stevo4212 wrote:Or, perhaps a movie largely considered to be among the best ever made, like The Godfather, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, among many others.
was my wife's guess. I thought it was a good one and toyed with the possibility as well. If you think the TOM is the C in TCM, it makes perfect sense. CK has long been considered the
classic movie. Yet it was rarely if ever shown on TV to my recollection. It might make sense to kick off the new channel by showing a movie that everyone's heard about but many have not seen. The down side to this is that many find Citizen Kane
underwhelming. I felt a businessman like Ted Turner wouldn't risk it. People tune in, watch the classic, and say, "Oh. So that's what a classic is. No more for me, thanks."
I think I considered The Wizard of Oz
, which others have mentioned being their guess. Again, I felt a businessman wouldn't have used it, but for a different reason. TWoO was on TV constantly
. Well ... at least once a year. And it was hyped whenever it came on, and families popped popcorn and made a night of it. EVERYONE had seen the movie already. Multiple times. So the message Ted would be sending is, "We're showing the same stuff you've already seen repeatedly on the networks." Nix that. Keep thinking.
I didn't recognize April 14 as being a significant date. Didn't know it's the date Lincoln was shot and the date Titanic went down. But I sensed that it was the TOM. It was so darned specific
. (Had I known the Lincoln date, it would have been a mild argument against Gone with the Wind
.) So I postulated that it was on or right before Easter. In fact, Easter was April 3 that year. But Easter can be as late as April 25, so the 14th wasn't outside the range. I might have been tempted by The Ten Commandments
had I thought of it. But I'd have rejected it for the same reason I rejected The Wizard of Oz
. Most people had already seen it repeatedly. It wasn't a draw. It didn't distinguish the station.
So instead, figuring I'd be wrong, and knowing I wouldn't be surprised if Citizen Kane
was right, I went with ... Easter Parade
Of course, once Alex identified the TOM, I instantly knew the correct response. It seemed to make sense from a business standpoint too. GWTW had made its network TV premiere in 1976 to huge
hype and was watched in 47.5 percent of US households. Including mine. I got bored after a while and wandered off to watch Wonder Woman
on the black and white set in my parents' room. But Mom and Sis kept watching. (Was Dad out of town on business or something? I can't imagine him sitting through that two-night event. But he wasn't watching the other TV with me, either.) And in 1989 (I think) GWTW had a successful limited re-release in theaters. So it hadn't lost its status as a moneymaking crowd pleaser.
What I didn't know is that it's Ted Turner's favorite movie. I didn't know he'd bought the rights to the thing. I didn't know that TCM was the second
network that Ted launched with GWTW. The first was TNT in 1988. Had I known all that (especially the last one!), the Turner TOM would have leaped out at me. As it was, I didn't even notice it because "April 14" and "classic" seemed the obvious TOMs. I'm not saying I'd have gotten it right if they'd omitted the "April 14". But I think it's more likely.