This is only the second television network to be selected for this list, after ESPN (Great American Things, September 9, 2009). But it’s one of the most valuable on the dial, because it allows us to see great classic movies, uninterrupted by commercials.
TCM came on the air in 1994, and its first film was Gone with the Wind (Great American Things, April 28, 2009). There are lots of things to like about the channel. For one thing, it seems to be run by people who really like movies. There’s an intelligence to the programming that isn’t evident at other networks.
Another thing to appreciate about TCM is how it dedicates days to the career of a single actor. For example, Jimmy Stewart (Great American Things, April 8, 2009) was featured recently, with back-to-back showings of six of his films. It gives you the opportunity to see an actor’s career development, and to catch films you may have never seen. Another highlight is its annual 31 Days of Oscar programming during the month of February. Not just Best Picture winners, but films that won in other categories get the spotlight for a whole month.
There was a time when I didn’t care about older movies, somehow deeming them irrelevant to today’s experience. I know, I know. Now I’m a big fan of old movies, when actors and directors made movies work, not computer effects. And I love Turner Classic Movies.