Sunday, April 13, 2014

Are TCM's shorts missing in action again?

I enjoy seeing the shorts come up on TCM, as I've blogged about on quite a few occasions. A lot of them, especially the more fact-based shorts like the Traveltalks series, are interesting time capsules. Some of the old Vitaphone two-reelers from the early 1930s aren't that bad in terms of story quality, either. And one of the nice things about having all those shots on TCm is that if there's no feature worth mentioning here, it's often possible to find an interesting short that's going to be coming up in the next day or so.

But not now. TCM's weekly schedule is only mentioning those longer shorts that get scheduled far in advance, such as you sometimes see in TCM Underground as with Tear Gas in Law Enforcement last night. There's not going to be any shorts in TCM Underground this week; the only short listed is the 1950 version of The MGM Story which if memory serves is another Some of the Best. It's listed as a short, even though it's 57 minutes.

It's also the only short on the weekly schedule. The daily schedule doesn't have any shorts listed, either. Of course, there aren't shorts after every movie, and generally maybe two shorts a day. But for the upcoming week, TCM is listing zero shorts. This, even though there are more then enough cases where there's time left over after a movie to stick a short in between. Tomorrow's first movie is an example. The 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon comes on at 7:00 AM, and is a 100-minute movie in a two-hour time slot, leaving close to 20 minutes left over. But there's no short following The Maltese Falcon, or any of the other movies that have 15-minute or longer gaps following them.

I wonder if it has to do with the Mickey Rooney tribute and/or the TCM Film Festival. Shorts are generally only put up on the schedule a week or so in advance, and with Mickey Rooney's death I presume everything got very busy over at TCM trying to come up with the memorial tribute. That, and having to get everybody to Los Angeles for the Festival. All that having been said, I'm surprised the shorts aren't schedule a bit further in advance. I'd presume that whoever does the programming knows where the time gaps are going to be, and it's easier to get the rights to all those old MGM and Warner's shorts.

I'm sure the shorts will show up again on the TCM schedule pages soon enough.

1 comment:

Keren and Steve said...

Hi, Do you know if some/any shorts are available as a compilation on a DVD? Or is there a list of past titles so I could search some individually? Thanks so much.