Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Considerate TCM

As I mentioned yesterday, TCM had rescheduled the Carson on TCM interviews that were scheduled to air on March 18th for last night, since a glitch at TCM led to the interviews that were originally scheduled to air last night to run on March 18th. It's not too surprising that TCM would do something like this. But what I did find a bit surprising is that they were able to bring in Ben Mankiewicz to tape a hasty wraparound at some point in the last week, during which he explained to us that there was a glitch and they were making it up to us by running last week's interview lineup. Moreover, there was one at the end to explain again why there would be a night of Gene KElly movies as originally scheduled even though his interview did not air last night. The other interesting thing was that it sounded as though TCM took the Conan O'Brian piece that aired at the very end of last week, about being honored to host another season of Carson on TCM, which sounded like the one that ended last week's interviews, since that was supposed to be the end of this season.

It shouldn't be too big a surprise that TCM brought in Ben Mankiewicz to do the wraparound. Robert Osborne is turning 82 in May, and if the guy wasn't already in Atlanta to do a set of wraparounds for some future month's prime time lineup, why put him through the rigmarole of doing one little wraparound? Besides, Ben is presumably going to be taking over for Robert at some point. Johnny Carson asked Lucille Ball in one of last night's interviews what she thought about the likelihood of people even 50 years from now enjoying her comedy, to which she replied that she didn't want to think about being around in 50 years. She was 65 at the time, so you can understand why she wouldn't want to think about being 115, even if the question was really more about people enjoying her work after she was dead.

One other interesting thing from the interviews last night was the opening of the Carol Burnett interview. Her variety show had ended not long before, and the band obviously played the theme to that show when she came on, because Johnny asks her about it. Last night, though, we didn't get to hear it, which would almost certainly be down to rights issues. You'd have to ask somebody who knows more about intellectual property law than I do, but there's something about the lincensing for an essentially live combo like the band on a daily talk show that makes ancillary rights, like rebroadcasting, different from the rebroadcasting of old movies, where those things are probably hammered out before releasing the movie in the first place. (And then there's the rights to the songs originally used on a show like WKRP in Cincinnati....)

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