Wanted to link to an article entitled Five Reasons to love Turner Classic Movies over at the TV Squad site. I thought it was a pretty interesting article which sums up the reaction a lot of people have to TCM. Uncut movies! No commercials! All the classics from the vault! Robert Osborne doing the movie intros!
Plus, they have these special series of movies they run, such as the Oscar-winning ones they show during the month that the Academy Awards are handed out. This month, they are running a bunch of Frank Sinatra movies on Wednesdays and Sundays. Anyway, read the article for yourself, it has a lot of good points about TCM and why so many people like the channel.
I watch the channel pretty constantly and to me it has the same appeal today that A&E used to have back in the Eighties and Nineties. Back then, A&E used to show Biography and lots of documentaries and high-brow stuff, plus all the best cop show reruns including Law & Order. And of course a lot of stuff featuring Bill Kurtis. But then that channel went downmarket in a big way and got rid of all that programming in favor of reality shows and CSI Miami reruns, creating a lot of refugee TV viewers who needed some other place to go. I'll bet a lot of them went over to TCM -- they try to class it up over there. AMC is good, too, but they don't show movies uncut or commercial-free over there, which ticks off plenty of people.
What I find interesting from that article is that it mentioned that for a lot of people TCM is the "deal-breaker" in decisions whether or not to get cable in these big metropolitan areas. No TCM, no cable! Makes sense to me. After I moved recently, I considered whether or not to subscribe to cable again. In the end, the reasons why I finally caved and took cable were because the cable company offered (a) TCM and (b) CNBC. But more importantly they had a deal going on a bundle of channels, so I pretty much had to take it.
Unfortunately I may just ditch cable after that deal expires. I found out one of the rival systems here offers Teletoon Retro, which shows endless Hanna-Barbera and Bugs Bunny classics over and over again. That's what TCM ought to do -- show more cartoons.