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Ah, YES! AMC. How dare me mention the "competition"? Well, once upon a time, AMC was almost everything TCM turned out to be. Remember?

 

 

NOW, AMC, which used to stand for "American Movie Classics" now just means "Always More Commercials". This channel used to showcase many of the films we now see on TCM in the same way...commercial free, uncut, and with a "movie host", one of which was Nick Clooney, George's dad. They even had an original production called "Remember WENN" about a '30's radio station. It was pretty good.

 

 

Somewhere along the line, they started showing commercials. Which I understand. THEY didn't have the revenue of the Turner empire to help support them. But WHY NOT show these commercials in between the movies, instead of interrupting the movie? You can still charge the same "air time". And now, many of the movies they show could hardly be considered "classic".

 

Thank goodness, and knock on wood that TCM doesn't seem headed in that direction!

Sepiatone

 

 

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I sure remember AMC when it was all classic movies only and ad free and they would show so many rare movies!! When AMC first started they would be on for 4 hours, and then repeat those 4 hours and off the air they would go and then later they went 24 hours and they would show movies from Fox and RKO and Columbia and, other studios and most all they had shown has never been seen again since.

 

I wish there were other channels just like TCM, and as you know theres tons of movie channels that show all the newer movies but to be able to have many more channels that show the old movies in the same way TCM does,ad free, would be super!! Fox Movie Channel is ok, but they show the same movies millions of times over and over.

 

AMC, as it is today, totally stinks And yes they are"'ALWAYS MORE COMMERCIALS" and in fact, most all channels are this way now, you get more commercials then program you want to watch and of course logos all over the screen too. Remember the days before tons of commercials and logos all over the screen? I sure miss those days when TV was the best and no junk all over the screen and just a few ads would be shown and then back to the program or movie.

 

Oh to be able to have it like that again!!

 

 

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Hey sepiatone: I also remember AMC when they were a real movie channel. Before the days of DVR I would record many of their movies on my VCR [ remember those? ] I fortunately still have them and have begun the long process of transfering them to disc. Sometimes the quality isn't great, mostly because these are 15-20 year old cassettes, but I am glad I still have them and can enjoy alot of the Paramount pre-1949 catalog and the Fox movies they would show and that, sadly, TCM haven't yet. Btw, is Fox Movie Channel going the same direction as AMC does now? I don't get Fox Movie channel in my area, but have read some rumblings on these message boards which lead me to believe this may be the case.

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Actually, it stands for *A*merica's *M*ost *C*ommercials. :^0

 

Simple answer as to why they don't run commercials before or after a program: People would simply wait those few minutes or so and then turn the channel on, thereby skipping having to be forced to watch the commercials. The BBC used to only show commercials before and after programming, but now they have limited interruptions (something like two or three times, depending on the show's length) during which commercials are run. Here in America, unfortunately, the train of thought is to show as many commercials as often as possible (like every 8 min. or so). It was estimated several years ago that the prime time slot (8-11pm)...three hours...now contains ONE HOUR of commercials. That means the average one hour show is only 40 min. without the commercials, and the average half-hour show is only 20 min. minus commercials. I can recall the 70's (and maybe even earlier) when prime time programming would only have ONE major interruption halfway through a 30 min. program and the commercials only ran for about one minute.

 

Well, at least nowadays the breaks are long enough to go to the bathroom. ;)

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Besides commercials, one other thing that has changed is the overall vintage of their movies. Before the "new AMC" years ago, they used to show a lot of early talkies and other 30's films, but not any more. They always did have an obsession with John Wayne films though, something that continued after their format change.

 

AMC's programming commitments are decided by those who obviously don't value classic film, and I in turn as a classic film lover, do not take them seriously. I've long stopped checking to see what's playing over there; I couldn't care less. Being profit maximising realists of the low road, they understand the mass market all too well. The general population is too uncultured and ahistorical to develop any familiarity and liking for films beyond a certain age of vintage. For most, a "very old film" is one that was made ten years ago. If the whole purpose of the channel is to "sell soap", you have to come down to the level of the audience.

 

Old movies are still around on TV, although cut up with commercial breaks or "fundraising" appeals if on PBS. THIS channel shows some good ones, and a local ABC affiliate was showing *Flying Down To Rio (1933)* the other night at 3AM!

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I guess the question I'd like to ask is why does it require so many commercials to keep a channel going these days? What cost has risen so high as opposed to the value of the advertising time being sold that requires so much of that advertising time? Why are about half of the channels on Directv 24 hour paid programming channels and just about all of the others have daily hours-long blocks of paid programming?

 

In the 70's you could run one commercial every 15 minutes and pay for scripted TV, as someone else has mentioned. Today, in spite of all of this ad time, in spite of cable fees, so many of the channels scream poverty and resort to reality TV that costs nothing to produce.

 

Where is all of this money going???

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But WHY NOT show these commercials in between the movies, instead of interrupting the movie?

