Spielberg, Brando and the Cannes Film Festival are the topics of a host of new specials coming to the Turner Classic Movies channel. TCM announced a special-heavy slate of new programming which also includes Idols, a new pilot for a series in which movie stars interview their role models.
TCM's new slate shows the Turner-owned network's continued efforts to evolve past being known for just running old movies. Among the five new specials the network announced today are Bienvenue Au Cannes, a look at the Cannes Film Festival at its 60-year mark; Spielberg on Spielberg, a 90-minute documentary in which the filmmaker talks about his work; and Brando, a two-hour documentary about Marlon Brando's on- and off-screen life.
Idols, whose format evokes Sundance's Iconoclasts series, will feature Alec Baldwin interviewing Gene Wilder in its pilot.
TCM got “some incremental money” – about 25% more than it had in the budget last year - for original programming for this year and next and this slate is its biggest bunch of originals ever, says Executive VP and General Manager Tom Karsch.
The non-ad-supported network is not rated by Nielsen and does not have official demographic data, but it skews to a 50 plus audience, Karsch says. The new programming is designed to both appeal to TCM’s core audience of film buffs – special Val Lewton’s American Horror focuses on the work of the lesser known filmmaker – while trying to rope in new viewers with broader-skewing fare like the Spielberg special.
“We’re never going to be a network that turns over and becomes all original programming,” Karsch says. “Original programming gives us accents and opportunities to bring in new people.”
TCM reaches 72 million subscribers.