Sunday, November 1, 2009

Too many repeats?

The Fox Movie Channel has been running a Halloween-weekend marathon of the various movies in the Planet of the Apes series. There weren't all that many movies in the series, so it means that all of them are being rerun over, and over, and over....

It poses the question of just how much material should (or shouldn't) be repeated. There is certainly a place for repeats: for a lot of the cable channels, it's important to be able to capture the eyeballs of the channel-surfer, who doesn't plan his schedule carefully, and doesn't record a lot of stuff for later viewing. If you look at many of the cable channels' schedules, they'll have one of their popular shows kicking off prime time at 8:00 PM ET, a prime time schedule that runs three or four hours -- and then a repeat of that full prime-time schedule. The reasoning behind this is that the stuff that kicks off prime time in the east will get a repeat at what are the prime time hours out in the Pacific Time Zone. (Bigger cable channels have a dedicated feed for the west coast that's all the same stuff as the east coast feed, only run three hours later. If you have DirecTV, for example, you'll see that there's a separate channel for Showtime's west coast feed.) And TCM isn't averse to this sort of repeat. It's very common for them, when they have a new documentary, to show it at 8:00 PM ET, run one movie, and then repeat the documentary around 11:00 PM ET. As a matter of fact, they'll be doing just that later this week with a new documentary on Johnny Mercer.

I think this is also the same reasoning why Fox runs its Fox Legacy movies three times in succession on Fridays, and has the Triple Play feature on Saturdays. Of course, Fox has other problems with the way it uses its library, as I've discussed before. That having been said, I can't help but think the Planet of the Apes marathon is a bit too much over three days, especially when you consider they did the same thing over four days last Thanksgiving. Still you have at least one more chance to catch the original Planet of the Apes at 8:00 PM ET tonight, with the Fox Legacy introduction, which, for the record, is worth watching -- if you haven't seen any of the other 43287321 airings of it.

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