Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"Bob's" Picks

Most months -- 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars are excluded -- TCM host Robert Osborne has a night of movies that he's selected as if he were a Guest Programmer. According to the TCM schedule, tonight is that night.

What's going to be more ineteresting is to see whether Osborne actually shows up to present the picks. He missed the TCM Film Festival at the end of March, putting out a statement that he was having a medical procedure that his doctor said he really shouldn't put off, and as far as I can tell, he hasn't shown up since. The Guest Programmer segments are recorded some time in advance; how far I don't know. And of course all the Essentials segments are done well in advance too. I'd assume they could knock off the 28 (according to something Sally Field says in one of the promos) intros in two taping days.

As I understand it, Robert Osborne basically does a month of prime time intros at a time. Back when he was doing every night, this would have taken five or six taping days; one should be able to get three nights' worth of intros in in one taping session and do two taping sessions each day. The reason for the two taping sessions with a meal break in between is down to union rules: go over some amount of time (I think six hours) consecutive, and you have to start paying overtime. For the same reason and partly to bring in a fresh audience, those game shows that tape a week's worth of shows in one taping day will take a break after the third show. As for TCM, what ll this means is that Robert Osborne would have done all his intros for April at one time, so if he was going to miss anything it's unsurprising that he would miss an entire month.

May 1 was a Friday, which is the Friday night spotlight, something which was instituted in part to cut down by at least one day the number of taping days Robert Osborne has to do. Saturday was the Essential, and Sunday being a weekend, I'm not overly surprised thta he didn't show up to do those. I figured that if Osborne were back, he'd definitely be back by last night. And yet there was Ben Mankiewicz doingthe intros. It also makes me wonder just how serious Robert's health concerns are.

At any rate, "Bob's Picks" for this month are:

Miss Sadie Thompson at 8:00 PM, starring Rita Hayworth as the title role in a remake of the early 1930s film Rain with Joan Crawford.
At 9:45 PM, you can catch Torrid Zone, with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien battling for the love of Ann Sheridan;
Agatha comes on at 11:30 PM. It's a speculative story about a true incident in the life of Agatha Christie (Vanessa Redgrave) when, in 1926, she up and left her husband (who was cheating on her) and went missing for a week and a half; and
a movie version of Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None, at 1:15 AM.

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