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NBC's Thursday night sitcom scheduling - messing up programming


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted September 26 2003 - 04:03 AM

Last night, "Will & Grace" started at 7:44, 4 minutes BEFORE it was supposed to start according to the Tivo program guide (which said 7:48). As usual, "Friends" started at 6:59 instead of 7:00. I think "Coupling" might have started a minute or so early too, haven't watched it yet.

Is anyone else as pissed off at NBC about this as I am? Why are they doing this, to make us miss parts of the shows?

Tivo had a message about this, that we should check our recording times because NBC was using irregular times for their Thursday night schedule, but they (NBC) STILL managed to screw those who sat down to watch or record "Will & Grace" at its announced start time.

I'm gonna write NBC about this, but I'm guessing they won't care. I just have no clue why they'd do this.
/Mike

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Peter Kim

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Posted September 26 2003 - 04:18 AM

I wonder how they'll do syndication with these oblong shows...unless they go crazy with time compression.

I don't have Tivo, but if I did, I'd be upset too.
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#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 26 2003 - 04:23 AM

I just give in and record all the shows on NBC on Thursday just so I don't mis the tail-end of shows, or the start of them.
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#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted September 26 2003 - 04:29 AM

I gave up watching them altogether last season because of that. The syndication is going to be a mess. It is bad enough cutting 2 minutes out for that, but 10 or 12?

Plot? What's a plot?

Glenn

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted September 26 2003 - 04:32 AM

You know, it looked like the folks who do TiVo's guide did their best to try to accomodate the weird times, but NBC screwed them (& us) over.

My TiVo did get the beginning of "Friends" correctly, and the start of "ER" was right on. It looks like the big losers were W&G fans, as that one did start several minutes early.

So Posted Image Posted Image to TiVo for a valiant effort, and Posted Image Posted Image to NBC for finding a way to thwart it anyway.

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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 26 2003 - 05:39 AM

I just have no clue why they'd do this.

They're doing this precisely because they don't want people time-shifting with TIVO or VCR or whatever.

By continually shifting the start times by a few minutes, they're hoping you'll stay glued to the tube for the entire evening since you won't know exactly when any particular show is starting or finishing in order to record it in its entirety (and thereby FF through the commercials).

If NBC provides programming info for use with TIVO, they're probably purposely providing inaccurate info so some programs will be chopped off, hoping next week you'll watch the real-time broadcast so you don't miss anything.
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#7 of 21 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted September 26 2003 - 05:49 AM

But "Friends" always starts at 6:59, and ER always starts at 8:59, so to record it, one only has to record 2 hours between those times. I still don't watch any of the commercials, it's just that it's more of a hassle. And even if I was watching live, I'd miss 4 minutes of W&G if I sat down to watch it at its announced start time.

Maybe they did really think that this would prevent time-shifting. More likely, it'll just prevent people from seeing the whole show.
/Mike

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Will Cunningham

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Posted September 26 2003 - 06:35 AM

I think NBC did it for one of a number of reasons. Friends comercials are more valuable than will and grace comercials. You can only play a certain number of comercials per half hour thanks to the FCC. If you start Friends 1 min early, you get 1 min of the previous hour to mess with, by having the whacky extra 10-15 min you also get more comercials.

I don't think that is the reason they did it though, I think they did it because they figured if you watched friends, and then were 15 min's into the next half hour, you would be more likely to watch W&G than switch to something that had already started.

I hate this practice and hope it backfires on them.
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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted September 26 2003 - 09:55 AM

You can't set TiVo to start early or end late? I have +5 minutes on Friends and -3 on ER, even though the ReplayTV guide tries to list the time accurately.

It is annoying, but then NBC clearly has no shame.

//Ken

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted September 26 2003 - 01:41 PM

Yeah, talk about working to dissolve your fan base.Posted Image

Atleast my affiliate started the episodes at the posted times. And what makes it worse is that because of all this scheduling nonsense, Scrubs doesn't premiere until next week.

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted September 16 2004 - 02:21 AM

Now NBC is at it again. Just like with "Friends" last year, they (at least on my station) start "Joey" one minute early, naturally without scheduling it that way.
Tonight, "Joey" is scheduled to run from 7:00 to 7:40 (which is probably 8:00 to 8:40 in most markets), followed by Will & Grace from 7:40 to 8:20, followed by The Apprentice running from 8:20 to 10:00.

Does anyone think they'll actually keep even these times? Not me at least, they've never managed to before...

/Mike
/Mike

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Hughes

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Posted September 16 2004 - 03:18 AM

I take the Tivo "manual record" approach with NBC shows. Once The OC comes on in Nov on Fox, they will get my 8-9 tivo season pass, and Joey gets kicked. The Apprentice will get a "Manual" Recording from 9-10, so it does not screw up my Without a Trace Season Pass. I will watch Survivor and CSI Live. If I miss a few mins that I recorderd of The Apprentice becauseof NBC odd ball timing, I can live with it.

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#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted September 16 2004 - 04:23 AM

They do the same thing on Tuesday nights. The three episodes of Scrubs so far have all been 1-5 minutes earlier than the nominal time slot, with only the season premiere appearing that way in my Tivo program guide.

Regards,
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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 16 2004 - 05:06 AM

Having 3 ReplayTVs makes this a non-issue as one of my ReplayTVs records all my NBC shows I want recorded, and I use the other 2 ReplayTVs for other shows in the same timeslot.

I'm grateful that there aren't more than 3 shows at any given timeslot that I want to record. Last season was a little nuts when 4 and even 5 shows I wanted to record showed up in the same timeslots a few times over the course of last season.
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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted September 16 2004 - 05:09 AM

Isn't NBC in third place? I wonder why. Posted Image

If this is such a good strategery for them, why aren't the other networks doing it?

Oh, the starting 1 min early is a separate issue, I think.

I've noticed our local station starts Oprah 1-2 min early, & the same for their 2 hour news that is on next. Not sure why, like 120 min isn't long enough for news.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted September 16 2004 - 10:22 AM

Having 3 ReplayTVs makes this a non-issue as one of my ReplayTVs records all my NBC shows I want recorded, and I use the other 2 ReplayTVs for other shows in the same timeslot.


I don't see how that would solve the problem with NBC's disregard for the time schedule. Unless ReplayTV automatically can sense when a show starts or ends, regardless of what the schedule says.

/Mike
/Mike

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Lawrence

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Posted September 16 2004 - 10:41 AM

It's friggin stupid! I was never a huge fan of FRIENDS (Don't dislike it, just never really watched much of it) but I decided to give their spin-off show JOEY a shot. Well I guess they decided to supersize the thing because I was missing the last 5 or 10 minutes on my Tivo recording for the premier episode. So I just went into my season pass manager and deleted the damn show.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted September 16 2004 - 12:34 PM

With Replay or Tivo, if you wanted to have it switch to another channel at 8:30 it would just be set up that way and switch at 8:30.

With 3 machines though, one could be set for channel 8 for 1 hour, and the other two would cover the other stations. Get it?

Glenn

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted September 16 2004 - 01:11 PM

Yeah, I pretty much just record everything on NBC on Thursdays with one ReplayTV so I don't need to worry about missing stuff (though I do have to watch the shows in order to catch the run-over shows from show to show).
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#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted September 16 2004 - 01:18 PM

The whole point of the odd scheduling is to get people to watch their shows live (thereby the commercials run live too) and TIVO something else.

I doubt NBC is too concerned about alienating people who TIVO their shows since they know you're all skipping through the commercials anyway. To NBC, that's as good as not watching at all.
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