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Why not have a day of made-for-television movies? ABC used to have The Movie of the Week. Do you have access to made-for-television movies? I hope so. Irwin Allen has made some terrific adventure movies for the "small screen". If you can't do this, maybe you could have an Irwin Allen day?

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Welcome to the boards. While TCM has on rare occasions shown, film-related, old TV shows (like during the tribute to Grace Kelly), it's always been their policy not to run made-for TV movies. The only one I can recall being shown was Steven Spielberg's DUEL (1971) and that was because it actually had a theatrical release in 1983.

 

From a practical purpose, as hard as it is to understand, most TV movies no longer seem to be available. Usually, they were made by independent companies, many of which are long out of business. Some may be tied up with rights issues while others may have been left to rot in some warehouse or even the late producer's widow's attic. This situation is not unlike the many independent theatrical films that have just fallen into limbo.

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Hi Judy,

 

I've been writing about this in my thread about Hollywood legends in TV movies and miniseries. I think that we do need to look at these telefilms. In many cases, they are better than some of the b-movies we see from the 30s and 40s...and sometimes they are on-par with the 'A' films. The miniseries of the late 70s and 80s in particular had huge budgets and megawatt star power propelling them and people would probably like to see them again. I think it makes practical sense to show a late-career TV movie featuring Bette Davis or Gregory Peck if we are doing a survey of their career, especially if they are the Star of the Month. There's no law that says we have to restrict their screen performances to before World War II (I know I'm exaggerating but you get the point).

 

Maybe there are legal rights issues, but I think in many cases the telefilms are owned or at least co-owned by the networks, which are now controlled by the major studios (NBC/Universal; CBS/Paramount; ABC/Disney). You get the idea. It is not unrealistic to expect that TCM's programmers could easily get their hands on these fine films that were made for television.

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I don't think this would be a good idea. I would rather see a TV movie on some of these cheapie cable channels, local channels that have infomercials on for most of the morning, and even channels like Hallmark and Lifetime. It would probably be good if those two channels showed TV movies from the 70s and 80s that were popular/Emmy nominated or winners.

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I think what we have with Hallmark and Lifetime particularly, is an infusion of B (and even C) films that were made independently in recent years and get airplay. These channels modestly budget a handful of new made-for-television movies usually with retired TV series actors or soap opera stars...clearly not the kind of venue for classic telefilms or miniseries. If any channel should show these classics, it should be Hallmark, because for several decades they did work with CBS especially to produce some first-rate dramas. Kraft foods also sponsored some of these programs back in the heyday of television. I'm sure they're in a vault somewhere.

 

But going back to the original post, I remain in agreement that some of these telefilms are relevant with regards to TCM's programming aims...they would definitely provide a glimpse of classic film actors in a later phase of their career and they would show that the studio system really didn't end...it just merely transfered over on to the television landscape...and these stars continued to make movies (they were just exhibited differently).

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*It is not unrealistic to expect that TCM's programmers could easily get their hands on these fine films that were made for television.*

 

And it's equally unrealistic to think that the Made-for-TV movies that were produced in the 1970s and early 1980s are just sitting in vaults with digital masters of them just waiting for TCM to call.

 

Many of them were produced by Universal back in the day and between the recent vault fire that destroyed video masters of classic films, tv programs and tv movies and Universal's less than stellar attention paid to anything other than the money they can make from selling boxed sets of their tv series likely means that they aren't as easy to rent as your post implies.

 

As for the ones produced by ABC, as Mark pointed out - speaking from his years of working at a tv station, many of those were done by various production companies and some were actually produced by ABC but that doesn't necessarily mean that ABC owns all of the rights, especially if they were co-productions.

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Well, excuses aside, I think some of these films could be found, restored and re-aired. The original participants and their families would like to have their work seen by new audiences. If we can get two clunky prints of some old Grace Kelly television work, then we can definitely move mountains to get a copy of ROOTS, which is very likely in pristine shape due to its cultural, historical and broadcast significance.

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