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Coming Soon! TCM Programming Challenge #18!

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Hurrah! It is nearly time for TCM Programming Challenge #18! Hurrah!


The Challenge is expected to start at 12:01AM ET on January 31 and close at 11:59PM PT on March 1.


This post contains the basic rules. I hope they are complete and clear. Please ask questions or point out any errors. I will post the theme, number of premieres and other information specific to Challenge #18 at the official opening of the Challenge.






Back in the mists of time -February 26, 2006- Path40a created the first TCM Programming Challenge to give people a glimpse into what it means to be a programmer and to direct critical energy into positive experience. The Challenge has endured because it allows entrants to exercise their imagination, display their knowledge and introduce rare classics.


The Challenges are neither sponsored nor endorsed by TCM but tcmprogrammr has stated in several threads they happily steal ideas from Challenge entries. Many entrants have had the joy of seeing their themes used in actual schedules.


The greatest reward is acclaim from fellow movie lovers. Everyone who enters or who is a registered member of this forum one month prior to the opening of the Challenge is allowed to vote for their favorite schedule in a separate voting thread begun by the Challenge Setter after the Challenge is closed to entries. The winner has the honor of running the next Challenge.



Everyone is welcome to create and post a schedule. Those who are new to this forum are particularly encouraged to enter. Old Masters who have been sitting out also need to bring their brilliance, wit and prowess back to the fray. Now is the time for everyone to bring out their best ideas!



1) Challenge entries are a full week's schedule for TCM beginning at 6:00 AM Sunday and running through to 6:00 AM the next Sunday.

a) Each day's programming begins at 6:00 A.M. (ET).

B) Primetime/Evening begins at 8:00 P.M. (ET).

c) Feature movies start at x:00, x:15, x:30 or x:45.

d) Short films may start at any time.

e) Cartoons, trailers or short films should fill in between movies so there is never more than 14 minutes of non-scheduled time between feature movies.

f) Time for introductions and closing comments should be allowed for movies in evenings.

g) The week selected must be between within one year of the closing date of the Challenge.


2) Star of the Month

a) A minimum of four movies in a block on one evening showcasing the actor.

B) The star must have a body of work large enough to allow similar blocks the other weeks in the month.


3) Regular TCM features

a) Silent Sunday Nights is a silent movie which begins at approximately 12:00 A.M. (ET) Monday.

B)TCM Imports is a foreign film which begins at approximately 2 A.M. (ET) Monday.

c) TCM Underground is a little-known or cult film which begins at approximately 2 A.M. (ET) Saturday.

d) The Essentials is an indispensable classic movie which begins at exactly 8:00 P.M. (ET) Saturday.


4) Themes

a) The Challenge Setter will stipulate one theme which must be represented by at least four movies shown consecutively.

B) Birthday tributes to actors and directors are a staple of TCM schedules.

c) Anniversaries of historical or cinematic importance are always welcome.

d) Much of the fun of the Challenges comes in creating interesting, thought-provoking or totally outrageous themes.


5) Programming Notes to explain themes or motives or to provide additional information on selected movies or why they were chosen are greatly encouraged. This should be a separate post following the schedule entry.



Movies for the schedule fall into three categories: always allowed, allowed as Premieres, and never allowed.


6) Movies which have been previously shown on TCM are always allowed.


i) The TCM site has programming notes for many movies which have aired. They may be found by entering the movie's title into the search bar on TCM's homepage and selecting the "Site" button.


ii) The TCM site also has articles for many movies which have been shown. These may be found by entering movie title into the seach bar on TCM's homepage, selecting the "Movie Database" button and selecting the appropriate movie from list. "Articles" will be in bold font and clickable in the list of links at the left side of the screen if an article is available for that movie.


These methods will never produce a false positive: a movie has been shown if programming notes and an article are available for a movie.


These methods may produce a false negative: some movies -particularly shorts- which have been shown on TCM have no accompanying programming notes or article.


7) Movies in the Public Domain are always allowed. The best available list is at:



8) Movies in the original Turner library are always allowed.

