Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Am I right or am I right? Or am I right? Am I right?

Dear Weather Channel Executives ,

I noticed that you've recently decided to abandon your core principles of being a channel to provide information about the weather and decided to occasionally air feature films tangentially related to the weather (Perfect Storm and Twister I understand, but Deep Blue Sea...really? Are you just counting any movie that shows the weather on screen?). I personally don't really have a huge beef with this new programming direction, since I don't really watch the Weather Channel. For years, I always found the Weather Channel to be one of the more needlessly roundabout ways to get information about the weather. It seemed like every time I flipped over to see what the local weather was like I'd be getting the five day outlook for Duluth, MN or Scottsdale, AZ. I've always found it far quicker and easier to just check the internet, the paper, the local news, or even the nearest window.

Also, it seems like it's the general trend of current cable channels to be compromising their original narrow programming objectives. MTV and VH1 hardly show any music videos, ESPN started making their own made-for-tv films, Bravo and A&E used to be about the arts and culture, and the only thing I'm "learning" on TLC is what the current lowest common denominator is for reality programming. So, really I can't fault the Weather Channel for merely trying to stay relevant in this shifting cable landscape. I figure in a few decades all cable television will just be slightly different flavors of TNT/TBS.

With that said, I have a dynamite idea for your channel that I'm willing to give away free of charge. Seeing as how today is Groundhog Day, the premier (and so far only) holiday devoted to weather forecasting, the Weather Channel would benefit greatly by capitalizing on this massive promotional opportunity. Given this and your recent decision to show movies, I think you know where I'm going with this: 24 hours of "Groundhog Day" marathon!

Frankly, I'm shocked that this hasn't already. It's an absolutely perfect synergy of weather forecasting and weather entertainment. TBS's decision to run 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" each year has become an undeniable hit and has now firmly entrenched itself as a holiday television tradition in its own right along with airings of "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve and "The 10 Commandments" on Easter. For the small price of obtaining the rights to "Groundhog Day", the Weather Channel can gain that valuable, long lasting cultural cache. In addition, if you think about it, given the unique narrative structure of "Groundhog Day", a repetitive marathon is more than apt.

I understand that this is the first year Weather Channel is showing movies so the missing of this golden opportunity is somewhat forgivable. However the channel should not find themselves on Groundhogs Day 2011 repeating this mistake. They should immediately set out on obtaining the rights, lest some other rival network like USA or TBS or maybe even SpikeTV comes in and steals your thunder and leaves the Weather Channel out in the cold (dig those weather puns I threw in there?)


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