Saturday, November 2, 2013

The last day of Daylight Savings Time

Those of us in North America, except for you freaks in Arizona, Hawaii, and I believe parts of Saskatchewan, will be turning our clocks back one hour tonight. The resaon it's worth mentioning here is that it always seems to bring up issues with television programming, what with channels having to program for a 25-hour day instead of a 24-hour day.

On a day like this, I prefer to look at a schedule in terms of UTC, as I mentioned last year on the day clocks were to be turned back. UTC is roughly the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), with standard time zones being listed as an offset from UTC, with times listed in military-style 24-hour time. So, for example, here in the Eastern Time Zone, we're on UTC-4 during the summer, and UTC-5 in the winter; those of you in time zones further west can probably figure out the appropriate offsets for your local time. During the summer, TCM's programming day that begins at 6:00 AM ET stars at 1000 UTC, with that changing to 1100 UTC in the winter.

Tonight's prime-time lineup concludes with a special late-night Essentials airing of Silkwood, which comes on at 0415 UTC and runs about 131 minutes, taking us to 0630 UTC, which is where things start to get confusing if you're using regular time zones. The clocks are supposed to be turned back at 2:00 AM local time, so the start of TCM Underground tonight is technically at the second 1:30 AM in ET, or the first 1:30 AM in the Central Time Zone. Tonight's Underground lineup includes an 83-minute documentary on experimental shorts, followed by a series of those shorts which are listed as beginning at 4:00 AM (0900 UTC); adding the times of those up from the monthly schedule only gets to about an hour and a half.

Well, it's easy enough to add an extra short in at the end, which TCM seems to have done with 1942's Inflation, which is scheduled for 5:42 AM ET, which is after the time change for everybody. The hour in between, however, is now listed as being occupied by the 57-minute promotional film The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (listed as 1950 at TCM and 1951 by IMDb), wiht Lionel Barrymore presenting upcoming films from MGM. TCM's daily online schedule has this as starting at 2:33 AM, or three minutes after the documentary!

My guess is that either Lionel Barrymore comes on at 0630 UTC followed at 0730 by the documentary, and 0900 by the shorts, or 0630 for the documentary, 0800 for Lionel Barrymore, and again 0900 for the shorts. I'd suggest checking the box guide, but who knows if that's going to get it right? Mine has Silkwood running until 0630 UTC and, as normal, no mention of shorts scheduled as part of TCM Extras.

No comments: