Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

The TCM Programming Challenge


Recommended Posts

O.K., here's a chance to put all that energy you've got into something positive (for a change?). Be TCM's programmer! This should be your dream come true if you spend a lot of time on these boards complaining about the programming here, right?


The Challenge


Put together one week's lineup (say, for June, 2006). I think it would take too long and be too hard to program an entire month, but I think a week will give you an appreciation of the task which faces tcmprogrammer and his staff each and every month, year in and year out. That's right, it's your station. Now, here are the restrictions and the required output:


1. Choose a Star of the Month - their films can consume one evening (usually 3-4 movies)

2. Have a theme for each of the other six evenings (e.g. link at least 2, and preferably 4, films with some common attribute); each evening should begin at 8 PM ET.

3. Use tcmdb.com or imdb.com to get running times so that you don't exceed 24 hours/day of programming for the week. You can fill in the "blanks" with Private Screenings and/or other short features, which you don't have to list if you don't want to, but try not to exceed 10-20 minutes between films (lest you lose your audience)

4. Since there are roughly 9 premieres (e.g. films TCM must rent which are not in their library) in a given month, you can pick any 2 non-TCM library films (from Fox, Paramount, Universal, UA, etc.) to air during your week, all the rest must come from TCM's library.


Optional (other things TCM staff members do regularly)


5. Recognize actor's birthdays and/or do other unannounced tributes and film linkages during some of the days

6. Provide some range of genres and/or release dates in your selections (e.g. Comedy, Western, Musical, Romance, Historical, Biographical, drama, noir, silent etc. & films from the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, etc.)

7. Include some well known classics like Oscar winners (or nominees) and/or movies that have been added to the National Film Registry (e.g. to draw new viewers to the channel)

8. Have fun!

Added 2/28 AM:

9. Choose a TCM Essential to run on Saturday night at 8 PM ET and Sunday night at 6 PM ET


Any takers? Let's see what you can do! Take your time, there's no time limit to this challenge (even though TCM's programmers face monthly deadlines, you're only being asked to program one week! Should be easy, right?). Who knows, maybe tcmprogrammer, who follows these boards, will take your schedule and run with it!


Message was edited by:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

leo, I see it as a fun exercise, in line with the way some people create new stories of Star Trek and the like. It's sort of a wish list, and I see nothing wrong in that. To make it more real, one could always schedule a day for himself or herself using whatever movies he or she has, but using some of the criteria originally mentioned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, here's your chance to put your money where your complaints are. Show us what you would program if given the chance. Don't fall back on the excuse of it won't make difference. You've been very vocal about your dislikes about the programming. Show us what you think we could be missing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in! But let's have a one month deadline to make it interesting, March 31 lets say. Everyone has four weekends to work on it and do their research and work out their programming plan. All entries must be in by March 31 2006 12:00am their time zone. All Votes for the winner must be posted by April 5 and you can only vote once. A separate thread will be made available for votes, which will be open to anyone who is a registered member.


The winner gets to be guest programmer at some future date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just might take a shot at this-I'll certainly need some time,LOL,but then I don't get paid to do it-I already know that my "Star Of The Month" will be Norma Shearer,and one of the movies will be "Let Us Be Gay" because I've never seen it-another will be "The Trial Of Mary Dugan".




We'll have an original production,a documentary of Norma Shearer,including never-before-seen footage of her closets, and her make-up regime,and some footage of her diving(because I've seen some pictures and she appeared to be a beautiful diver).We'll also learn what her favorite perfume was,because I like knowing "girly" things like that,LOL.




There will be a lot silents shown this week,focusing on Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish. We will also show a festival of early Biograph shorts-I have the DVD sets of those,and they're very interesting.




To break up the "girliness" of this month,I'll show some film noir-especially ones with strong "femme fatale" leading ladies---OK, it's going to be "girly month",hehe.




"Chance At Heaven" and "Hollywood Revue Of 1929" will be two of my non-theme movie selections-just because I like them.Also, "The Quiet Man" and "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon".




Now I just have to sort all this out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

O.K., great idea (the deadline that is).


BTW, another advantage of "you as TCM's programmer" is you don't have to consider the context of a month, or last month, etc.. In other words, the long view of things (e.g. whether a film was just shown, say in May, 2006 - whose schedule should be available on-line soon) isn't your concern for this challenge. Enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK! I'm up for the challenge.


But I need a clarification and have a question...


Do the non-TCM library titles include the longterm leases from Paramount? (Double Indemnity/A Place In The Sun/Roman Holiday)? I'd hate to have to count those titles toward my rental allotment. If TCM currently has the rights to a certain film is it OK to think of it as a part of the library?


