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TCM Programmer, You Rock!

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As tcmprogrammer has said, constructive criticism is welcome (and helpful). In the past (almost 3 years now), I've noticed many suggestions made on these boards taken to heart by TCM. BTW, I also missed getting the last few minutes of the Red Lily, but since someone else "beat me to the punch" and posted about it, I didn't feel the need to do it (or pile on;-) ... perhaps it will be scheduled again soon, let's hope so.


In any case, your question about what is in TCM's library was answered twice in the challenge thread and six (& counting) others were able to participate given the generalized information provided. There's still time if you'd like to try. I'd love to see your choices, and you may even win the prize!

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Some of us don't have the kind of time on our hands it takes to participate in the programming challenge, but I don't think we should be banned from making comments that you happen to disagree with because of this. Sure the programmer's job may be difficult, but TCM has a vast library to work with.

Besides, who made you the message board god?

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I don't think many of us that took the challenge have alot of time on our hands. I know I don't, especially this month. But I found the time to do it because the challenge intriqued me.


For the record, the TCM library is not as vast as we all think it is. Yes, they have the pre- '48 Warners library and the RKO library and the pre-'86 library but the library is not vast when you consider they don't have Paramount, Columbia, Universal, and the post -48 Warners library, not to mention the films from various independent film companies of the 1950s and 1960s.


The thing that intriques me with you and others who like to rant about the problems of TCM is that it seems like it is okay for you guys to criticize TCM, the programmers, and those of us who don't agree with your premise but you guys don't like to be criticized yourselves very often.

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"Besides, who made you the message board god?"



Message board shill you mean. TCM could show a solid week of Goldie Hawn movies and these same three or four people will be on here defending it to the last. I wonder if TCM employs these people to keep the complaints down?


My stating that the TCM Programmer does not repesct the older classics does not have merit? Maybe not to you, but that isn't saying much. You clutter up these boards at least as much with your sycophantic ravings as much as I am guilty of the reverse. You think the TCM programmer's job is difficult? The TCM programmer should try to sit through "He Laughs Last", "Operation Bikini", "The Karate Kid" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids". Now that is hard!


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(because I do not have a listing of films I can include without spending DAYS figuring out what *should be available in a simple database* [and would be available in a simple database to an actual programmer] - translated, give me the tools, and I'll do the challenge), >>




Those that took the challenge didn't have a list of films except for our own lists of favorites and such.


The tools you need are right here on the TCM website. The movie database will give you the stars, the director, the year, the running time and the releasing studio.


The other valuable tool is imdb.com for searching for titles for a particular actor or director. Imdb may also have the releasing studio info but I couldn't easily find it.


I would very much like to see your week's worth of programming as I think the choices made tell us a great deal about one another and the films we like.

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Hi, TCMprogrammer,


Don't take too much to heart about criticism. A lot of us think you do a great job, and, sure, I missed the ending of The Clairvoyant, and was disappointed by that, but I know it will get repeated at some point. And to those who want to rake you over the coals for the timing being off by the film preceding it, what did they expect, TCM to write each and everyone here that, "Hey, sorry, we just noticed the film is running a few minutes over. You better get up and reset your timers manually."


Oh, and it's not worth listing statistics about the recent movies to them. Several of us have tried. I even got old Now Playing magazines from 2000 and showed that statistically TCM has not been playing more movies made after 1970 now than when they consider "the good old days" of TCM. It falls on deaf ears. I've learned through the posts that they don't REALLY care if there are more post-1960s movies or not; they just want NO post-1960 movies. (And even the 1960s films will get a good hammering.)


Besides, if you get it to being all films they do want, people will complain about the database. Or the east coast/west coast times. Or the number of pages it takes to print out the schedule. Or the pan and scan of Benji. Or that TCM is turning into AMC. Or that TCM is running too many silent movies or too many sound movies or too many black-and-white movies or too many foreign movies or too many letterbox movies or too many -- well, I've run out, but you can bet they won't.


It's been mentioned in these posts and other threads, that after having done the programming challenge many of us are now more appreciative of what you go through on a regular basis, but I say if we want a real terrifying challenge...we should try manning the message boards and having to deal with the complaints on a daily basis like you do, too.

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"The thing that intriques me with you and others who like to rant about the problems of TCM is that it seems like it is okay for you guys to criticize TCM, the programmers, and those of us who don't agree with your premise but you guys don't like to be criticized yourselves very often."


For the record I don't criticize the baglappers until they start in on me. I do agree with constarkel that those that did the challenge did a great job, there are very few modern movies and many movies that TCM rarely shows, and lots of precodes - the types of movies that are always shown in the middle of the night instead of primetime, so we have to record them if we want to see them. And no one repeated the same movie within the week.

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I promise to play both "The Red Lily" and "The Clairvoyant" again in the coming months. As I've said a few times, I appreciate the support and the complaints and everyone is free to complain as much as they want on these boards. I just took offense to the idea that I (or we as a network) don't appreciate older classics. You're free to think that and you're free to say that, I just don't understand how you come to that conclusion based on the overall programming.

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I'm sorry if I came across too harshly, but what I said did get noticed. So now a suggestion: Replay "The Red Lily" as part of a Ramon Navarro day during the Summer of the Stars.


It's good to know that you do care what your hardcore fans think.

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Most of the folks who have participated in the challenge are MUCH more knowledgeable than I am about movies and the legal issues surrounding who owns rights to what. Most have been at this hobby a long time, know the films and who made them, etc.