 

Actually, that was how it all started on AMC. Next it was "just one" in the middle of the film. Then the proverbial camel got his whole figure inside the tent and goodness knows, I'm sure that right now they are plotting on

 

Adding

More

Commercials

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I too- sadly- am old enough to remember commercial-free AMC. I'm not sad because of my age... I'm sad because the old AMC is just a memory, and when I think of what the network is today I could cry.

 

It's not possible for me to follow the narrative thread of movies with six-minute commercial breaks every nine minutes... even movies I've seen before. I get back from the break and I'm lost, disoriented... who were these characters again? Where were they going...? Do you think the minds, attention-spans and mental processes of those who regularly watch commercial TV are affected by the constant interruption and-

 

This post is sponsored in part by Geico: Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.

 

I'm sorry, I forgot what I was saying... and for those of you who are afraid to ask for more commercial-free channels: you shouldn't be. The airwaves belong to the people. We deserve free radio, free television, and free wi-fi. Do not let the fact that corporations have taken over the American government dissuade you from asking for what you deserve... do not identify with your captors. TCM is basic-cable and commercial free and makes PLENTY of money. Plenty is enough.

 

AMC could do the same but they buckled, long ago, and now they're part of the problem.

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A Geico commercial could disrupt the best of trains of thought. Something more laid back, such as Robert Wagner pitching reverse mortgages, would be less disruptive, and seeing Wagner's face makes it seem as if you're still watching the film.

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In the pre-cable days, the commercials supposedly paid for the programming. Now, we pay for cable service and STILL get commercials on cable only stations(TNT, TBS, USA, etc.). It's like they're double dipping! And yes, those bottom-of-the-screen graphics annoy me no end. Do we REALLY need to know WHAT dumb-a** show starts new episodes SIX WEEKS FROM NOW?

Sepiatone

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I remember AMC back before TCM came along, and while it was never even close to being on the same level as TCM is today, compared to everything that had gone before it seemed like heaven on Earth.

 

As to the cause of its decline, I'd venture a guess that as soon as TCM showed up and started getting rave notices from all over**, AMC saw the writing on the wall and decided that rather to try to compete with TCM, it would go another route. I definitely noticed a drop in the quality of AMC's selection as soon as TCM started adding more cable providers, though even then it was still several years down the road before they began the commercials and really piled on the schlock. I haven't watched it for nearly 10 years, and every time I look at their schedule and think of those commercials, I know I'm not missing a thing.

 

 

**There was one article in the New York Times in the 90's that practically drooled over a typical week's TCM lineup, noted the distinct inferiority of the AMC selection, and lamented the fact thatTCM was still unavailable in New York City. I personally switched from Comcast to DirectTV solely because of the fact that at that time (early 2002) Comcast still didn't carry TCM. (Of course about two months after I'd switched, Comcast added it.)

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AMC is owned by Cabelvision. Anyone in the NY and Long Island area knows how money hungry this group is. Last year it was DISH Network and this year subscribers in NYC who must pay more to get the MSG sports teams. Yes AMC was once enjoyable.

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It's amazing and laughable now to think back that AMC's mantra, once upon a time, was about respecting our film heritage and film preservation. I think, if I am not mistaken, that AMC was the first to come out touting the praise of letterboxed films and was the first to show the pro letterbox "commercial" with GEORGE COSTANZA that TCM now occassionally shows between films. Man, I used to look forward to AMC'S Movie Palace Memories hosted by BOB DORIAN every Saturday morning that featured Betty Boop Cartoons, Laurel and Hardy shorts, a serial chapter, a Newsreel, and the main feature, more times then not, a classic horror or sci fi film. I saw all the EDDIE CANTOR films for the first time on AMC as well as Jolson's films. AMC used to show THE BRIGHTON STRANGLER, a 1940s thriller from RKO, which TCM supposedly owns, but has never shown (hint, hint). AMC's annual Halloween MONSTERFEST was truly a delight as it showed all the UNIVERSAL CLASSICS complete and uncut as well as all the HAMMER CLASSICS. In some respects the old AMC was, dare I say it, better then TCM, especially for me since COMCAST of central New Jersey did not get it until after AMC morphed into amc, dumped DORIAN and CLOONEY, and turned into a crappy channel.

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I have boycotted that channel since they started with commercials. I would love it if they would revert back to showing movies uncut and commercial free and would definately cancel my boycott. But seeing as how I don't watch that channel, I would never know if it changes. I would appreciate someone passing the word on to me, if it does happen.

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I seriously doubt that will EVER happen, because AMC now shows mostly modern movies...like from late 80's to the present time....and probably have to pay much more for the licensing of those films, and the commercials obviously help with their costs.

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Actually, Finance, the controversial line on the Ed Sullivan show wasn't in the song "Light My Fire"... it was in "Break On Through" and it went as follows:

 

"Everybody loves my baby

Everybody loves my baby

She gets... She gets... She gets... HIGH!"

 

That word "high" is still cut from most radio releases of the song to this day, and as such it's a ridiculous lyric because Jim never tells us what his girl gets. (Instead of "high" he sings "Yayyy..") In spite of being asked to omit the word from their Sullivan appearance, Jim and the Doors did an extended version of the song... and sang "high" anyway.

:)

 

Censorship sucks.

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