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28 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

There's all sorts of films that would've benefitted from the treatment. Personally, I'd like to see WUTHERING HEIGHTS done with creepy marionettes.

I'm partial to the Stingray cast and think Troy Tempest as Heathcliff would be amazing with Marina as Cathy.

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