I do not even *pretend* to be as knowledgeable as most of the folks on this board, nor have I EVER PRETENDED TO BE. Compared with some of you guys, I am a rank amateur at this - I've only been watching classic films more seriously for a couple of years, and have been posting on this board (my first classic film board) for what? Two months? Three months? I've read a few actor biographies, and that is IT - the sum total of my 'experience'.


So when someone tells me "They own rights to Studio X's films pre-Y year", that doesn't tell me SQUAT, except that I have to do A LOT of manual research in order to find out what I need in order to figure out if any given film I like CAN be included in my schedule from a legal perspective. Scheduling the time is the EASY part, compared with all that potential work. And you guys giving me short, almost brush-off answers to my (admittedly newbie) questions did not exactly help.


I'm lucky if I know when films I like came OUT, let alone which studios they are from, and if they are exceptions to various legal contracts because of some special agreement that I don't know about, nor have time to read. I don't know anything about film leasing, loaning, etc. I don't know what "public domain" really means in the film world. NOR IS IT MY JOB IN REAL LIFE TO KNOW THIS.


Now, I may not know much about films, but as a CPA, I know a fair amount about databases and what they can do: the kind of data they can sort into any number of categories, and the powerful reporting and search tools available. And I HIGHLY suspect the implication that the TCM programmers don't have access to a database that cuts down on or eliminates completely alot of the research that someone like myself would have to do out on the internet, from any number of sources, just to get to the *starting point* of which films are legal to include.


If the TCM programmers do not have such a database available to them: where, at a glance and the press of a couple of buttons, they can tell which films they can legally air, how long each film is, who is in each film (cross-referenced), who is the director (cross-referenced) of each film, and when was the last time each aired, I would be REALLY surprised.


In short, they most likely have a starting point: a database of legal films. I do not.


So I'd appreciate it if you'd get off your high horse and quit treating me like an idiot because I don't have the knowledge that some of you guys have about all the details of this pasttime - because I DON'T know off the top of my head what year a film was made in, which studio made it, and if TCM can legally air it.


If you want a board full of film snobs, then knock yourself out with that attitude. But count me out. I'm just a regular girl who came to this board to LEARN and have a bit of fun. Not to be belittled for my lack of knowledge and given the brush-off by the 'big shots'.


I was wondering why this board didn't have more regular posters. Now, I'm beginning to understand why.


Incidentally, my offer to do a schedule of my own, JUST FOR FUN, without regard to legal issues, was turned town flatly by you guys. Translated: "If you don't know all the legal contract ****, you stupid N00b, then go look it all up by hand. Otherwise, don't play with the Big Boys, you clueless little girl. Cus we don't do no hand-holdin' around these parts".


Oh, believe me, I understood THAT completely.



And just as an aside - I do NOT think my lack of knowledge disallows me from pointing out that I could not see the ending of a film I'd been waiting for because the timing was off.


The TCM programmer was very nice about it - admitted the error and said he'd try to rerun the films later. As far as the TCM programmer goes, I'm a happy camper.


Too bad you weren't as nice about it.

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I sincerely apologize if I offended you with my response(s). That was not my intent in ANY way. I always try to be respectful of other person's opinions and constructive comments. Sorry too if I sounded arrogant in anyway or that you felt somehow belittled by my comments. Yes, there are those who participate on these boards who may have seen more movies than you (certainly than ME), but most of the persons who have been participating for a while are very helpful with their film knowledge (or "hobby" if you prefer) and encouraging of others who want to "join the club", e.g. that share our passion for this art form. Again, I apologize if you feel my response to you was rude.

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pktrekgirl--I don't want you to go away either. I like reading what you have to say. You don't have to participate in the challenge if you don't want to, but don't think that what you say isn't important because it is. You're articulate and smart.


And for those of you who hate it when people DON'T complain--what is wrong with you folks? Just because some people don't feel like it's necessary to gripe everytime the channel does something we don't agree with doesn't necessarily translate to becoming "shills" or "sycophants." Because there are things that are shown that I don't particularly like but I'm not going to constantly **** about it. I realized a long time ago that, hey, guess what, I'm not the only one watching the channel. For example, it would please me if I never saw Humphey Bogart or Ginger Rogers ever again but I wouldn't want to deprive their many fans of their movies just because I can't stand them. And anyway, being a shill or a sycophant indicates to me that I would be getting something for saying good things about TCM but alas I am not. At least I haven't gotten and money nor have I been asked to cohost with Bob Osborne or Ben Mankiewicz. Just my two cents worth. You can still post away with your silly comments. Just don't expect everyone to agree with you and withhold their feelings either.

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You're right, pktrekgirl. A good post and right on target. There are a lot of "rank amateurs" around here for whom these boards are not a hobby - they are an obsession. And it's often a case of those who know the least making the most noise. And no, you don't have to know when a film came out or which studio produced it or whether or not it is in the public domain or who owns the rights to any particular film. It is enough to know that you enjoyed it.


And you're absolutely right about the database; surely TCM Programmer has this elementary asset available. If he/she doesn't, any computer programmer could come up with a good one in a couple of hours - there are literally dozens out there which only need little modifications.


And constarkel, you too. Stick to your guns! I always enjoy reading your postings (and I'll bet that those who disagree with you always read your postings just to see what you have to say - I know I do). Just be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows . . .


Keep it up.



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TCM Programmer, may I add another title for replay? It is "Miracles for Sale" starring Robert Young. It was on the other day but I am not sure if it started early or what exactly but I didn't get the first five minutes or so on my DVR timer. I watched the rest of it and enjoyed it, but I would like to see the opening minutes of it. Thanks.

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