Monday, March 3, 2014

Check the schedule carefully

A couple of days ago, I was fast-forwarding on my satellite box guide through he TCM and FXM schedules. I noticed that in today's lineup of nominees for the Best Picture of 1935, the final selection, Lives of a Bengal Lnacer, was set to begin at 6:10 PM. That can't be quite right, I thought, since feature films on TCM begin on a quarter-hour. Besides, sometimes the box guide gets things wrong, as I've mentioned a few times in the past.

So I opened up the print copy of the March schedule that I downloaded at the end of February, and sure enough, it too is claiming that Lives of a Bengal Lancer will be starting at 6:10 PM. It's following A Midsummer Night's Dream, which comes on at 3:45 PM and runs 143 minutes, which should have it end around 6:08 PM. Lives of a Bengal Lancer runs 109 minutes, so it would need to start at 6:10 PM if the next feature were to begin at 8:00 PM as the prime time features do.

This is the first time I can think of that TCM has scheduled two features like this, so as to have one of them not start on the quarter-hour. Shorts following features have always been scheduled irregularly, and when TCM schedules shorts as part of some programming block -- as with the Carson on TCM segments that are going to be showing up on TCM again in prime time this month -- it's sometimes been the case that the TCM schedule lists things as beginning at odd times, already on the monthly schedule. There are also times that they've simply put a block of shorts to play in one 30- or 60- minute slot (or perhaps longer), and you have to be careful to figure out exactly what short is airing at what time.

But the upshot is that I'd bet Lives of a Bengal Lancer really is beginning at 6:10 PM and that it's not a type or glitch in your set-top box.

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