And does anyone know what the character limit may be for a post on these boards? I am sure a week's schedule will be quite long unless there is a way to format things on here that I am unaware of and I'd hate to see everyone's work broken up into multiple posts due to excessive length.


Kyle in Hollywood


What a great idea, btw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have much in the way of complaints about the current programming, but I'll do it, just for fun.


However, I need some clarification/assistance.


Outside of the movie database link up in the menu options...are there any other films that we can include? And how to we find out what those are?


I'm not familiar with all the leasing arrangements with studios. I've never paid much attention to that sort of stuff and have ZERO idea of what TCM has rights to.


Sources of this material would be swell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess this is rather problematic, sorry. The best advice I can give regarding which titles are in/out of the TCM library was this clarification provided by coffeedan some time ago:




It seems the database function that used to exist, e.g. search TCM's database for a specific title, no longer exists unless I've just missed something (e.g. an icon or sentence indicating that a film is in the library or not) while looking through the much more comprehensive tcmdb.com just now.


Regarding the long term leases (e.g. from Paramount) that you've mentioned, I think it would be fine to use them. But how does one know which films are included in those agreements? I'm open to suggestions (thanks in advance to any help with this issue!).


I don't think there will be an issue wrt character limits; I've seen (indeed, I've written) some pretty long posts here. However, I don't think responses need to have much more detail besides a list of each day's films and the associated themes etc.. I'm thinking that each week's programming will include somewhere around 75-95 titles (and our 100 Years at the Movies posts had more than 225 lines).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I guess this is rather problematic, sorry."



don't be sorry. I think its great you have initiated somethig constructive for all to participate in. Just want to be clear on the "ground rules" before we start.


I am surprised more people haven't replied that they are wanting to participate themselves. I thought everyone had it already in their heads what they would like to do with the TCM schedule for even one night if given the chance. I know I have.


What I know about the Paramount titles I learned from a short article in the LA Times a few years back. If I remember correctly it covered about fifty titles and was to last about five years. It didn't list all the titles tho. It has to be a much more generous arrangement than whatever agreement TCM has/had for the Laurel & Hardy films, et. al., featured last April.


Looking forward to diving into this project. As I have pretty much mastered Sudoku, I am grateful for the challenge.


Kyle in Hollywood

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone really think that the habitual complainers are going to try this? Do you think anyone will try it? It's a helluva lot harder to program for an entire week than it is to sit down and write a pessimistic/woe-is-me letter.


I'm looking forward to all the entries; all those people who will take the time and effort to sit down and program for an entire week. Sure!


I've been with TCM for less than a year and can honestly say that I haven't watched HBO, Cinemax, Star Movies, The Hallmark Channel, or MGM Movie Channel more than two or three times in the last year. That's the truth. TCM is far and away my favorite - but that's just me, isn't it? I know my brother would never be interested in TCM - he likes the loud and violent pictures they make today, and he actually goes to the theater to see them. He's the demographic Hollywood makes movies for; I am not. And all the cable companies I mentioned earlier probably have more subscribers than TCM (that's a guess, I don'treally know). To each his own. But what bothers me is when someone - and there are many on these boards - reacts to any criticism of TCM. It's like waving a red flag at a bull, attacking the Pope, or publishing cartoons in a Danish newspaper. My God, they jump all over you if you even dare suggest that TCM may indeed be merely mortal. TCM is not the second coming; it is not a cure for cancer. It is a commercial movie channel which shows mostly old movies. That's what it is, folks.


Well, I don't know where that came from. That's what happens when we bottle things up inside - eventually we explode.


Anyway, who is going to take the challenge? Anyone? I know I'm not - I have neither the time nor the patience nor the talent. But I'll be interested to see who the winner is (I have an idea already who it will be, but will keep that for later). And, based on the little already written on this thread, I sure know who the winner won't be.


Good luck to everyone who tries. And stay within the rules. You are being watched.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

?O.K., here's a chance to put all that energy you've got into something positive (for a change?). Be TCM's programmer!?


First, give us a full list of the complete TCM library. All Titles. All run-times. And a list showing which date in the past each title has been aired.


That will tell us what films are easily available and how often they have already been aired.


We should disregard birthdays. No one goes to the movies because of some actor?s birthday.


The next thing we do is make sure that ?Bringing up Baby? is NOT aired during the next 10 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




"Your wish has been granted, however they'll be showing at 2 AM, 4 AM and 6 AM."


Unh...unh. Between 2 AM and 8 AM is my "SHABBY Tribute" schedule.


"She's Having A Baby", "Babycakes" and "Yanni Tribute".



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...