Warner Bros (pre-1948 only):


MGM (pre-1986):


RKO (all):



9) Movies allowed as Premieres are in the libraries of these studios:

Columbia Pictures (all)


United Artists (after 1950):


Samuel Goldwyn (all):


J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors:


20th Century Fox:


Paramount Pictures:


Universal Pictures:


British Gaumont Pictures:


Warner Bros. movies from 1948 and afterward and MGM movies from 1986 and afterward are also allowable as premieres.


10) Movies which are never allowed are Disney-created animated movies.

a) Animated movies created by other studios and whose rights were later acquired by Disney are allowed.


B) Live action Disney movies are allowed.



11) The Challenge Setter determines how many Premieres are allowed for that particular Challenge. The Challenge Setter too determines whether movies from other studios are allowed.


12) Other content which has either appeared on TCM or closely mimics such content is allowed. This includes but is not limited to: Private Screenings, Now Playing and documentaries.



13) Please show the time, title, year, actor(s), director(s), studio, running time and any necessary justifications.

a) Sample: 4:45 PM *The Challenge* (2011) Lionel Barrymore, Asta, Ricky the Wonder Llama. Dir: Hal Lewton and Otto Preminger. Never-Never-Again Films, 108 mins, P.

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

ii) Please do not include a synopsis or description of the movie in the schedule. Please include such information in separately posted Programming Notes.


B) Justifications which may be needed are:

i) p/s or P/S or Previously Shown for a movie which is eligible for the schedule because it has been previously shown on TCM.

ii) E or Exempt for a movie which would be Premiere but which are not counted against the Challenge allowance because they are Silent Sunday Night, TCM Import or TCM Underground feature.

iii) P or Premiere or Premiere #x for a movie which counts towards the Challenge allowance.

(Please refer to *Which* section for more information concerning P/S or P standing.)


c) Please do not use emoticons, pictures or use three exclamation points in a row in either schedule or program notes. Doing so seems to confuse the forums software.



The Challenge begins when the Challenge Setter posts the requirements for their Challenge and declares the Challenge open to entries. It ends at the day and time set by the Challenge Setter.


A Voting thread will be started shortly after the end of the Challenge and runs for one week.


*Links to previous Challenges and schedules:*

Challenge #17






Challenge #14


Challenge #13


Challenge #12 http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=139071&start=150&tstart=0

Challenge #11


Challenge #10 http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=127551&start=30&tstart=495&messageID=8088572#8088572

Challenge #9


Challenge #8


Challenge #7


Challenge #6


Challenge #5


Challenge #4


Challenge #3


Challenge #2


and the original from the immortal Path40a

Challenge #1



Please feel free to ask questions.

I will appreciate anyone pointing out errors so I may correct them before the actual Challenge starts.

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Thanks, Sansfin! Forget 31 Days of Oscar--it's time for 31 Days of Programming Challenge! These are so much fun, and every time I learn more about classic films, not to mention appreciating the tasks of the real TCM programmers.

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

> Forget 31 Days of Oscar--it's time for 31 Days of Programming Challenge!


I believe the Challenges are much better than crosswords, sodus or other mental tasks one might enjoy because there is more than one right answer and you can share your solution with others. :)

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

> Looking forward to the next Challenge and wondering what extras you'll require of participants. Ooohhh...the anticipation!


I will have only one theme required. I am setting as options extras which will allow people to try things they have not done before. I am hoping everyone will like it.

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Sounds intriguing, Sansfin! For those who haven't tried the programming challenge before, if you pick a favorite actor, a favorite director, and a list of films you'd like to see on TCM, you're off to the races.


Sansfin's Camelot films (from a previous challenge) recently turned up on the TCM schedule, and I recall that audreyforever once programmed all the Andy Hardy films, also recently seen during the Mickey Rooney salute.


Who else wants to try the new challenge?

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number of premieres and other information specific to Challenge #18 at the official opening of the Challenge. ????

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number of premieres and other information specific to Challenge #18 at the official opening of the Challenge. ????


Challenge #29 will begin on Saturday, May 3, 2015. I hope that you are asking for information so that you may participate!


Challenge #18 began on January 30, 2011.

Requirements for it are at:



Voting for Challenge #18 ended on March 09, 2011. Kingrat's excellent schedule won!

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