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Hollywood hit films don't air on major networks anymore. (1 Viewer)

DisneySwan1990

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Its really unbelievable, but I gotta bring this topic up, Why do Hollywood's coolest hit films no longer air on the major networks just like they used to in the past? Well, aside from ABC's annual airings of Sound of Music on Xmas Day, I think this situation has contributed to the advent of Netflix/Crackle, and cable/digital networks. And, no I'm totally not talking about original network films, what I'm saying is about the Hollywood major hits that no longer airs on network TV anymore, that's it. Any comments?
 

Ejanss

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Basically, with all programming just a concession to advertisers (they only air a program in prime time just to fill their commitment, while they encourage the viewers to Tivo the episode or go download it off the website), practically any programming BUT whatever marketable properties the network owns has fallen by the wayside.
The networks now assume you'll be watching cable or Blu-ray if you want movies, and now barely even bother to show variety specials anymore, outside of the traditional awards shows. The networks have parent corporations that are more interested in marketing their shows as a commodity to sell on disk, and any other use of valuable time would just get in the way.

Meanwhile, studios have too tight a hold on their movies now to sell them to local stations, who also no longer have any time or interest to create "filler" programming like local shows or late-nite movies; the networks provide their affiliates with all-night news, so they don't have to worry what to show at 2am anymore, and most local stations no longer have any original-programming division whatsoever apart from their competing news divisions that sell the station's identity.

...It's all part of the slow extinction of television. :(
 

DaveF

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Because you can rent them for $1 on blu-ray before they'd ever make it to TV. Or cheaply stream on-demand from iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, etc. Or for a paltry $20, buy it on disc and watch it whenever, rather than on random TV schedule. And all options are higher quality and without interruption.In the 1980s, when the only way to see a movie was to hope for the eventual TV broadcast, it made sense. I looked forward to it. But now, in 2014, do people actually watch ad-interrupted movies on normal TV? Why?
 

mark brown

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I still remember being a transfixed eight year old watching The Naked Jungle on NBC in the early sixties...
 

Matt Hough

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Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we, of course, had no choice if we wanted to watch a movie: you watched it on THEIR terms - whatever time it was programmed, with almost inevitable cuts in the movie, with endless commercial breaks every ten or fifteen minutes, and often with prints so beaten up and spliced together that sometimes it was hard making sense of what one was seeing. And yet, we gleefully accepted these conditions in order to revisit a cherished movie or discover something we'd heard about but never seen.

I'm thankful EVERY day for the situation we now have for watching movies on television.
 

jcroy

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Ejanss said:
The networks have parent corporations that are more interested in marketing their shows as a commodity to sell on disk, and any other use of valuable time would just get in the way.
These days for tv shows, dvd/bluray seems to also be a low priority now. Especially with hardly any network tv shows being released on bluray, and Warner + Fox releasing quite a few recent shows on MOD dvd.

I would guess for tv shows, off-network syndication is probably the main priority for these parent corporations of networks. (ie. Syndication reruns on basic cable channels, Netflix and other streaming services).
 

Rob_Ray

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Yes, cable TV killed the concept of the "World Television Premiere" network event programming of movies around 1980 or so. Remember what a big deal it was for a network to pay big bucks for the first-run rights to THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, CLEOPATRA, BEN-HUR and all the big roadshow films of the '50s and '60s? I'm only in my late fifties and I even remember the television premieres of such forties classics as THE SONG OF BERNADETTE and GOING MY WAY.

Of course, now we have them all on BluRay or at least DVD in most cases, in far higher quality, so the today is the best of times. Still, the sense of "event television" is missing because the whole country isn't watching it with you and there's no talking about it the next day with your friends.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think broadcast television and home entertainment has just evolved beyond that practice.

As recently as a few years ago, I still saw network premieres of first run blockbusters like the Harry Potter films. But I think the thing is, no one is waiting around for these to air on network television anymore. To begin with, theatrical releases are so much wider than they used to be - if you want to see a particular movie, you probably saw it in the theater. And if you weren't able to see it in a theater and were interested in it, then you could have caught it on DVD or Blu-ray three months later, or on streaming services and premium cable within the next six months to a year. By the time something could hit broadcast after already going through the more premium channels, it's probably two to four years old already. For the money studios want for the rights on big movies, and for how low the ratings and advertising revenue would probably be, I'm just guessing that it isn't really worth it for either the studios or the broadcasters in most cases.
 

DisneySwan1990

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& another thing I gotta bring up, if a film (for example, Total Recall & Basic Instinct) is extremely violent and /or racy, then those films are restricted to premiering exclusively on basic cable networks, edited for content.
 

Jesse Skeen

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Movies have traditionally been cut for time so more commercials could be fit in, with commercial time now being almost twice what it was 30 years ago, think of how much MORE they would have to cut! Plus any material that went above a G rating was always cut or changed; I used to watch network airings just to laugh at what was censored. Presentation-wise, network TV is now an unwatchable mess- let them ruin their own shows and keep their hands off of movies.
 

Ejanss

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I still remember being a transfixed eight year old watching The Naked Jungle on NBC in the early sixties...
I remember our local PBS station showed Richard Schickel's director series when I was growing up in the 70's, and staring "WTF?" at excerpts from Hitchcock I hadn't seen yet (why are those crows and seagulls attacking?), and the artistic dance numbers from the Vincent Minelli episode.
Later on, I learned to attach those images to classic movies, but it's the out-of-context imagery of coming across the middle of a film that hits you first.
Searching through the PD backwaters of Amazon Prime, I just this week managed to track down a strange obscure movie I'd seen on local stations as a kid, and realized I'd barely forgotten it after thirty years.

Never underestimate the power of just coming across the middle of a strange movie, like we used to when we click local station channels--They will stick with you for life...Like a dream where everyone else knows what's going on, and you're trying to figure it out. :)
In the 1980s, when the only way to see a movie was to hope for the eventual TV broadcast, it made sense. I looked forward to it. But now, in 2014, do people actually watch ad-interrupted movies on normal TV? Why?
Three years ago, our local cable still had ThisTV on the basic channels, which was a poor substitute for TCM on the tier channels, but essentially consisted of the rare obscure titles that showed up on Warner Archive, for those who can't get IWA on their set-top box.
At their heyday, they even started bringing in some classics, like the Marx Brothers on New Year's, or the Universal Monsters (including the premiere of the Criterion Lost Souls restoration) in October, or Heidi and Hans Christian Andersen at Christmas.
Even with ads, there's just something non-commital about sitting down like a child hearing a story and just being shown a new movie for the first time--With choosing your movies, there's too much control; you only pick the movies you've heard of and you only hear of the movies you like, that's actually a pretty narrow taste.

(But as for prime time hit movies, yeah, Blu-ray's got that one beat.)
 

Steve Armbrust

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Ejanss said:
Never underestimate the power of just coming across the middle of a strange movie, like we used to when we click local station channels--They will stick with you for life...Like a dream where everyone else knows what's going on, and you're trying to figure it out. :)
As a kid, some time in the 60's, I think, our PBS station ran a series of classic musicals. I had never seen any of these before and I remember being absolutely blown away by Singin' in the Rain and Band Wagon. I instantly became a Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire fan. And as an adult, not that many years ago, running across my first Wheeler and Woolsey movie on TCM. Boom, instant fan.
 

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