Friday, March 9, 2018

TCM's new Saturday morning

For quite a few years, TCM was running through various movie series on Saturday mornings in roughly the 10:30 AM slot, just before the first movie of the afternoon. Notably there was the whole run of the Bowery Boys movies, but there were also things like the Falcon and the Saint. TCM got away from that last year, and now with 31 Days of Oscar over, they've revamped the Saturday morning lineup again.

I've seen a couple of people on the TCM boards suggest it's like the old-time Saturday matinee thing children did of going to the theater and getting some cartoons, a serial, and a feature. Of course, I'm not that old so I don't recall those days. Anyhow, at 8:00 AM there's starting off with a John Wayne western from the era when Wayne was very young and toiling on Poverty Row, so there are a lot of those westerns for TCM to get through. There are also going to be some cartoons.

At 9:30 AM, there's the first installment of a serial I'd never heard of, Red Barry from 1938, starring Buster Crabbe as the titular detective. There's also going to a Tarzan feature at 10:00 AM, and a Popeye cartoon along the way.

The first thing I notice is that the Wayne movie is in a 90-minute slot with some of the cartoons and shorts leading up to Red Barry. So I don't know what order they're airing in Ditto the Tarzan movie and the Popeye short, which are in a two-hour block at 10:00 AM. It also looks like there's some time for padding in there, so it'll be interesting if they run the TCM Wine Club promo for the kiddies.

I don't think the TCM schedule for May is up yet, but the general Saturday matinee idea is running through the end of April. By the end of April, however, they're no longer sticking exclusively to John Wayne westerns. Red Barry has 13 episodes, so it should run through to sometime in June depending on whether they take a week off for the war movie marathon on Memorial Day Weekend.

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