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I'm not one of the Doomsdayers here on the site declaring that the end of TCM is near, however, the item below, which was just reported today on tvguideonline.com, gives one pause. Doesn't look good for the future IMHO:

 

"Turner Classic Movies announced on Wednesday that it is developing a pair of pilots, at least one of which will go to series. Take Two will provide young actors a chance to act out famous scenes from classic films (Wilmer Valderrama takes on The Lost Weekend in the pilot), while Idols will pair a young actor with their big-screen idol. How ever will Paris Hilton decide between the quiet strength of Faye Dunaway and the polished sensuality of Lauren Bacall?"

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This is a stupid idea, and I will not watch any of these shows.

 

AMC tried something like this before they crashed.

 

What we want to see is old and classic movies, not modern crap. All the other channels already have the modern crap, and we don't need any more.

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I can agree with the Cavett shows, I can understand some of the newer movies, but this is too far. The idea of seeing a bunch of non talents "recreating" classic movies scenes is more than most of us will be able to stomach.

 

tcmprogrammer, say it ain't so.

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This quote from the 'Variety' article is exactly the type of thinking that killed AMC and probably will kill TCM:

 

"We want to broaden our audience and get more people in their 30s and 40s to watch," said Tom Karsch, executive VP/general manager of TCM.

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This is just ridiculous. Turner Classic Movies became famous for showing Classic Movies. It didn?t become famous for producing modern TV shows of modern young amateur actors re-enacting scenes from classic movies.

 

I don?t want to see anyone imitating Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette Davis. I want to see Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette Davis.

 

Why would I want to see someone imitating Norma Shearer in a TV studio, when I can see the real Norma Shearer in a classic movie?

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"We want to broaden our audience and get more people in their 30s and 40s to watch," said Tom Karsch, executive VP/general manager of TCM.

 

What they are saying here is they want a bigger audience of people WHO DON?T LIKE classic movies!

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Nooooo......you don't THINK TCM is turning into AMC, now DO you all?

 

Nope, not at all. Not what I've been saying for awhile now, nope not a bit of it.

 

Hey, Anime was classic, wasn't it? Just like the Sonny and Cher movie was classic, right?

 

Now let's see, just how far away are the commercials?

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

 

Money will out.

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"What they are saying here is they want a bigger audience of people WHO DON?T LIKE classic movies!"

 

That sounds correct, Mr. Dobbs. We are not the target audience for this show. This will bring in the fans of Wilmer Valderamma and other guests of the show. That audience isn't presently watching TCM, and this is the network's method of bringing this new audience into the fold. It will give some of them their first taste of classic movies and hopefully develop their appreciation of the oeuvre. TCM's goal won't be for us to watch as much as it is to bring in new viewers. The disadvantage for us, of course, is that it takes away valuable time for showing classic films.

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JackBurley is exactly right. We might do a limited series - there are a couple of pilots that we are pursuing. If we end up doing any of them, it will be completely toward the goal of introducing younger people to older movies, and will take up about 1/2 hour a week of the schedule. We aren't AMC, we aren't adding commercials (although, I do understand, some will never be convinced of that). We're in the process of negotiating for a whole lot of older movies to be on this channel for many years to come. But we have to do what we can to try to make sure there is always an audience for those older movies.

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Yes, thanks for the response TCMProgammer, however, I still hate the idea of anything non-movie invading TCM"s movie lineup especially something of a "reality" nature. Why can't the executives at cable channels be happy with the demos they currently have? I know, personally, that I have more money to spend on products and such than does my 20 something year old cousin who doesn't give a flip about classic movies or this channel.

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I'll be the first to admit that I like the idea of the Dick Cavett interviews and that yes, I'm one of the few who liked the Sonny and Cher movie (I love 60's kitsch, what can I say?), but to read about this? Wow. It really breaks my heart. That half hour you're planning to devote to this junk is taking a half hour away from a great classic movie you have hidden away in your vaults.

 

Why would I want to see a B/C list "celeb" like Wilmer Valderrama on TCM? B, C and D list celebs belong on Bravo or VH1, not TCM. TCM is for classic movies, not lame tv actors desperately trying to cling onto their 15 minutes of fame after their show was cancelled.

 

And if Paris Hilton ever, ever EVER graces TCM I will set myself on fire. I thought reading about her playing Mother Teresa was bad, but this is worse. Can you imagine her and Lauren Bacall in the same room? Can you imagine what Ms. Bacall's reaction would be? Totally laughable.

 

TCM is a classy network. Adding a show like this is just one step away from langushing in the gutter. I understand the need to attract younger viewers, but these ideas are terrible. There has to be a better way than shows such as these. I love TCM. It's the best network out there, but to see crap like this really leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

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First, Paris Hilton isn't involved with anything. I'm not sure where that came from, but please don't set yourself on fire yet. Second, we've been doing original programming for many years. We used to have a weekly franchise called "Films on Film" which was just a different documentary about filmmaking every week. Honestly, I think the Cavett shows are great and fit very well into a lot of the other programming we do. Third, the programs announced today are pilots - they aren't produced yet and aren't in the schedule and may never be in the schedule. Fourth, yes this is a corporation and I work at a corporation and at the end of the day the goal of Time Warner is to make money. (And there's nobody more suspicious of corporate American than I am.) But we've managed to create a commercial-free (primarily basic cable) network that plays hundreds of different movies each month, with in-depth festivals and incredible promotional and interstitial pieces and hosted introductions and interviews with classic movie stars and actors. And there has never been any push to add advertising since I've been here - believe me, that's what makes programming the channel so interesting. It's the reason we can play a lot of great films that don't necessarily have large audiences. But sometimes we try different things to try to bring younger people to appreciate classic movies in the same way that we do. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but the fundamental channel isn't changing. And I've been saying this on these boards for many years.

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TCM:

 

You could attract more teenagers and young people to TCM by having large numbers of 5-minute discussion sessions with teenagers (like the ones on this board) and with college students (like the ones on this board), sitting and talking to each other about classic movies. This would attract teens in the audience who are channel surfing and they would stop to watch what the teens are saying about classic movies on TCM.

 

There are plenty of high schools and colleges that have film and video classes, both for their news/media and their drama departments. Here in New Mexico even some of the grammar schools have video classes for kids who want to go into the news and entertainment business. These kids (and many others) would love to see kids, teenagers, and young adults talking about classic movies.

 

Many teens might be afraid to like old movies or to admit to liking them, but if you show teens talking about liking them, and have some teens introduce some of the films, that would attract a lot of teens to TCM. All the teens of America, Canada, etc. have to know is that ?It?s ok for teens to like classic movies,? and other teens talking about films on TCM could convince them of that.

 

When I was in the TV news business I got a lot of teens and kids interested in watching our daily news programs simply by going to local schools every now and then and assembling a group of 5 to 6 teens and asking them questions about their opinions of world, state, and local affairs. The kids had some good ideas and this technique attracted a lot of kids to our news shows.

 

I did the same thing with several medical mission documentaries I produced. Instead of interviewing only adults, I interviewed the teenagers who went on the trips, and with a careful editing of their responses, their interviews turned out great. One of my documentaries aired on the EWTN network at least once a year for the next ten years, and that medical mission group had big jump in teenage volunteers (along with a jump in the number of parents going on the trips) as a result.

 

Fred

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