Thursday, June 26, 2014

TCM schedule warning

TCM is running Rock Hudon's 1969 movie A Fine Pair tonight at 8:00 PM as part of the salute to him as Star of the Month. That will be followed by Ice Station Zebra, which according to the schedule is supposed to come on at 9:45 PM. There's a problem, though. The monthly schedule that I downloaded back at the end of May lists A Fine Pair as being 115 minutes, which clearly won't fit into a 105-minute time slot, especially once you add in Ben Mankiewicz's intro and outro. TCM's online schedule lists A Fine Pair as having a running time of just 90 minutes, which clearly would fit an allow Ice Station Zebra to begin at 9:45 PM. Complicating matters is that the AFI database that TCM uses for the individual movie pages, and the IMDb, don't agree on the running time either. TCM's page on the movie says 89 minutes, which could fit with TCM's daily schedule rounding things differently: 89 minutes and change could round down to 89, but you're still not fitting it into an 89-minute time slot, and if I were a programmer, I'd want to know about the "and change" in the run time of any movie. Best to round everything up to the next whole minute. As for the IMDb page on A Fine Pair, it gives several different runtimes, although very helpfully stating that these were running times in various countries, which would make sense if you consider that some countries had some edits made that other countries didn't. The upshot, however, is that I have no idea how long the print that TCM is running tonight will be.

If TCM does have the longer print of A Fine Pair it may affect a fair portion of the night's schedule. Ice Station Zera is listed on the monthly TCM schedule and the online schedule as running 152 minutes, but IMDb says 148 minutes, and I seem to recall it fitting barely into a 2-1/2 hour afternoon time slot when I watched it on TCM. Of course, with Ben Mankiewicz doing an introduction and a bit after the movie, it's going to run beyond the 2:30 in any case. The night's third movie, Pretty Maids All in a Row, is listed on the TCM schedule as beginning at 12:30 AM, and being 91 minutes, with a short on the making of Guns for San Sebastian thrown in to get TCM to 2:15 AM for the start of the fourth movie, Seconds. But, if A Fine Pair runs long, it'll push Ice Station Zebra to 10:00, and Pretty Maids All in a Row to sometime after 12:30 AM. TCM has had a couple of cases where they get prints longer than expected where they go straight from the end of the too-long movie to the lineup announcement to the "now showing" bit for the next movie. If that happens here, TCM could catch up in time for Seconds by skipping the short. Otherwise, Seconds might start a bit late. Seconds is listed as 101 minutes in a two-hour slot, so in any case the schedule should finally get back on track by The Second Face at 4:15 AM.

I hope this doesn't inconvenience anybody too much. I was going to do post on Ice Station Zebra today, but I don't feel comfortable doing it if I'm not certain if it's going to begin at the time the TCM schedule says it will. And besides, it's gonig to be getting another airing during Summer Under the Stars in August, so I can blog about it then.

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